[Beyond PlayStation] Heroes Of The Monkey Tavern Review
Heroes of the Monkey Tavern from Monkey Stories is an old-school style first-person dungeon crawler on Nintendo Switch. Learn more about this one in our Heroes of the Monkey Tavern review!
In Heroes of the Monkey Tavern you start by creating your party of four from the available classes: the Warrior who can use any weapon, armor or shield; the Barbarian who uses light armor while specializing on axes and, eventually, dual wielding weapons – he can also go berserk when low on health; the Rogue is handy with a dagger while also being able to detect secret passages; the Archer, a lightly armored fighter who can make good use of bow and arrow to attack from a distance; the Paladin, a heavily armored tank who can use his mighty shield while also healing teammates; the Monk who uses no weapons to thanks to the gods turning him into a human weapon; the Priest who can heal teammates and later being able to resurrect them as well; and the Elementalist, a magic use with a vast knowledge of powerful spells.
As you select each character, you’ll be able to select their portrait, as well as use the extra points at your disposal to boost one of their attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, and Vitality. As you can imagine, depending on the class you select your character will receive a natural starting boost to one or more of said attributes, so be sure to select a balanced party and either boost the natural stats of each character with the extra customization points you get, or compensate their weakness in one attribute by giving them a boost.
You can pick from the three available difficulty settings (Easy, Normal and Hard), which will, in turn, affect how much of a challenge you end up facing during your adventure through the many grid-based dungeons you will need to explore. Enemies can easily make short work of your party at the start of your quest since you don’t have any proper weapons or armor at your disposal, so make sure to take explore each location slowly and steadily, one step at a time so that you don’t end up fighting more than one enemy at a time. It is better to run down a corridor you’ve already visited to make sure that enemies face you one at a time than it is to have two enemies flank you and destroy your party.
Because of the considerable challenge in the game, and how you steadily but slowly find new weapons and armor as you explore each area of a floor, you should save early and save often. Found a new powerful sword for your Warrior? Save. Defeated a deadly enemy who was one hit away from killing one of your party members? Save. Walked down a corridor and triggered a deadly trap that almost cut your entire party’s hit points in half? Save. As long as all of your party members are alive, save before you do anything else because you never know if taking an extra step might trigger a trap, open a door that was hiding an enemy, or both.
Battles are in real-time, and I don’t advice that you run from a battle since doing so will damage your entire party which might spell doom for some of them. Once engaged in battle, you’ll need to press the B button to use a character´s main hand (be that a weapon or a skill), the A button for his/her off hand, and the L and R buttons to cycle between your party members. This is very important since after pressing the A or B button for one character, there will be a cooldown period for said button, so you should definitely change to another character to attack with him/her as the previous character prepares to once again be ready for action.
As you defeat enemies, you will gain experience points, and you’ll eventually level up your characters. When a party member levels up, you will gain a boost to each character’s stats, but you’ll also unlock new skills and abilities for each one depending on their class, which is great since the further you progress in the game, the harder things get. You’ll certainly benefit from, say, having a Paladin who can take a beating, deal some solid damage and also heal party members (even if its starting MP are a bit on the low side), or an Elementalist who can deal massive damage to enemies with the flick of the wrist.
Heroes of the Monkey Tavern is a fun homage to old-school first-person dungeon crawlers, with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a game released for said genre in the 21st century. There’s more than enough content to enjoy in this one, so you should check it out on Nintendo Switch if you’re a fan of the genre.
This Heroes of the Monkey Tavern review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Monkey Stories.