Parents' Guide to

Monark

By Angelica Guarino, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Repetitive horror tale struggles to break past "just fine."

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The setup of this horror game is compelling, but the repetitive action keeps it from becoming truly enjoyable. Monark takes classic turn-based RPG (role-playing game) elements and weaves them in with horror elements usually reserved for more action-based games. In addition, this title manages to capture the horror and drama that can come along with an adolescent high school experience. Though the threat of the Mist is as serious as it could be, characters also face obstacles in their friendships and relationships, as well in competitions such as student government positions. The stakes of losing a friend and the challenges of developing one’s identity feel just as important as fighting Pactbearers, and this is really effective for storytelling.

In addition, the turn-based battle system is solid, and exploring the school -- especially on floors with Mist -- is suspenseful and tactical. But the gameplay of Monark begins to feel repetitive a bit too quickly to support the storytelling, and this can lead players to lose interest rather quickly. Firstly, the exploration element of Mist-infected areas contains short puzzles which involve speaking to students and delivering the correct dialogue choices to convince them to stop blocking a door or manipulating the player. These puzzles are, unfortunately, very similar to one another, and there are so many characters with side stories that it's difficult to feel compassion for anyone outside of the main cast. It's not that any of these problems are severe enough on their own to interrupt the game's pacing, but altogether, there's just nothing remarkable enough about Monark to keep players hooked through the repetitive moments.

Game Details

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