The Monastery

Yea, I know.  The game is called “the monastery” in one of those strange cases where capitalization is denied.  There’s irony in that, because the developers didn’t capitalize on solid 3D graphics to create something worth playing.  The Monastery is just plain boring.  Now if the guys at Rendercode Games were aiming to create an authentic wandering around simulator, mission accomplished.

Make no mistake, the visuals could have been spooky. But the scariest thing about The Monastery is just how boring it is.

Make no mistake, the visuals could have been spooky. But the scariest thing about The Monastery is just how boring it is.

The idea is you’re stumbling through the ruins of an ancient monastery looking for ten over-sized bibles.  In about an hour of gameplay, the most I could ever locate in a single play-session was one.  Maybe I could have found more, but roughly 90 seconds into every game, an enemy would spot me.  Once they’ve done that, they give chase endlessly.  There’s no attacking, so fighting back is out of the question.  As far as I can tell, there really is no rhyme or reason to avoiding the monster.  Hypothetically, you could just hold the run button (and there is never a time when you won’t want to be running, because the normal walking speed is snail-glued-to-a-sloth-slow), but that defeats the whole point of a game based around exploration.  If you can’t stop to look around every once in a while, what you’re really playing is a one-sided game of Tag where you never get to be “it.”

So what else can I say?  It’s bad.  Don’t buy it.  I can’t say too much else, other than I hope the developer does something better with the pretty decent looking graphics engine they used.  The Monastery is a scary game that’s not scary.  Yes, it looks cool.  It probably looks even cooler in the dark.  Of course, so does radium, but I wouldn’t recommend you get near it.

xboxboxartThe Monastery was developed by Rendercode Games

80 Microsoft Points stood shaking their fist defiantly at XBLIG devs threatening them to not actually make a game of video tag in the making of this review.  Seriously, it’s a game that requires the ability to run and touch other people.  This does not need to be digitized. 

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About Indie Gamer Chick
The most read Xbox Live Indie Game critic in the world.

13 Responses to The Monastery

  1. Eric says:

    Sounds like a Slender-clone. Maybe you should try White Noise/White Noise Online and see how they compare.

    • AxelMill98 says:

      Yeah, you should really try White Noise/Online. The maps aren’t huge, the objects you must search for are easier to find (you hear a static-like sound when you’re close) and the bad guy (and the game itself) is quite scary.

    • Tim Hurley says:

      Seconded. White Noise Online is the best version of the two White Noise(s). Closest to Slender (in single-player) as you will get on consoles, currently. The Monastery matches those games on the surface, though the gameplay is handled in completely opposite fashion. How can you be a Slender-clone when you can simply ‘walk away’ from the monsters and continue playing?

  2. Jim Perry says:

    When your screenshots show nothing, your gameplay is immediately going to be suspect. I kinda tried to tell the dev this when I saw it in the review pipeline. Unfortunately, crappy devs will continue to support crappy devs in approving crap. 😦 Until MS gets its head out of it’s butt and realizes the approval system doesn’t work it’s not going to get any better. Maybe with the next Xbox (although I’m not holding my breath for indies to get support on it) :\

  3. julenisse50 says:

    Some shameless self-promoting, but I think you would like what I’m trying to make! A nautical, lovecraftian world, inspired by Metroid, Dark Souls and Zelda. The game is all about exploring a dark world, with a lot of story!:D
    It’s even worse graphically, since it’s 8-bit. but whaevva.

    You write good, and since I’m staying away from Radium, I’m staying away from The Monastary

  4. Pingback: White Noise Online | Indie Gamer Chick

  5. Zach D. says:

    Yeah, I laughed when I saw the dev didn’t even bother to capitalize the title. I agree with the guys earlier who said to try White Noise Online. It’s much better than the first WN (more maps, characters, multiplayer, etc.) and it’s not a bad Slender clone at all.

    I’m baffled as to why “the monastery” has 4 stars right now on XBLM..

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