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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