With a darker tone, a setting aimed at adults and creatures that might give a few pixelated nightmares, Monster Crown has entered Early Access as a new breed in the genre of monster catching.
Monster Crown definitely captures some of the spirit of early Pokemon games, with a new and unique take on it. Instead of throwing a magical ball to capture creatures and force them to your will, Monster Crown gets you to offer them a contract and see if they want to join you. It's a little odd but an interesting spin.
- Make pacts with monsters to receive their protection in return for shelter
- Breed and fuse over 200 base monsters to create your own new species
- Travel across Crown Island with your monster allies to uncover a dark world.
- Make a pivotal decision that will drastically change the ending and post-game
- Play online to battle and trade, and have your new species reach across the globe
The inspiration is obvious and could be compared with to no end, Monster Crown makes me feel like my youth staying up late playing on the Game Boy. Not just because of the style, mechanically it feels like it too with the movement and interactions along with the UI.
What makes Monster Crown thoroughly interesting is the breeding system. If you want to rank up with the best, you need to breed the perfect beast. Mixing the DNA from parents into different species, you can end up with quite the unique party of monsters.
I actually supported this on the original Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in 2018, since then it's be fun to watch it evolve. The developer, Studio Aurum, are clearly thoroughly dedicated to it and they've been a pleasure to talk to when I found a few issues that they promptly solved. Right now it has the basics there to be enjoyable but it's very much a gem in the rough. It needs a fine cloth going over it, to polish up all those rough edges.
You can find Monster Crown on Steam.
If you want a little backstory on the developer and how it came to be, they did their own little interview with their publisher here.