Monster Train

It has finally happened, I beat another game! Definitely been a while since my last post, almost two months, but I simply had not finished another game in all that time. Hey, if you thought these were going to be posted in any kind of consistent cadence then you were sorely mistaken. Anyways let’s get to the game.

What is Monster Train?

“Monster Train” is a rogue-like trading card game in which you build a deck of monsters and spells and battle through a randomly generated series of encounters. Remember, when this concept felt unique thanks to “Slay the Spire?” Yeah, well now the concept is all over the place but, I won’t hold that against “Monster Train.” The intention of these lists is not to praise the trailblazers but rather to rate personal enjoyment of the final product.

Win Condition

The win condition is to have a victorious run in which the Seraph is slain. For anyone unfamiliar with rogue-like games, the genre is based around having brief randomly generated play-throughs. A single “run” of a rogue-like is typically quite brief, in most cases under an hour. However, losing typically requires you to start over on a new randomly generated game; therefore the “length” of the game comes from repeated play-throughs in order to get a good “run” that results in total victory.

The Experience

Talking about the experience of a rogue-like is interesting as every play-through is a different experience due to its random nature. That is actually the primary appeal of the genre.

A typical run of “Monster Train” involved choosing a primary and alternate clan. Each clan has unique cards and heroes. Your primary clan will determine your hero and a majority of your starting cards. The alternate clan does not change your hero but does impact your starting cards. Additionally you will receive one card from each clan after every battle of your run. Each clan is good at different things so your clan combination will absolutely alter how you approach your run.

Once you have chosen your clan combination you begin your run. Throughout your run you will have to continuously choose paths for your train to take, each path offering different benefits to give you an advantage as you progress. Some potential benefits include: removing cards from your deck, upgrading cards, and unlocking artifacts that will grant passive perks. Choosing a path that benefits your strategy is crucial when it comes to having a successful run.

Everything is randomized on your run. From which bosses you face to the selection of cards you receive for winning a battle. This results in every run feeling truly unique and really providing an endless experience for the player. Additionally your chosen clans will level up after each run, regardless if you are victorious or not. Leveling up a clan unlocks more cards that may randomly appear on your run, which add even more variety to the gameplay.

The Ranking

“Monster Train” is an excellent example of a rogue-like trading card game. Every run is engaging and unique. Combat is fairly simple but still requires thoughtful strategy to achieve victory. As with any rogue-like trading card game strategic deck building is crucial and rewarding. With plenty to unlock, see, and experience, “Monster Train” is a must play for fans of rogue-likes or TCGs.

So onto the ranking. I am sure your first question is, what list does it go on? It doesn’t sound like horror or a fighting game. Well any sane individual would tell you it doesn’t belong on either but, thankfully I am not fully sane. As laid out in my horror list guidelines, any game in which demons play a central role can be qualified as horror. Well one of the two starting clans (more clans are unlocked for fulfilling various criteria across all runs such as slaying a certain number of enemies) is the hellhorned. Well the hellhorned, as you probably guessed, are indeed a race of demons. As such we are counting them in the horror list! I know it is a stretch but my blog, my rules.

Okay. So we know the list but how does “Monster Train” stack up? I actually really like this game and it deserves a lot of credit. However, it doesn’t quite have the wow factor of “Doom” or “Hellblade” so it can’t quite top the list but it certainly deserves a high position. I am placing “Monster Train” at number 4. Directly below “Mortal Kombat X” and above “Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night.”

Platform: Xbox One. Time to Beat: 3 hours 27 Minutes 48 Seconds.

How to Play

You can play “Monster Train” with game pass at the moment. The frequency of which I talk about Game Pass on this blog, you would think I was sponsored or something but, that would require me to have an actual audience… Which I don’t. That aside I genuinely feel GamePass is the best deal in gaming at the moment and is worthwhile for anyone whom likes a wide variety of games and likes to try new games on a regular basis.

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