Steam reviews don’t lie. Okay, sometimes it is when review bombing happens again. Basically, however, they are an excellent indicator of whether a game just looks pretty or whether the content lives up to what the packaging promises. In our day-to-day editorial work, too, we often look at the first reviews when it comes to an unknown title that has already been published.
That’s why I’m surprised that none of my colleagues have noticed this co-op secret tip, which has been through the Steam review blanket since its release on October 21st. 99 percent positive Steam reviews with almost 1,000 assessments submitted. Sure, that can’t be compared with the 65,000 ratings of a Call of Duty, but for a very special indie game the number is impressive.
Special indie game? And how! Before I reveal the title to you, so that your curiosity is finally satisfied, let me briefly prove to you why it is so special with the help of the Steam Reviews:
Choose your own adventure
Now that I’ve hopefully fixed something for you, I’ll also tell you the title: My highlight of the year so far is called Monster Road Trip and combines resource management with fantastic dialogues, great drawings and yes, even a little dating sim. Contrary to the two predecessors Monster Prom and Monster Camp, the dating aspect is very small this time and the focus is on the adventure part. So before you say this game isn’t for you, listen to me a little longer.
Do you still remember them?
Choose Your Own Adventure-Books in which you always had to decide how your story should continue? For each turn you took, you lost or gained points for different stats. This is exactly how the basic principle of Monster Roadtrip works.
The best thing to do is watch the trailer:
You click through a series of dialogues and have to decide again and again which stops to make, what to do there and how to react to the different scenarios. Of course, you can go with your gut feeling and choose the most absurd or funniest option, but you shouldn’t lose sight of your status values entirely. Because: If one of these values lands on zero, it’s game over and you can start over.
Not losing your soul or all your money on the road trip is not that easy, because it is not always clear which stats you increase or decrease. You often have to use your answer options to guess what value is hidden behind them. And if that’s not enough, you also have to increase a value to 25 points in order to reach the end of your road trip.
Depending on the decisions you make and whether you find the love of your street life on the way to your destination or pick up at a rest stop, you will experience one of the 38 endings, all of which are sometimes more, sometimes less crazy.
Not without my passenger
Crazy are not only the characters themselves, but really every single line of dialogue that you will read in the game. Monster Roadtrip, just like its intellectual predecessors, manages to keep up the mix of absurd ideas and clever jokes and ups the ante with plenty of real-life parodies that are almost too close to reality at times.
This is one of the reasons why not only I, but also the entire Steam review community is so excited. Another is the co-op system, which has also been expanded compared to its predecessors. If you don’t feel like going solo, you can start with up to three other friends. You have all the freedoms in the world. You can get together online or locally, decide if you want to share a controller and if you prefer to play cooperatively or against each other and how difficult it can be.
For example, in Friend Hugger mode, no one is crowned best player or gets a bad ending, while in Prank Master mode, additional tasks are assigned to be completed. The three different levels of difficulty also help with fine tuning.
The best part about teaming up with friends isn’t deciding whether to play against each other or together, but being able to experience a wealth of journeys and stories together at the same time and discuss choices. Which status value is behind the decision? Would you rather set a goose loose on the police or pretend to be an undercover cop to avoid punishment? The exciting thing about multiplayer is not the gameplay itself, but what you make of it.
The perfect co-op game – not just for fans of the series
Unlike its predecessors, Monster Roadtrip takes a completely different approach. Away from the dating sim focus, towards more resource management and sometimes really crisp games that are much more fun together with friends. Due to the simple controls and the
easy to understand, difficult to master-Effect you can also get friends or family in front of the screen here, who otherwise have little to do with video games.
Thanks to the broader adventure approach, the series is now finally open to everyone who hasn’t been able to do anything with the love affairs between monsters, but at the same time like wacky and humorous stories and appreciate good dialogue.
The authors managed to get almost every joke and every single line of text right. They cleverly pick up current topics like the Metaverse or current games journalism and parody almost every pop culture development that you can think of. At the same time, you grow fond of the individual characters. In my opinion, not many games can do that, which is why it is an absolute highlight of the year for me.
In the Steam reviews, many have lost their hearts to the Mossman. You’ll have to find out why for yourself.
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