Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Monster Tale

Review: Monster Tale

5:00 PM on 03.23.2011 // Colette Bennett

You may recollect back in January we brought you a preview of a cute little platformer coming soon from Majesco called Monster Tale. A sweet title with distinctly retro flavor, Monster Tale used some cool tricks to keep us exploring Metroidvania-style, a cute sidekick to ward off loneliness, and a happy soundtrack to keep us tapping our feet. If the read the preview, you know we dug it -- and that we wanted more.

Fast forward a few months, and the full game is here for us to check out in its entirety. I sat down with it a second time, happy to be able to play all the way through.

Monster Tale (DS)
Developer: DreamRift
Publisher: Majesco
Released: March 22, 2011
MSRP: $29.99

When you hear that the team behind a game is the same as the people behind the award-winning Henry Hatsworth series, you tend to sit up at take notice. That is the case with Monster Tale, and what we got out of the preview was that that pedigree definitely made for some great gameplay (at least for the early levels we checked out). But could they hold up the quality for an entire game?

In Monster Tale, you play the role of a plucky young girl named Ellie who is whipped away by magic to a world populated with semi-threatening monsters. Ellie makes a friend named Chomp, who will be her companion for the rest of the game, and also doubles as an excuse for a ton of really interesting interactive game mechanics. The concept behind Monster Tale is still a simple one, but thanks to Chomp, it'll keep you busy!

Ellie and Chomp's main mission is to defeat the Kid Kings, who are actually children from Ellie's real world that have gotten their hands on a bit too much power. To do that, you're going to do a lot of back and forth platforming, similar to the style of Metroid and old-school Castlevania. If you've played any Hatsworth title, you're sure to see the influence here, as Ellie kind of moves a lot like the old chap, but the differences are enough to make it feel like its not a bite stylewise.

Ellie defends herself in the game by using a band which powers up through the use of different abilities she gains as she progresses. You'll get a little fireball spell to start off, as well as a melee attack. Once you meet Chomp, you can rock out with all kinds of new powers, because he interacts with Ellie in a such a way that it really opens up the possibilities of what you can do during play (although it won't be that way right off the bat ... give him some time to develop!).

He's pretty good just as a sidekick who stomps baddies alongside Ellie, but after Chomp evolves a bit, he can do a lot. You can stick with his original form, which kind of looks like a Croissant with cute eyes, or you can change to different forms later down the line. Each of the forms earns experience separately, so you'll need to be handy with swapping out abilities and making sure you give all of his forms some fighting time. Otherwise, you won't be able to access all the cool stuff he has to offer.

Speaking of using Chomp, you'll need to be aware of his petmeter as well. When he is on the top screen fighting alongside Ellie, he gets tired. However, he has a cool little mancave on the bottom screen called the Pet Sanctuary, and you can send him there with a touch of the X button. He'll regenerate energy there, and any pet items you find during your travels will also be found down there. If he goes down to eat them, he'll get little stat boosts to experience, use them as weapons, and more. Plus, it's really cool to watch him eat.

Boss battles in Monster Tale feel just like playing the Super Nintendo, from music to boss size (as you would hope, they mostly fill the screen). If you played that system when it was in its original run, you're going to swoon over that nostalgic feeling. I know I did, and it reminded me of some good old times back in the day.

As for gameplay, it flows forward in a pleasant manner. I found Monster Tale to be moderately challenging, but never quite as much so as Hatsworth was, so this is obviously aimed at a slightly different audience. One thing the game does do is handhold, which will either be handy to you or piss you off, depending on what you prefer. It'll always tell you where to go next and show it on the map. I personally like this as there are times where I forget where I've already been in this map style, and it can be useful to have a guide.

One thing I did not like about Monster Tale was the backtracking. You'll revisit each area at least once, and Ellie's not exactly a speed demon. That's okay, though, because the fun of the game's partner mechanic and ease of play far outweigh the annoyance of having to retrace your steps a few times. If there's any major weakness the game has, its that its almost too simple, but I get the feeling that DreamRift wanted it to be something both kids and adults could enjoy, and it certainly fits that bill. A full playthrough lasted us about 8-9 hours, which was plenty of amusement for the price.

Photo Gallery: (6 images)
Click to zoom - browse by swipe, or use arrow keys



Monster Tale - Reviewed by Colette Bennett
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Colette Bennett,
 Follow Blog + disclosure

This blog submitted to our editor via our Community Blogs, and then it made it to the home page! You can follow community members and vote up their blogs - support each other so we can promote a more diverse and deep content mix on our home page.

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Monster Tale

  Mar 29

Monster Tale Ultimate coming to 3DS

Juggle monsters to death in stereoscopic 3D

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Indivisible exposes why forced diversity and its proponents keep failing

Steam Controller Review

RAE - Back in Town

Thankful it's ov

Half - Life 3 FINALLY 100% confirmed...maybe.

Surprisingly... I'm *really* enjoying Fallout 4!!

Where the Hell is Breath of Fire?

Comments of the Week - バーガーベスト, ですよね?

My Month in Games - November 2015

Cblogs of 11/28/15 - Lonely Thanksgiving, Gatchaman Crowds, and more

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Protag shipping is best shipping. [img][/img]
El Dango avatarEl Dango
My dreams are really weird and scary, so I hope it's okay if I let them be dreams.
Fenriff avatarFenriff
Finally played the last two Shantae games. Risky's Revenge wasn't bad, but Pirate's Curse was damn good.
Flegma avatarFlegma
Memo to self: spend your time cleaning before wasting ten or so hours on a cblog you'll end up just scrapping because you're incompetent and incapable of writing on the subject.
Is there an occupation out there for people who want to give up and not worry about shit for a while until they can recompose themselves before going back into society?
Parismio avatarParismio
That test was pretty raw. Some decisions cut deep, some I didnt care for at all. But im satisified with the end result.
Lawman avatarLawman
Torchman avatarTorchman
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
People are having serious anthropological discussions about video games and here I am reminding people that they have one more day to get a dumb card I painted:
Sr Churros avatarSr Churros
I just finished this thing here: I'm mostly happy with my results, altough it lacks some stuff like Skyward Sword or Sonic & Knuckles [img][/img]
techsupport avatartechsupport
While I am glad I only paid $15 for it, I bought J-STARS VS+ for one specific reason: to drink some beer and kick ass as Yusuke and Hiei. And in that regard, it delivers. Beer not included.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
We can be so weird sometimes. You can easily move on from some of the stuff you might want to remember forever, but then sometimes you just can't let go of trivial things. What's up with that?
ScreamAid avatarScreamAid
I'm in the mood for some feel-good music. Hit me with your best feel-good VGM, people! [youtube][/youtube]
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
My "Thankful it's over" post is done. Editing it tonight, posting tomorrow. Will there be more last-minute entries? Will Pixie be merciful to Twilight Princess? Will Zetta add words to his entry? Why is bear driving? Who run Bartertown? Stay Tuned!
Parismio avatarParismio
Whelp since i got my ass kicked at snowboarding ive been issued a muscle relaxer today and slept the entire day. Time went by so fast. Is- is this what the phantom cigar is like?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What the hell is a Shantae?
OrochiLeona avatarOrochiLeona
Ok you Monday morning motherfuckers, 3 favourite fictional universes you'd like to exist in (The initial iteration of the universe had to be in videogame form) Go.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Just ran into my first 'suicide mole rat' in Fallout 4. I'm beginning to think this may not be a 100% accurate, meticulously researched recreation of life after the apocalypse.
KnickKnackMyWack avatarKnickKnackMyWack
Well I just played Undertale. It's a really unique game, but the difficulty in the beginning is a tad intense. Got clobbered once they started throwing three monsters at me at a time and lost a lot of progress... where's Toriel when I need her?
FlanxLycanth avatarFlanxLycanth
What should I do guys?
more quickposts



Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -