Game: Meg’s Monster
Genre: RPG, Adventure, Strategy
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows), PS4 & Xbox)
Age Rating: EU 12+ | US Teen
Price: US $14.99 | UK £12.79 | EU € 14,99
Release Date: March 2nd, 2023
Review code provided with many thanks to PR Hound.
A Memorable Story
Meg’s Monster is a short turn-based RPG with an emphasis on story. Originally developed in Japan, the game now sees its Western release. If you’re looking for an RPG light on difficulty and bursting with heart then this is one you’ll certainly want to check out.
Meg is a little girl who has lost herself in the underworld of monsters. Monsters that don’t tend to take too kindly to humans and see them more as a tasty snack rather than a welcome guest. A brute of a monster known as Roy and his pal Golan stumble upon Meg and soon discover that if Meg starts to cry, it could spell the end of the underworld as they know it.
So begins a tale of a reluctant Roy taking Meg in and helping her find her Mummy. The story follows a predictable path of cuteness, especially between Roy and Meg, but it’s the game’s execution of this plot that makes it something quite memorable. NPCs are likeable with their own personalities and dialogue, which is well written. With a heavy emphasis on the story, there is a lot of dialogue to read, but I could see this being something I would playthrough with my boy someday and of course, putting on the appropriate monster voices.
Suitable for all Ages
Meg’s Monster is a story suitable for all ages with that nice mix of witty dialogue for the giggles whilst injecting moments of heart at the right moments. I have omitted a lot from the plot but I think it’s best not to spoil anything since this game’s greatest asset is the story. I’ll say it presents a small world with a lot of depth and detail and plenty of revelations to the plot. If I was to critique one part, the ending does drag a bit, which says a lot since this game isn’t very long for an RPG (under 5 hours). It felt like it just didn’t know when to end. Now I understand why people moan about the ending to the Lord of the Rings film version.
Explore and Protect
Most of the gameplay is spent exploring the underworld and talking to NPCs, with the occasional turn-based battle. Objectives are clearly marked on the main map with the odd side mission to complete if you choose. The reward for completing these missions is more depth to the story over actual in-game rewards, which might disappoint some. The turn-based battles have a unique hook to them. Roy himself is strong with an absurd amount of health. But it’s not Roy who you need to worry about; it’s little Meg standing behind you. As Roy takes damage, it upsets Meg, and if her health bar fully depletes, well, it’s game over and the end of the world.
Keep Meg’s Spirits Up
To keep her at bay, you need to activate toys to keep her spirits up. I liked how when you activate these, you’re treated to a little animation of Roy playing with the toy to Meg. Certainly nice of the baddies to pause while you do this. If the difficulty is a concern, I wouldn’t fret too much. Many of the battles give you clear hints on what moves to use, giving an indication of when to guard or attack. Many of the fights feel more like mini-puzzles to solve, choosing the right moment to perform a certain action. Even if you do fail you can restart the battle from the beginning. This may lack the challenge you expect from a typical turn-based RPG, but they are engaging and with no random encounters. Some may appreciate the lack of grinding.
Press or Touch
The controls are nice and simple, interesting to note in handheld mode; you can use touch controls which are just as good. If you have a little one on your lap, you could encourage them to tap the screen to progress to the new dialogue bubble or move Roy around the world.
The game displays a simple pixel graphical art style. It feels reminiscent of the Earthbound game on SNES with a childhood storybook feel to the world. The monsters are eye-catching and unique but never appear unsuitable for a young audience. The soundtrack is also excellent, composed by Reo Uratani, who had a hand in the Monster Hunter series and the recent Hi-Fi Rush. The music soothes and hits those emotional beats at just the right moments. Maybe not enough to make me cry, but I certainly get the feels.
Conclusion – Monstrous Cuddle
Meg’s Monster is a game that tickled my heartstrings, something quite rare in gaming. The moment that hit the hardest was when Meg and Roy argued and later apologized to each other in a very adorable way. As a new parent trying to learn the hardest but most rewarding job of my life, I could not help but connect to the relationship between Roy and Meg.
So it goes without saying I highly recommend this game. I will add caution because this game is pretty casual with minimal challenge. You’re playing this more for the story and less for the RPG mechanics. But if that sounds good to you, Megs Monster might be the monstrous cuddle you need in your gaming life.
Final Verdict: I Like it a Lot