Review: Monster Train

Monster train is a high energy, battle focused, deck building game. The plot? You are driving the train to hell carrying the most precious cargo of the last hellshard and must make it through hordes of avenging angels to relight the fires of hell. Or rather it’s a series of battles that hopefully you don’t die during.

I’ve been playing this game a lot recently. It takes me about an hour to either beat or lose at it unless I do very poorly. But it’s got a lot of card unlocks, challenge unlocks, different boss setups, different champions to play so it’s quite replayable.

The Melting’s boss will let you bring your units back to life…or get stronger each time he kills. It’s up to you.

Each run is set up with 8 levels (the 9th level of hell being where you relight the fires) and in between each battle you travel through one of the realms of hell and collect cards, buy upgrades, trinkets, or get special cards in the caverns and such. There’s two ways to go on each level and you can only pick one side of the tracks.

Each battle is set up with 3 levels. And you can play monster cards and spell cards to stop the hordes from reaching the top of the train and destroying the your pyreshard.

Fights can get quite frantic – I only just started playing on speed 2 so that I could see/understand how the game was working. Although I also highly recommend turning on the option so you can get a preview of how much damage you’ll do and if you’ll die or kill the enemy.

Here, I am playing my champion Penumbra who allows you to summon more monsters on his floor. (+2 yellow circles).

There are lots of resources to manage and I recommend watching Quill18 play the game if you’re into that kind of thing. Although the game will walk you through what everything is and does. You have a limit to the monsters you can summon each turn, the energy you can use on spells and summons, money to spend upgrading cards or buying trinkets, and of course the health of your pyreshard.

The boss of each level will keep attacking until you or they are dead. This final boss is tough with 2000 heath and an attack of 30 per turn. My champion here attacks for 242 a turn, but only has 136 health.

And of course recently – post Quill playing – they added twice as many bosses and twice as many champions to play with (so I’m hoping he’ll try them out again soon). Each boss fight has a couple options for what they’ll do that can shift how you approach even the same fight.

Daedalus – often he is your first boss. He has explosives he summons during your fight that either are shielded against damage as they were here, shielded again magic only damage, or explode twice doing twice their damage.

If you’re lucky (or better at this game than me). You win and defeat all the monsters, bosses, and arrive in the 9th level of hell and use your pyre to relight the fires of hell.

If you’re me, more often than not, your pyre is murdered. Usually right at the end by the final boss that I failed to do enough damage too.

And Sereph wins again – with only 501 hit points left, but my poor pyre only does 40 damage at a time and has just 36 heath left so it’s about to be destroyed.

The last fun bit of the game is the card collecting and stat collecting aspect. The game tracks which combination of creatures (you pick two each run) you’ve beaten the game with, which cards you’ve found and which cards you’ve won the game with.

Doesn’t it just make you want to turn all those cards yellow and win banners for each combination of clans?

And each run gets a summary of which cards you used, their upgrades, the trinkets you collected and the points per battle.

Overall this game is more fun than I anticipated. I’ve already played it waaay more than Space Food Truck – the other card building game I have reviewed. I think more for this game’s replayability and unlocks. Space Food Truck does get repetitive after a while. I’ve already played it 80 hours so it’s one of my top 5 games played on steam…good thing steam has no idea how long I’ve played minecraft or sims 4…

Monster Train is $24.99US on October 15th, 2020. And I would say it’s worth the money – if you like these types of games. Again – check out Quill’s playthrough to get a better idea of how the game is played.

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