Monster Bag is a unique PS Vita puzzle game that's surprisingly deep and moving.

Monster Bag Review

Monster Bag is a unique PS Vita puzzle game that's surprisingly deep and moving.
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Monster Bag was released for PS Vita on April 7th and was immediately included in the Instant Game Collection for PS Plus users. Admittedly I had no idea what Monster Bag was, but when it came to PS Plus I decided to give it a try and I’m very glad I did. Monster Bag is a charming puzzle game that takes its story in surprising directions and has much more of an emotional punch than initial impressions may imply.

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Small-Scale Apocalypse

The plot is that a little girl, called Nia, has run off for school and forgot her little Monster friend, V. You play as V as you attempt to catch up to Nia and, over the course of the games 18 stages, chaos ensues. Quirte literally. You see, in his attempts to reach Nia, V ends up inadvertently killing people, crashing buses, and causing the apocalypse. No, that last one is not an exaggeration. I wasn’t expecting much of a story with this game but, without spoiling anything, it offers a surprising amount of emotion in the latter half.

Who Is The Real Monster?

The first thing anyone will notice about Monster Bag is the unique art style. Colourful characters and striking backgrounds immediately catch your eye and set Monster Bag apart from other games. The aesthetic is fun in the intital stages but changes dramatically at various points in the game, becoming much darker and ominous.

It’s probably evident from the art style that the game is pretty eccentric and it has to be played to really see the extent of the eccentricity. Pretty much everyone will want to kill you in this game and the ways they do can be pretty inventive and funny; from shooting you in the mouth, to incinerating and everything in between.

A Million Ways To Die

As for the gameplay? Well there isn’t much to it. The idea is you play through 18 stages, moving from one character to the next in an attempt to reach Nia. So you will start at the farthest person from Nia and you jump from one characters back to the next, using the left and right buttons on the d-pad. Obviously this sounds super easy but the catch is that you have to solve puzzles to pass certain individuals, as well as avoid any red-with-anger characters who will brutally murder you if spotted.

The funny thing is, for as easy as Monster Bag sounds, and fun as it looks, the game gets genuinely hard in the latter stages. Jumping from character to character requires incredibly quick reactions and a lot of patience.

So if you aren’t someone whose willing to wait until just the right time, or re-try a lot, you may want to avoid Monster Bag. The gameplay can also become a bit repetitive in the latter stages, but the game isn’t long enough for that to become an issue.

All About That Timing

As hard as the game gets, Monster Bag is equally addictive. There’s something quite similar to Hotline Miami about it, in that you can die a dozen times but you keep trying. You’ll jump a milisecond too late and get chopped in half, wait a second and watch V descend from the heavens, clad with wings, and start all over again.

Monster Bag is a really strange game but it’s a fun one that is perfect on the PS Vita. It isn’t long but its difficulty can boost the amount of hours spent with it. The story is surprisingly deep and moving in the latter stages. It isn’t for everyone, especially if you don’t care for puzzle games or have little patience.

That being said, I’m not huge puzzle game fan, and I recently quit Bloodborne after 25+ hours, but I thoroughly enjoyed this. Monster Bag is definitely worth checking out if you own a PS Vita, especially right now as it’s free on PlayStation Plus.

Monster Bag Review
Monster Bag is a unique PS Vita puzzle game that's surprisingly deep and moving.

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