Ever wanted to raise your own monster from birth? I don’t mean a human baby. An actual monster. Multiple eyes, scaly body, tentacles, the works. In Monster Loves You!, you can.
There’s a chance you’ve already encountered Monster Loves You!, as it first released on Steam and mobile some five years ago. A PS4 release followed in 2017, and now, it’s available in perhaps its most accessible form on Switch.
Monster Loves You! isn’t a massive game by any stretch of the imagination. One game – seeing a monster through their entire lifecycle – will likely take you about 45 minutes to complete. But this is a title with multiple paths and endings, one that’s designed to be played numerous times to get the most out of it.
The game itself plays out a little like an old-fashioned Choose Your Own Adventure book. Text prompts will come up, and it’s up to you to choose an option from a list. Every choice you make shapes your monster’s life in some way or another. Early choices may define the way your monster looks, and once it’s old enough to be out in the world, the choices will impact how your monster is perceived – how scary they are, how clever, how kind, and how well respected they are in the monster world.
There are no right or wrong choices to make. Everything you choose has its own outcome –and whether that outcome is “right” depends on how you want your monster to turn out. I wanted a friendly, well-respected monster so I tried to choose options that would cause the least devastation and upset. But maybe you want your monster to be ferocious and fearsome – so you’re more likely to choose the options that involve, I dunno, eating a lot of human children. Because that’s what monsters do.
There isn’t much gameplay to speak of, besides clicking through text and choosing your options. You’ll not be free to explore the monster world that surrounds you, so if you’re looking for a more involved adventure, Monster Loves You! isn’t for you. It’s almost a shame, because it’s Monster Loves You!‘s gorgeous environments and artwork that brings the game to life. Every screen is bright, bold and colourful; the artwork wouldn’t be out of place in a children’s book. It begs to be interacted with, but instead all we can do is admire it.
The monster designs themselves are incredible, too, but even the most ferocious-sounding creatures are more cute than scary thanks to the game’s art style. Coupled with a lovely soundtrack and a great sense of humour, Monster Loves You! has a hell of a lot of personality that keeps you coming back.
Sure, reading through text boxes and clicking an option isn’t the deepest gameplay mechanic, but Monster Loves You! is well-written and presented in such a way that you can’t help but get sucked into it. You’ll guide your monster through a number of life stages, from childhood to adulthood to old age. Each life stage presents you with a selection of scenarios, and you’ll have enough time to make your way through most, but not all, of those scenarios. They’ll cover more mundane things, like an interaction with a neighbour, or pruning your garden, to more wild adventures that see you trekking through the enchanted woods.
The game boasts over 900 choices, so it’s unlikely you’ll come across the same scenarios until you’ve played several times. And there are 20 different outcomes to unlock, each represented as a ‘badge’ on the game’s home screen – so if you’re a completionist, there’s plenty to go at. For most people, though, I imagine the fun will wear off after a handful of playthroughs, but Monster Loves You! is the type of game that’s fun to go back to once in a while. Seeing how different choices can affect your monster is always interesting.
For £8.99/$9.99, Monster Loves You! offers a fun little distraction from larger, more time consuming games. It won’t keep you hooked forever, but thanks to its gorgeous art style, witty writing and lovable monsters, it will keep you entertained for a while.