Team17‘s Monster Sanctuary is an intriguing mashup of Pokemon monster catching and battling with the exploration of classic Metroidvanias. You play as a young explorer, hoping to become the ultimate Monster Keeper. The unique mix of genres makes this one worth paying attention to. Give the new trailer a watch below.
Developer Moi Rai Games has been working on Monster Sanctuary since 2015, though full-time development only started last year. As a young Monster Keeper, you go out into the world and immediately start building up a team of monsters. In Monster Sanctuary, combat takes place in 3v3 battles. This lets you create combo attacks with your monsters, which can reward you with some of the rarest monster eggs. For further customization, each monster has its own unique skill tree. This lets you tailor each monster to your personal playstyle.
Outside of combat, each monster you collect has its own traversal ability. Veteran Pokemon players might recognize these as similar to HMs, but these seem much more involved. As you play, you’ll notice sealed off areas that you’ll have to come back to later when you catch the correct monster. It’s a nifty twist on the monster-catching genre.
When I played the Monster Sanctuary demo earlier this summer, I came away very excited about what the team is working toward. Obviously, there is still a lot to be done, but my early experiences left me confident Moi Rai and Team17 can pull it off.
Monster Sanctuary is available in early access now on PC. The game’s Steam page says they plan to stay in early access for more than a year, so don’t expect a full release anytime soon.