With the likes of Block Fortress [Free / $1.99] and Heroes & Castles [Free / $2.99], the bros at Foursaken Media really have a penchant for creating great games across substantially different premises. This trend continues with Monster Adventures [$0.99], a dungeon crawler with loads of character customization and a touch of rogue-like randomization. It succeeds wonderfully too, making it yet another title from Foursaken worth playing.

The story in Monster Adventures starts out relatively simple, focusing on your role as a novice trainer representing your town in a monster tournament. In order to train for the tournament, you'll have to take your monster into the wild to defeat wildlings, which earn gold, experience and abilities. Earning all three improves your monster, which allows you to go further into the wild and lets you earn even more of the above, and so on. Meanwhile, you can enter your monster into the tournament, advancing up the ranks until you win the whole thing. It's a straightforward mission, but it gets the job done for keeping you engaged.

Also pretty straightforward is Monster Adventure's action-RPG gameplay. The wilds are divided into levels which are further separated into randomized stages which remind me of the original Legend of Zelda (minus the randomness). Guide your monster to a new stage, take out the wildlings, earn rewards and repeat. In addition to simply taking out baddies, you can also capture them for AP, which is used to learn new abilities.

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Each level always has a screen that will have a town teleporter, as well as a screen that'll let you go deeper into the wilds (which open up harder enemies and greater rewards). There's a constant tension between exploring further and returning home to cash out your rewards (dying in the wilds substantially reduces the gold and experience earned), which I loved as a risk/reward mechanic.

While similar games offer the allure of customization via allowing players to capture a wide variety of monsters that have different stats and abilities, Monster Adventures instead accomplishes this with a full-on emphasis on individual monster advancement. Players can customize their monsters in three separate ways. Essences can be equipped in a similar fashion to weapons/armor which increase your monster's attributes in a variety of different ways. Abilities are earned by capturing wildlings in the field and are separated into active abilities (of which only four can be equipped) and passive abilities, which are always active.

Finally, players can also change the elemental attunement of their monsters which both grants additional stats and also makes them strong/weak against other elementals. Elementals are probably the most significant customization, as it creates a rock/paper/scissors-esque relationship with enemies that can either help you take on tough foes or make it far more difficult. It's important to note that Monster Adventures starts off a bit slow, but as you delve deeper into the tournament and wilds, you unlock a lot more options.

I'm a huge fan of the sheer amount of customizability in Monster Adventures. Essences do more than offer immediate attribute increases and appearance changes -- they also impact stat increases for level-ups, allowing some pretty deep long-term customization. Combine this with the large selection of possible abilities along with the elemental attuenment, and Monster Adventures does a great job allowing players to truly create monsters that appeal to their play style. Eventually, you unlock additional monsters, allowing you to maintain multiple characters with different attributes/abilities.

Monster Adventures does contain some IAP, and while it is relatively tame, one area that I'm a bit iffy on deals with the elemental currency. Elemental Orbs are used to change elemental attunement. Considering the fact that your Monster's elemental alignment affects a great deal of things, including capturing monsters, I found myself wanting to change it often. Unfortunately, orbs are a bit rare at the onset, although I started earning more once you unlocked a few passive abilities to raise the earn rate. In addition, cheaper items that temporarily change your monster's elemental also alleviate the Orb shortage.

Make no mistake, Monster Adventures banks a lot on its customization system to succeed. Thankfully, the impressive amount of options combined with decent controls and robust multiplayer options (including co-op!) means it succeeds easily. Monster Adventures is a great action-RPG that you simply need to check out.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Xexist

    For those who try this game early on and find it too hard.. stick with it. The game is actually a little unforgiving for the first little while until you find/buy some essences to equip so stick in there!

    Not that this game is for everyone, but it would be a shame if people were to give up before giving this a fair chance.

    Easily worth the asking price.

    Also: Yes there is IAP, not it is not necessary. At all.

  • LORE

    Is this game similiar to dragon island blue?

    • Morgan01

      It is not like Dragon Blue. I read it was similar to Pokemon and Zelda as well, um, not really. It has an RPG element. The basic premiss is you run your monster through randomly generated maps, each map level getting progressively harder, killing monsters for XP and coin, while leveling up. You can collect a set number of each kind of monster to unlock skills for your monster. Coin is used to purchase enhancements to equip on your monster, affecting appearance and stats, as well as purchasing consumable. I have yet to try the co-op or verses mode.

    • gaucho86

      Think more of a cute and cuddly diablo 1 and your about halfway there. Now that I read that it sounds stupid, but it really work. I promise. This review does a pretty good job of capturing the essence of the game (heck yes I meant the friggin pun).

    • gaucho86

      Think more of a cute and cuddly diablo 1 and your about halfway there. Now that I read that it sounds stupid, but it really work. I promise. This review does a pretty good job of capturing the essence of the game (heck yes I meant the friggin pun).

      • visualplayer

        Hello, I'm a demon from the 9th level of hell! Cuddle me! CUDDLE! -Diablo Monster

  • dribblejam

    The multiplayer is way too laggy.

    • alex98909

      The multiplayer doesn't work!*

      • gaucho86

        I played coop just fine. The only problem I ran into is that the style of the game was so fast it was a challenge to communicate using the chat function. I wish there was a way to talk with players using the mic.

  • Nekku

    Most addictive game i've played in years.
    Iron out the crashes and bugs and it will be awesome!

  • Nicholas Capanear

    thanks Foursaken! My son and I have really been enjoying the coop on your game! Great job!

  • Nicholas Capanear

    Thanks Foursaken! My son and I have really been enjoying the coop on your game. Great Job!

  • William Hartman

    I have to respectfully disagree, even if I am alone in this. I just dont really see what the appeal or fuss is...are people THIS desperate for action-rpg games with some customization to play such a boring, repetitive blatant grind fest with next to no story, next to no balance (i have a level 10 monster, he can go through meadows and breeze through until all of a sudden getting whooped out of nowhere, or sometimes hit a boss on the first level and get trounced! The levels are boring, repetitive, lack of any real awe or inspiration (and only three). I just dont see it, and I gave the game more than a chance. As the review stated, especially in e first hours/days of playing, elemental orbs are VERY rare, so IAP is required if you dont want the game to REALLY suck at the start. I didnt buy, and it just added to the games annoyance/lack of fun for me.

    • alex98909

      you're being rude to it... this is a great game... heroes of castle doesnt have a story and its still good

      • William Hartman

        How is giving my opinion on the game "rude"?

      • JCat

        More importantly, how does one get rude to a game?

    • gaucho86

      To start, I really like this game, but I do see your points. Your first monster is screwed on the level ups because you have no good monster parts to help him beef up the stats, the waiting around to heal your best monsters after getting outclassed in the arena by much lower level creatures (the well shouldn't have to charge... Dumb idea), and the grind of levels being more or less the same thing over and over are all less than five star features.

      What keeps me happy is leveling up, going back and finding a monster that slapped me around, and then giving him a upper cut full of poison. I like to save up the reasonable amount of gold needed to buy the stuff to juice my guy just enough to see his veins popping out as he starts roid raging with awesomeness. It's fun to go to the leader board and see your name in flashing lights cause you were able to make it past that last guy to open the portal. Balancing issues are there. There is this one giant monster who comes in a red and a blue form who is unreal, and I usually bail when I see him, but it's still fun to get to him. The game matures as you get to levels that allow you to really open up the world.

      With that said, this is an iOS game. It cost two dollars. Will it get old? Yes and probably before November, but I find that is what I expect with an iOS game. That's why they are cheap and every Wednesday another million hit the market. Xcom bucks the trend, but this game is fun to play and will be fun to grind through until the next shiny two dollar thing catches my fancy.

    • Xexist

      I enjoy this game, but I respect your opinion. In fact I agree with most of what you said about it being bland and whatnot. I guess I just have to answer your question and say yes. Yes I am that desperate for some half decent Grindy customizing rpg type game. Sorry you didn't enjoy though!

    • vic_viper_001

      You hit the nail squarely on the head... unfortunately.

  • LORE

    Eh... Think ill buy unlucky hero instead

    • gaucho86

      You should go for random runners instead... SIKE

  • LORE

    Lol, after that glowing report from toucharcade.... (SIKE)

  • anabolicMike

    On the grounds I'm gonna get booed! I bought the game based on the review. Sounds great! I loved the Pokemon series on gameboy. I sold all my GBC games an just kept my Pokemon game hahahah. Anyway back to this game: I can't get into it at all. I've played for a bit, got essences that made my dude look different and etc etc. I just don't seem to be able to get into it at all. I wasted my money maybe. Not that it matters, well worth it to support an indie dev! Who knows maybe if I try agian ill get hooked. Took four or five times with terraria to like it

  • http://www.ebog.me/ ebog

    I was so addicted to this game. It's extremely interesting. An adventure experience

  • rabidnz

    This game flips from tedious to tediously easy after the first 30mins, blob helper is overpowered to the point of ruining the game unless you are a child who like to always win. 3.5/5 has some genius elements which are let down heavily by the average at best graphics, constantly reused assets ad infinitum, a heavy, clunky movement and combat system, worst level design since superman 64 and major difficulty issues !

  • heretik

    What kind of review doesnt even once mention the controls? Useless.

  • SKamiTheFly

    Guys do remember Foursaken Media just confirmed Bug Heroes 2 AND Block Fortress War, which is a MOBA-like Game. Keep it Up Bros!

Monster Adventures Reviewed by Eric Ford on . Rating: 4.5