Monster Manor

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Monster Manor Game Poster Image
Loot-focused exploration game with mild monster combat.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

The importance of courage, value of patience, the possibilities that arise when you meet challenges with the help of a few friends.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Player's Mii avatar doesn't say much but perseveres on a spooky trip through a haunted house. 

Ease of Play

Very easy to start. But it's important to pay attention to instructions that explain how to earn better treasure chests, level up weapons, otherwise later floors will prove much more challenging. 

Violence & Scariness

The player's Mii avatar uses fantastical pistols made of crystal, bird feathers, oven elements to blast at variety of mythical enemies, including ghosts, vampires. Enemies collapse, disappear when defeated without blood, gore. Monsters are more funny than frightening.

Language
Consumerism

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Monster Manor is a downloadable 3DS StreetPass game that relies on players meeting strangers through the StreetPass feature to earn items necessary to play. 3DS StreetPass lets players swap very short text greetings with other players that could potentially include identifying information, but it's otherwise pretty safe. Action involves Mii avatars walking through a haunted house firing goofy, fantastic guns -- such as the "ovenator" -- at cartoonish creatures including ghosts and vampires. There's no blood or gore. If the player's Mii is defeated, he or she retreats from the house and can return, health fully restored, once more Miis have been met via StreetPass.

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What's it about?

MONSTER MANOR uses the player's custom Mii avatar to explore a spooky old house with dozens of floors, scores of monsters, and loads of loot to find and collect. Each floor begins at the top of a stairwell, but rooms don't exist until the player places them. Each Mii avatar players encounter via the 3DS StreetPass feature represents a room between one and five blocks in size. These rooms can be placed anywhere on the current floor, but placing them adjacent to a room of a similar color (each room's color is the same color as the shirt of the avatar from whom it was received) will connect the rooms, creating one larger room. The larger the room, the more loot-bearing chests it contains, and the more chests a room has, the better the loot each new chest is likely to contain. Loot consists of badges that enhance various combat statistics and provide permanent health upgrades and new weapons. Weapons are used against monsters -- such as ghosts and vampires -- that sometimes appear when new rooms are created. The player's ultimate goal is to reach the top floor of the house and defeat the final boss.

Is it any good?

Monster Manor's two distinct elements -- building floors with loot-bearing room blocks received from other Mii avatars and fighting monsters -- play off each other nicely. As floors take shape, they start to feel like little Tetris-y puzzles, even if getting the right room blocks is really just a matter of luck and patience. There's a palpable thrill that comes with finding the right room piece to spawn two or three big treasure chests containing useful new loot -- especially if that loot is a powerful new pistol. Taking those guns into battle and discovering how they might make your fights against the mansion's ethereal occupants a bit easier (such as a faster charging battery) results in real satisfaction.

It can be frustrating, though, especially if you repeatedly encounter Mii avatars that don't offer the specific room shapes or colors for which you've been patiently waiting. Players may end up dismissing several batches of Mii avatars because they don't want to spoil the floor they're constructing and lose a chance at earning a bigger chest with better loot. Indeed, progress can seem very slow at times. That said, patient kids who don't mind the wait may find Monster Manor's mix of room exploration and mild combat to be a fun, bite-size daily distraction. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about patience. Players have to wait to meet other Mii avatars via StreetPass to keep playing, so does this frustrate you or make you more excited to play once you've run into other 3DS owners?

  • Discuss managing time spent consuming media. Would it be easier for you to control your time playing if all games applied limits based on when you meet avatars and how many you've met?  

Game details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love fantasy

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