Monolith – Review
Follow Genre: Rogue-lite,2D-action, indie
Developer: Team D-13
Publisher: Team D-13
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Monolith – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Great Gameplay
Bad: Portrait-like game window
User Score
9.3
(3 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)

Have you ever imagined what it would be like if “The Binding of Isaac” and “Undertale” had a child together? One might say Monolith is just that. Prepare for a game that will challenge you to keep trying and beat your high score. Prepare for action battles, dodging projectiles while moving through confined spaces. It might look like just another roguelike game, but there is so much more to it.Monolith_0Story

There doesn’t seem to be much of a narrative in Monolith. It seems like the story is non-existent. But that doesn’t damage the overall game by even the slightest. The game focuses heavily on gameplay and replayability. Every time you die in Monolith you will have to start all over again. So having a developed story line wouldn’t really work.

The basic premise of the game is that you are spaceship ready to go on an adventure. When you first play the game you dive straight into it. You know nothing of the story. After the first time you die though, you are ported to your safe room where you get to meet Kleines. He can tell that you are from the surface and are looking for the power eternal. That’s basically it story wise. Every time you go back to your safe area  you can talk to Kleines, you’ll gossip about a stuff or he’ll give hints about certain enemies you encounter. The main storyline however seems a bit lost.Monolith_7Graphics

Monolith’s graphics are rather simple. Making use of an 8 bit graphic art style which really gives the game a retro feel. In a way it’s very relatable to the old school NES titles like Metroid, but the graphics suit the game perfectly, you really don’t need fancy high poly 3D models to make something like this enjoyable. Simply put, Monolith looks beautiful the way it is. The only thing that might be an issue for some people is that, even though it is a PC title, the game is played in portrait windowed mode. Meaning that even though you are running Monolith full-screen you’ll see these big black edges on the sides.Every time you clear a floor’s boss you advance to the next floor. As soon as you reach that next floor the environment will change. Colors and sprites will look differently. Meaning that every floor is unique and really makes you feel like you are progressing through the game rather than staying in the same environment.

There are also a lot of different enemies you encounter, each with their unique sprites and abilities. Even when encountering the same enemies you might notice that they are dressed differently. With all the different weapons you can find and all of the enemies firing of their abilities simultaneously the screen can get really cluttered, which is awesome. There are the slightest touches to detail that anyone can appreciate.Monolith_4Sound

Another strong feat of Monolith is the sound. You’ll immediately have a throwback to the time you were playing those old Game boy, NES or Sega games. The 8-bit soundtracks are beautifully put together. What’s even better is that every level features it’s own unique soundtrack and so does every boss battle. Weapon sounds and enemies abilities feel impactful thanks to the great sound-engineering. They’ve put so much time and effort into the music of this game, it’s really noticeable. Players will enjoy and appreciate every second of it.

Gameplay

While all of the above is already extremely nice, the gameplay is what Monolith is all about. As a 2D action game Monolith does things right. During every playthrough you will be at the tip of your chair trying your best to do better than your last performance. The game is actually a rogue-lite instead of a roguelike since you are able to unlock permanent upgrades every time you die. These upgrades don’t come cheap however and will take quite some time to unlock.Monolith_5You start of the game by going down an elevator. Once you reach the end you’ll be crawling through rooms trying to reach the zone boss. To unlock the zone boss fight however, you will have to fight a few mini bosses first that are scattered throughout the map. The amount of mini bosses you need to kill depends on what floor you are on. Once you enter a room, you can’t leave until all enemies are defeated. Meaning that it’s not always a good a idea to clear an entire floor especially if your health is low. Since you never know what it is that awaits you in next room. Besides just a room full of enemies there are also a few special rooms. There is room where you can you purchase damage upgrades and health with the scrap you collect from enemies. A weapons room that will allow you to choose between a couple of weapon upgrades and lots more.

Controls are fairly simple. Use WASD (standard) to move around. Left click will fire your weapon and right click will allow you to dash around so you can avoid incoming projectiles. If you are ever in a pinch a quick press on the shift button will set of a bomb and knocks back all enemies. All of this is explained in the mandatory tutorial that you’ll have to go through when you launch the game fort he first time.Monolith_3Conclusion

Monolith is great indie title. The gameplay is simple, the soundtracks are amazing and the graphics are fun, quirky and so retro. Monolith will provide you with endless hours of fun when you go back into the dungeon and try to beat your high score. It’s a great game to play in between other games or just as a quick distraction. As mentioned before if you are up for a challenge than Monolith is definitely something you should try. Priced at 7.99 EUR/USD it is well worth it.

 

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.3/10 (3 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)
Monolith - Review, 9.3 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
Kiyo
Kiyo


Student, gamer, entrepreneur and life contemplator.

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