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Review: Monster Crown – Enjoyably Old-School Monster Battling For Pokémon Lovers

“I choose you… to read this contract!”.

About three years ago, Studio Aurum pitched Monster Crown on Kickstarter, a monster-battling RPG which wasn’t shy about taking inspiration from a certain popular Game Freak franchise. After making over nine times as much money as the initial goal, the title then shifted to Early Access on PC, where it was regularly iterated on and updated in tandem with community feedback. Now it’s 1.0 release has finally come to fruition and it’s naturally made its way over to the Switch. Monster Crown offers up an enjoyable, though flawed throwback to simpler monster-battling days, but it ultimately proves to be a worthwhile experience.

Monster Crown is set in the wild world of Crown Island where humans and monsters don’t so much live together in harmony as they do in begrudging acceptance. For example, here you don’t catch any monsters you bring to your team, but instead form a ‘pact’ that’s essentially a contract for the tamer to provide for the monster’s needs in exchange for its powers. You play as a young, up and coming Monster Tamer from a humble farm, but quickly get swept up in a plot that puts the fate of Crown Island in your hands as you repeatedly interact with an anti-hero character focused on installing a group of tyrants. It’s not an especially inspired story—the monster battling gameplay is clearly the main draw here—but it’s just interesting enough that it feels worthwhile in the end.

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