Monster Tale released in 2011 and is a unique blend of Metroidvania exploration and action-platforming with pet simulator elements. Players control a young girl named Ellie and her monstrous companion Chomp as they try to free Monster World from the clutches of the Kid-Kings, dastardly little rascals who have taken the world away from its rightful inhabitants.
In addition to unlocking new abilities for Ellie, who can shoot fireballs using her bracelet, players can feed and train Chomp to make him transform into larger, more powerful forms. The original game made use of the DS’ two screens by giving players the ability to send Chomp to the bottom screen to attack enemies hiding below or solve puzzles Ellie can’t access. Thus, balancing Ellie and Chomp’s gameplay between the two screens formed the crux of gameplay. It’ll be interesting to see how this dynamic is adapted for a single-screen experience. This isn’t the first time Monster Tale was supposed to re-release on new hardware. In 2015, a 3DS port with enhanced features was announced but never materialized for unknown reasons.
In our review, former Game Informer editor Annette Gonzalez scored Monster Tale an 8 out of 10 saying “Criticisms aside, Monster Tale is a polished platforming adventure with light RPG elements that make it more than just another pet simulator. It uses the aged DS hardware to full effect for a novel experience.” I’m also one of the seemingly few who played Monster Tale back in the day, and I can co-sign on its quality; it’s a very cool game.