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Monolisk: A Fantasy ARPG with base building elements

Monolisk is a combination of an action role-playing game with a dungeon editor that puts you in control of the fate of others. The basic premise of the game is that you fight your way through other people’s maps to collect orbs which allow you to purchase loot packs. Loot packs can give you items to make your characters or the maps you create stronger. Speaking of maps, running parallel to the ARPG component is a map editor where you create any map you desire and these maps are then played by other players. Here are the pros and cons Monolisk as I have experienced it so far.

Dungeon crawling

Dungeon crawling in Monolisk consists of constant stat checks. What I mean by this is that there is very little skill expression that goes into combat. With ranged characters, you can kite the enemy a bit, but all the melee classes require you to face tank most of the enemies. It can feel pretty bad to play the melee classes and get completely smashed in a map that a ranged character could easily do. Though most of the fun of this game will depend on how much creativity the designer of the map put into its creation.

Monolisk, android games
Dungeon Crawling in Monolisk

Map building

Although the map builder is a bit clumsy at times, overall it is a good experience. While making a map I would frequently tap the wrong spot and have to keep going back to fix the mistake several times. With a bit of practice, I got good at only clicking the square I wanted to and was able to create several interesting maps. Along with the items you find to make your characters stronger, you will also find more monsters to add to your maps. Adding more monsters and complexity makes more a more rewarding map. After each person plays your map they give you a rating and typically more interesting maps get better ratings, which adds a fun and rewarding element to working hard to create interesting maps. The best maps have a story or dialogue. The completion of these maps feels more rewarding, but not all people try to make rewarding maps.

map building in monolisk
The map building feature in Monolisk

“Farm” maps in Monolisk

At the time of writing this, the developers are actively trying to solve the problem I am about to describe. While some players work hard to make maps more interesting, others try to make maps with exploits that allow the player to kill everything without being attacked. These maps are termed “Farms” and in my eyes are completely against the spirit of this game that is supposed to reward creativity. Luckily the developers are putting measures in place to reduce how rewarding a farm can be. However, I imagine that people will continue to find ways to exploit the game – if you see these maps, please give them a one-star review and maybe the maker will get the message.

Character selection and customization in Monolisk

Monolisk offers five different classes with unique armor, weapons, and skills. These include Warrior, Hunter, Shadow, Mage, and Artificer. The first four classes represent the classic RPG roles we have all come to know and love over the years and the Artificer is basically a tanky engineer. Each class has some items that are unique to it. And their skills are based on their class. They all have things they do well and it is fun to play each of the classes. However, sometimes you will end up with way better gear on one of the classes because of the random loot distribution ways.

character customisation in Monolisk, monolisk game
character customisation in Monolisk

Loot system

Something I love about the ARPG genre of game is finding epic loot from killing a boss or opening a chest. The rush of finding that ultra-rare item you have been looking for for a long time. In Monolisk your only tangible rewards are honor and orbs and neither one gives the same rush as having actual items drop. Orbs are the closest thing to loot drops because they translate in to loot packs which can contain juicy loot. The items in Monolisk have different rarities and can come with interesting affixes that can have a variety of effects. Though I haven’t made it to late game yet, I imagine that the different item choices will allow for some build diversity. Ultimately, you will have to do a ton of grinding for items to complete a build due to the randomized packs that drop the gear. This style of randomized loot packs feels much less rewarding than item drops from mobs and because the packs can be bought with real-world money they add a pay-to-win element to the game.

Read – Exiled Kingdoms: An Old School RPG experience

Monetization

Sale of loot packs are the way for monetization of Monolisk. These loot packs are the same ones you would otherwise be able to earn through playing the game and completing quests. Therefore, I am totally alright with the way the developers have monetized Monolisk. My only complaint in this regard is that it feels really slow to progress through casual play. So, the player either needs to fork up some cash or invest a ton of hours into the game to make progress.

monolisk

Final Verdict – Go for Monolisk

Overall the positive aspects of Monolisk outweigh the negatives and make for a really fun game. The devs seem to really care about updating the game and keeping it fun for the player which is a big plus in my eyes. I think anyone who enjoys base builders or ARPG games will also enjoy Monolisk and should give it a try.


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Monolisk is a high quality game that is a must try!
  • 8/10
    Art Style - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Combat - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Map Builder - 8/10
  • 8.5/10
    Monetization - 8.5/10
  • 8/10
    Loot System - 8/10
7.9/10

Summary

Monolisk is a fantasy action role-playing game with base building elements. Battle through player made dungeons and try your hand at creating dungeons for others to play. Earn powerful gear to strengthen your fighters and discover new monsters to include in your dungeons.

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Jobe

Honest Mobile Game Commentary -- Over the past 15+ years of gaming I have played many different genres including everything from Counter-strike to the Elder Scrolls franchise. More recently I started playing lots of Mobile Games and I realized I could share my opinions - good or bad - with other gamers to help them find quality games to enjoy. Oh and I love cats - my cats name is Teemo.

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