Monster Monpiece | Combat screen
Title Monster Monpiece
Developer Compile Heart
Publisher Idea Factory International
Release Date March 14, 2017
Genre Strategy, Trading Card Game
Platform Steam
Age Rating ESRB – Mature
Official Website

I’ve always been a fan of card games; I’ve been playing Magic: The Gathering off-and-on since I was a kid, and over time I’ve picked up more games. However, aside from a brief stint with Hearthstone, digital card games are something I haven’t had a lot of experience with, so I was going into Monster Monpiece a relative newcomer to the genre.

That being said, the description of Monster Monpiece as a card battling game is somewhat misleading, since it implies similarity to those games. It actually has more resemblance to the tower defense genre, with each player’s monster girls advancing gradually towards the enemy base after being played, with the game ending when a set amount of damage is dealt to one base. However, you can find more details about the gameplay and story in Crystal’s initial review of the PS Vita here. I will be mostly discussing the quality of the PC port.

Monster Monpiece | Character art
The character art is upscaled nicely from the Vita version.

The graphics of the Vita version upscale nicely, aside from some artifacting on certain elements of the HUD. There are also certain text boxes where the text looks oddly stretched horizontally, although I don’t know if that was also present in the Vita version. There’s not a lot in the way of graphical options, aside from setting windowed or fullscreen and choosing the resolution. One odd thing about having the game in windowed mode is that even if you change the resolution, it will automatically reset to the display’s native resolution when you close and restart the game.

Monster Monpiece allows you to choose between gamepad and keyboard controls, however in-game control prompts are for gamepad only even when set to keyboard controls. However, something convenient is that the game also has full mouse controls, an adaptation of what I presume was full touchscreen controls in the original. The rubbing controls are awkward in the PC version, particularly due to its initial reliance on both touchscreen and the d-pad. Due to the apparent complete lack of keyboard control prompts, I kept the game in gamepad mode, which left me controlling the rubbing with the stick and buttons, which is clunky and difficult and can make these segments somewhat more difficult than they would be otherwise. However, mouse controls suffice for the rest of the game due to the game’s touchscreen interface, although it seems like there is no way to check the backlog in conversations or view the state of the board in combat. This is a particular loss, since there are occasions when you want to verify enemy monsters’ abilities on your turn.

Monster Monpiece | Graphics config screen
The typo doesn’t bode well. Also, what’s going on with that background?

I only encountered one glitch aside from the changing resolution while playing, where after saving the confirmation box stayed on the screen until I saved the game again. The text in the background of the config and save screen is also somewhat discombobulated, although I have no idea if that’s how it’s supposed to look.

I went into Monster Monpiece with relatively low expectations, and found myself pleasantly surprised. The combat has a nice level of depth to it, especially when you take auras, monster abilities, species and abilities into account and how to use them properly, even if certain elements are not explained particularly well in-game. The art is well-drawn, even when upscaled from the native Vita resolution of 960 x 544 to my 1080p monitor. The port is not without issues, but the almost-full mouse controls and beautifully upscaled art make it worth playing on PC. If Monster Monpiece seems like something that might interest you, it is available fully uncensored for $19.99 USD on Steam, with a Deluxe edition that includes the OST, artwork for all the cards in the game, 6 wallpapers and an art book of rough sketches for $9.99 extra.

Monster Monpiece | Window glitch
Pretty sure that window in the center shouldn’t be there.
Review Score

Review copy provided by publisher

Chris Melchin
Chris is a computer science student who has been gaming ever since he knew what to do with a Super Nintendo controller. He's a fighting game player, with a focus on BlazBlue and Under Night In-Birth games. His favourite games include Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Persona 5, and Little Busters. He started watching anime in high school, and his favourite series is Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood. He also writes Vocaloid music for his personal YouTube channel, and has a (slight) obsession with Megurine Luka.