Master of Monster Lair (dig me a dungeon baby!)

Been playing Master of the Monster Lair lately… actually I started playing before NaNoWriMo started, and continued after NaNoWriMo was over. Since it’s NDS, I play on the way to and from work… whereas I just haven’t had any time to play anything on PC. Actually, I can’t even explain where all the time disappears to, it’s just that every time I want to play a game on PC it’s already past midnight. Between arriving home and midnight, I can’t remember or explain just what is it I do…

The story is as follows: monsters have been ravaging the country, and the village of South Arc has already asked for help from the capital kingdom… except that the capital can’t send anyone to help, since they’re already stretched thin trying to control the monster rampage elsewhere. In the middle of this is an orphaned boy called Owen. He’s just come of age to start working, except that he doesn’t know what job he should be doing since his parents never had the chance to teach him any trades or skills. Then he found a talking shovel… who decided that Owen should become a dungeon digger. And the story starts…
…despite the simple storyline, I actually can’t stop playing x__X

Gameplay in summary form:

  • You get to a new floor/level of the dungeon.
  • Dig path and space in the dungeon.
  • Fill spaces with rooms for monsters to inhabit.
  • Attract enough monsters into the dungeon, and the boss of the level will show up.
  • Defeat boss, and the stairs to a lower level will show up.
  • You got to a new floor/level of the dungeon…

It sounds boring when summarised like that, but… I dunno, maybe I just really like the whole make my-own-dungeon thing. The idea of the game is that by building a dungeon that’s attractive to monsters, they would come and live in the dungeon instead of terrorising the village. It’s like building a farm for monster where instead of taking care of them you slaughter them ๐Ÿ˜€ By the way, you’re limited in the number of spaces/room you can dig per day.

In this game you don’t gain EXP and subsequently, don’t level up. You increase stats by eating food. Once a day after returning from the dungeon Owen can return home and eat a meal. Different meal will increase a different set of stats… and different meals would require different ingredients. Few ingredients can be bought in the village, while the rest… monsters will drop them. As the game progresses the meals gets better, increasing more stats but at the same time requiring the rarer ingredients from monsters.

The shop in the village also doesn’t have any weapon or armour to sell… you get your weapons etc from monsters. Which can be annoying, as you have to be completely dependent on luck when you’re trying to get a certain set of equipment.

You have to buy monster rooms in the village though. Different rooms will attract different kind of monsters, and you need advance planning if you know you want a certain type of item. For example, Dojo room will attract fighting-crazy monsters, which mostly drops weapons and armours. Flower garden will attract female monsters, which is useful if you want equipment for the only female in your team…

At the start there’s only Owen in your team, although 2-3 dungeon levels after you’ll have 3 people in your team. 1 attacker, 1 magic user and 1 whatever-you-want-it-to-be. It’s an interesting concept… one of the team member is a slime monster, and it has the ability to mimic other monster. Mimicking the monster’s skill, magic, stats etc… in other words, it’s completely up to you what sort of skills and stats the lil’ slime with end up with. Actually, this also depends on luck… as you’ll randomly offered whether or not to mimic a monster right after you win a battle.

Something of note, this game doesn’t need stylus… something which I like, because when I take my NDS out with me I’m always paranoid that I’d drop and lose the stylus somewhere.

It’s a pretty good game, although it’s one of those which doesn’t give immediate reward to the player, and once which needs patience. No complicated plot and a predictable storyline… unless you enjoy dungeon-building, you’ll find this game boring.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Gamemnstr
    Dec 27, 2008 @ 06:28:00

    Thanks for the informative description! This game sounds like fun, would love to check it out sometime. i like that it doesn’t require using the stylus, reminds me of old times playing on the GBA. I’ve been hooked on the Guitar Hero On Tour Decades which is pretty challenging on your fingers and good for passing the time with songs like from the 90s, 80s and 70s. Anyway this sounds great.


  2. Sharakael
    Dec 29, 2008 @ 10:00:00

    No worries, glad what I wrote could be useful ๐Ÿ™‚


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Just an otome game fan. ...who spends a lot of weekends playing otome games on PC with a Japanese dictionary propped open on her lap.
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