Monster Loves You (yes that is the OFFICIAL title) is a visual novel where you guide a monster through infancy, monsterlinghood, adolescence, and adulthood to unlock one of multiple endings. Throughout these stages, you work to increase various personality traits: bravery, ferocity, cleverness, wisdom, kindness, as well as the hidden stat “advanced neurosurgery”. The game starts at your birth, and you receive a series of choices allowing you to increase the first five stats. After a few minutes of that, you and your monster friends end up in the brood cave, and you get a screen that looks like this:
You can do a certain amount of adventures per stage of life, and each stage gives you different adventures with your monster friends. These can include harassing each other, harassing the elders, eating humans, eating small animals, and having a picnic with your friends (where someone almost always ends up taking a beating). Your various skills will rank up with each mission (or you’ll screw up and lose points), and they max out at 100. With good RNG and a lot of experience with the game, you could theoretically get every skill to 100. During the adulthood phase, as well as certain missions in adolescence, you can increase your respect on top of the other stats.
After adulthood ends, you get the chance to unlock one of seven endings. Or you can become an elder, where you can unlock the other seven endings. Whether or not you can become an elder depends on how much respect you have, as well as two other stats chosen at random. Once you become an elder, the only stat you can increase is “advanced neurosurgery”. You spend your missions increasing “humans view monsters” and “monsters view humans” stats. By manipulating the stats, you can drive the humans to extinction, drive the monsters to extinction, lead the monsters into exile, and four other endings, for a grand total of 14 endings.
Gameplay consists entirely of clicking on one of the choices presented.
The art style is wonderful, everything looks straight out of a cartoon, which amplifies the silliness of the game. Each option, adventure, and dialogue box has a cute little thumbnail, and each stage of life has its own busy background. The little details like make what would be a wacky text adventure much more special. Once you achieve adolescence, the game randomizes a monster sprite for you, which can end up looking absolutely ridiculous and is almost always worth a laugh.
The music is also great. There aren’t a ton of songs, but all of them are great, especially the title theme and the end of adulthood theme. This is where visual novels excel where books simply can’t: a book can’t make a song play during a certain section. Monster Loves You does it and does it well.
Although the path to each ending is short, less than an hour the first time and you can rush through them faster after that, there are so many endings that the game can keep you for hours. While you could beat them all in one long sitting, I wouldn’t recommend it as the game can get tedious if you play it over and over. However, getting each ending is worth it, and rewarding if you get them all without any guides. I’d recommend playing the game a few times over the course of a week, allowing you to enjoy the music, visuals, and writing without getting sick of them.
Final Score: 8.5/10
This review of Monster Loves You is based on the PC version of the game.
Max is a student at Rutgers who likes writing fantasy and playing video games such as Zelda, Mario, Undertale, Earthbound, and Stardew Valley.