Review | Meg’s Monster
Killing 'em with kindness.
It’s not often you see gameplay mesh as well with its story like in Meg’s Monster. Developed and published by Odencat, this adventure game follows the story of Roy and a little girl named Meg, who has fallen deep into the Underworld, where monsters and all kinds of creepy stuff roam about. Meg might have been monster food by now were it not for her ability to destroy the world as the monsters know, so Roy and the company he keeps at a distance take the girl in and search for a way to bring Meg back to the human world above.
What might seem like a role-playing game at first is unlike what you’d expect. Here, lemme walk you through the world of Meg’s Monster—hankerchief in tow.
In Meg’s Monster, players take on the role of Roy as he finds a way to get rid of Meg. He starts off as this sturdy, temperamental beast who finds the little girl waddling besides him to be nothing more than a nuisance. In fact, he doesn’t have much of a personality besides consuming hordes of ‘Magical Tar’ which he is happy to let everyone know that it “tastes great”. But as the story progresses and Roy and company meet with the unique residents of the dark and cruel Underworld, you get to watch his demeanor change and open up to little Meg. It’s a story very much about a sweet little flower and her unlikely guardian, and it’s adorable to watch situations unfold—and how well the game’s rudimentary combat system reflects the narrative.
Meg’s Monster is purely an adventure slash narrative-driven game. The game’s combat reflects the story more so than any sort of player-driven growth. Roy is this big ‘n tough guy, and he has the attack power and health points to back it up. Monsters barely have a chance to stand up to this guy, which leaves the little girl he’s protecting to be your real weakness. Meg doesn’t like violence and seeing Roy get injured makes her very sad. That means that you need to keep her happy during the few combat sequences that litter the game, usually by playing with a toy for a turn.
Sure, while enemies obliging to Roy’s brief timeouts for playtime with his adopted daughter might seem funny in the context of story and combat relationship, but I thought that was easy to ignore. I did find it refreshing, being able to experience the game’s story without having to worry about grinding for skills or levels. And the limited combat sequences in the game are only ever used to deliver the story, making them a lot more meaningful than the many, many other games on the market. Seriously, everything you can do is populated on the game’s tiny overworld map and subevents alongside main story events are marked for your pleasure. Being able to decide if an event with a character is worth your time is a nice choice to have, but considering there aren’t many to begin with, I highly suggest checking them all out.
Now because there’s nothing to work towards, any interest in Meg’s Monster that you have will purely come from the game’s story. I thought it was well-paced, with conversations not taking too long and also doing a good job of expressing a character’s personality—like Gustav and his band of human-interested weirdos, Roy and Meg, the humans and what have you. It helps that I have the emotional capacity of a watermelon, so if anything sad happens I unfortunately become a faucet (and this game has quite a few of those moments in its four-to-five-hour runtime). But there is one turn of events in the game’s midpoint that uses a particular plot device that I’m not all that fond of. It didn’t harm the narrative for me, but I do wish it was handled a bit differently, such as via a player choice.
But even then, Meg’s Monster offers a heartwarming tale for those that love watching gruff big guys become sweethearts over an unsuspecting intrusion in their lives. And with strong art direction, pleasant music, and a well-paced story, this game is a no-brainer for story lovers.
Xbox Series X
- Strong art and pleasing music direction.
- Well-paced narrative that ties into the game's combat system.
- Your enjoyment of the game will depend on whether or not you find the story interesting.