Monster Tale

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Monster Tale Game Poster Image
Fun, imaginative mash-up of action game and pet sim.

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Ellie must take care of Chomp and see to his needs, even while in the midst of a dangerous adventure. Responsibility, loyalty, and friendship are all themes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ellie is a plucky, intrepid heroine. She's is brave in the face of danger, and loyal to her friends. She's also very caring and responsible when it comes to Chomp, her pet monster.

Ease of Play

The game is very deep and detailed, so there's a lot to keep track of, but the instructions are usually clear and the controls are easy to handle.

Violence

Your hero and her monster can defeat enemies by either hitting them physically or zapping them with a magical energy blast that come directly from the hands. Enemy monsters blink when hit, then disappear from the screen.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Monster Tale is a platforming action adventure in which a young girl and her pet monster will fight off enemy creatures with both melee and physical attacks. The fighting is cartoony and not at all graphic. There's also a significant pet-raising element, as Ellie must feed and care for her pet creature at the same time as she continues venturing through Monster World to find her way home.

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What's it about?

Ellie, the heroine of MONSTER TALE, gets accidentally sucked into a dangerous world of monsters and must find her way home. On her journey, she learns that not all monsters are bad, and that the real danger in Monster World comes from other human children who have declared themselves kings and queens there. The \"Kid Kings\" have enslaved monsters to do their evil bidding. Ellie, along with Chomp, the baby monster she befriends, must find a way home and stop the Kid Kings in the process. Along the way, Ellie can find or buy items that will help Chomp grow and develop -- anything from cookies and cherries to books and soccer balls. The choice of items she gives to Chomp determines exactly what form he will grow into and what powers he will develop.

Is it any good?

Combining a pet sim with an action platformer seems like it would have been a big gamble, but for Monster Tale, it pays off in spades. The adventure aspect is just as clever, imaginative, and exciting as, say, some of the old 2-D Mario games. But the pet aspect takes it to a whole new level. If you want Chomp to become smarter, give him lots of books and scrolls. If you want him to become stronger and gain more physical powers, make sure you let him work out with a bicycle or ball. There are 30 different forms Chomp can end up taking. It's a brilliant way to add customization to the game experience. This is a fantastic adventure that plays well and has a captivating story. It has an old-school aura to it, but feels utterly fresh and original at the same time. Quite a feat.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how Monster Tale compares to typical vitrual pet games. Does it work to blend a pet-raising sim with an action-adventure game? Or are the two genres too different?

  • Families can also talk about the fighting in the game. How is cartoony combat like this different from more realistic violence in other games?

  • How do young girls feel about the daring Ellie as a heroine? Are boys willing to play a game with a female protagonist? How does Ellie break stereotypes?

Game details

For kids who love games with action

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