The Monster Within

The Monster Within
N/A
Metacritic
80
Steam
53.25
xDR
Our rating is calculated based on the reviews and popularity of the game.
Price
$14.99
Release date
22 October 2022
Developers
Publishers
Steam reviews score
Total
80 (56 votes)

A 50's horror comic themed deck building card game with roguelike progression elements. Stop yourself from turning into a monster, or embrace your inner evil and use your new gifts. Choose from a roster of classic monsters and duke it out in The Monster Within!

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The Monster Within system requirements

Minimum:

  • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8/8.1, 10
  • Processor: 2.0 Ghz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 1Gb Video Memory
  • Storage: 2 GB available space

Recommended:

Recommended requirements are not yet specified.
Updated
App type
Steam APP ID
1755870
Platforms
Windows PC
Mac
Popularity
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bob-the-builder
bob-the-builder

SOOOOOOOO IMO deckbuilding games are way better than CCGs
i love my dominion , i love my ascension and now i love my the monster within
the aesthetics is great , the sound is great , the game is fast and fun
and the best part we all love is that button to play all cards , best button ever , even games with no cards should have that button

10/10 the blob is a big boned sexy man

lean1fr
lean1fr

I really wanted to like this one, but ultimately, nah

THE GOOD:

    • Interesting theme and aesthetic, there's some work on the graphics and some little 1950s comic-strip dialogs between characters before every fight and even though it's superficial, it's adding a little something

MINOR ANNOYANCES:

    • The thing is made in Unity, so you're sure it will never run smooth
    • Interface is terrible : unpolished, slightly buggy, and lacking basic features like card tooltips

THE BAD:

    • It's this type of deckbuilders where you play ressource cards in order to buy new cards every turn so your deck gets progressively more bloated and powerful and the game becomes slower and slower. It's like Dominion, but you should play Dominion if you really like this gameplay.
    I stopped playing Dominion because it was not intellectually challenging, and this one is even more boring to play.
    It has nothing to do with the zen-like brilliance of StS where you trim down your deck as much as possible and every card counts and where you can build crazy game-breaking synergies.
    • They added a day/night cycle with three phases through which you progress as you take damage and the ressources change as well as the cards you can buy. It means any strategy you were preparing can be sabotaged as you take damage, and you get into a losing cycle. I don't see the point of this mechanism.
    • Most of the gameplay consists in playing ressource points to buy cards to either get more ressource points or build up your ATT and DEF. Nothing makes you feel like you're a monster doing cool monster stuff.
    • All characters play the same. They have a couple personal cards, but they're mixed with generic cards and the personal part of their decks only makes one fifth of the total deck. Plus these particular cards are only usable in one of the three daytime phases. So you practically never draw these cards and you can't use them right. For example, one of the character has a strong power that consists of cards that spawn other cards in the card shop, in sequence, and you have to buy them and play them five times. But given how the game plays it's practically impossible to pull out

(follow my curator page GenXPlayers for more retro and indie reviews)

BrienDoesIt
BrienDoesIt

This game is fun af. It's a deckbuilding game that isn't completely straightforward at first, but once you get it, you'll be surprised how fun it is.
Also, the music is some of the best mood-setting music I've seen in a game ever.

koeslter
koeslter

it's not that fun... The combat is boring and you spend most of your time managing resources. There's also heavily rng based. You may may resources but no right cards to buy, or you have cards you like but you didn't draw enough resource cards. The game also didn't explain the day and night decks are different, and some of your cards don't carry over, but some do. And then there's the bugs or just unbalanced mechanics, like if you have a radio watch from the engineer theme, but it's night time, yes you can draw the watch card but there's no upgrades for the watch to buy in shop.
All these means that the game is not well tested or balanced. Also the fights themselves drags out for too long to be exciting. Not to mention some game mechanics are poorly explained. Like for vampire you there's a card that is a atk power subtract your hunger. I never feed so my hunger should be zero, right? Wrong! If you use that card without feeding, you get no atk. That means the game forces you to play in a certain way without explaining what the limit is, or that it's intentionally narrowing your creativity to make interesting builds. Lastly, the enemies are also not fun. Attack or defend, that's it. There's nothing interesting going on and you just slowly wither down the enemy....

The only upside is the art and aesthetic. Yeah they look cool but looking cool alone is not enough to support the game.

R.W. Scott
R.W. Scott

I love the idea, the Lichtenstein-style art & retro music are excellent, but the gameplay.. ugh. let's put it this way, it's not a card battler, your enemies don't play cards, they just damage you every turn until you dispatch them. so, really- it's a solitaire game, but one that doesn't have any of the kind of bells or whistles that make you want to play a solitaire game (like card animations, screen wipes, explosions, etc.. there's just some sound effects). I want to feel like when I click a card, it's doing something, or that there's at least some kind of strategy. but all you do here every hand is pretty much play all your cards so you can buy more effective cards so you can do more damage, rinse/repeat. and there's a bunch of stat changes & ability swaps you can do, but it's all in the service of the gameplay which is bland AF. it's too bad, I wanted to like this, because again, the concept & art design are great. but if I want to play a solitaire game, I'll play something by Grey Alien or Alawar, not this.

Kikubaaqudgha
Kikubaaqudgha

Not a bad deck builder! Art work is beautiful and the cards are designed really well. I am enjoying it!

fauzi.raisyuli
fauzi.raisyuli

this is the first time I tried this kind of game; the card deck is new for me, I got hooked by the artwork and music. a good choice for the light game at night.

NoonyCurt
NoonyCurt

A quick and fun deck building game with rogue-like elements. Each run (3 rounds) takes about 30 minutes and you unlock new stuff all the time. There are 10 different characters of which I have played only half so far. They are not vastly different, but you can customize your deck quite a bit and even reduce your starting health for special abilities.

Speaking of which, your health will influence the cards you buy and the energy you have to use to buy them, so each round will evolve quite a bit - if you lose health that is. That leads to my only gripe with the game so far: If you're doing well (and don't use expensive special abilities) you'll rarely see the 3rd level cards. However, I have only played on standard difficulty so far, so I expect this to change.

All in all I enjoy the game a lot and I'm looking forward to trying the rest of the characters and then turning up the difficulty.

cooperbj
cooperbj

This game is okay, but unfinished. I think I'd be less upset with this game if it was still in Early Access.

Visually, graphics drift when you move the mouse over certain scenes. Certain title cards don't completely overwrite the previous screen, leaving a band on the left of whatever you were doing in the last screen. The text is not always centered or properly fit to a text box or word bubble. It looks sloppy. Each in-battle transition is a static picture of the monster icon you've already seen, which looks lazy.

The dialogue and "story" (such as it is) is very superficial and boring. The monsters meet seemingly randomly and find a contrived way to fight each other, which often takes clicking through panel after panel of stilted dialogue. Both the introductions and conclusions to a character run left me flat; I didn't get interested in the monster in the intro, and the conclusion didn't make me think there was any real payoff to playing as the monster.

In terms of gameplay, it has an interesting card-buying mechanic that needs a little more playtesting. For example, there's a card set called "radio watch" that gets stronger as one buys cards with "daytime" points, but even in a "daytime" level one can't guarantee enough points to acquire cards to make it even marginally useful. It's not quite clear how much damage one will give or take each round (theoretically, it's the predicted damage on the screen, but at various stages or due to various powers not fully explained, it was much more or less). There's a tutorial for the first monster, but a similar tutorial didn't play when unlocking the second monster, so I was flying blind figuring out what its power was supposed to be.

The "fill up a comic book" display that is in the center of the screen seems like it was going to be more meaningful, but at current it's just decorative; there's no benefit to filling up a page or drawback to leaving one empty, and the cards are too repetitive for the display to be particularly interesting.

666ms
666ms

Comedically bad
To put it simply, it's TFCB in a wildly inappropriate engine that lags and hangs extremely frequently, plus bespoke art and jaunty music. I think you could go so far as to say this is a rare example of a so bad it's good game; it's so sincere and eclectic in it's presentation that it's genuinely worthwhile to experience. The fact that it's a 1:1 port of TFCB only adds to this for me: thinking 'lol parasite is futa? futafags btfo' "oh, I guess WW is sissy", "so you start as maid?" etc. is pretty funny.
Unfortunately, in terms of actually playing the game, the fact that it's not in sugarcube presents nothing but drawbacks. You can't open the text file and regex for a particular ending. You can't open your browser console and quickly cheat. I'm sure all the usual unity telemetry is on and the dev probably doesn't even know about it. Unlocking everything is less trivial, in part because it's not some EA freeware WEG with a 'press this button to unlock everything since your is just in your browser cache or some shit anyway'. Horribly laggy and hangs a lot, sometimes crashes. I see the dev asking people for their machine specs on steam discussions like that has anything to do with worst practices in default unity environment causing a literal plaintext browser game to fall about. How can it be possible that every sugarcube port has been to an even less appropriate engine? I don't understand, but that curse is in full effect here.
Mechanically, there are actually slight differences. The upgrade system is more limited and doesn't tie into endings the way it did in TFCB, so there's a greater story-gameplay separation as well as it being mildly simplified. Some changes are for the better (no max hand size makes playing certain decks for less tedious), some are for the worse (no max hand size makes some decks wildly overpowered). The paper system is novel. Enemies being their own second round fight is way more immersive and flows way better than the exposition into fight-some-other-guy from TFCB.
The art and music are legitimately good. In terms of 'makes some free project, ask for donations, spend them on art' this is a 100% genuine example of a success story. Now, personally, I'd have preferred TFCB with this artstyle and just the same music. But, uh, this is fine too.

If you're thinking of playing this, go play TFCB. You can see pretty much everything there. If you then want to commit to that gameplay experience, this is that game but with art and music. But it's not a porn game, so that's a +/-, except if you play this game after having played TFCB you'll think of TFCB every time you play a card and it's really fucking hilarious, particularly with regards to the class-specific parts.

I remembered that schoolgirl was overpowered but I had totally forgotten that maid was jacked as fuck if she gets her lategame cards. Well, she got nerfed (in TFCB) for a reason, I guess.

Toasty Enginseer
Toasty Enginseer

The game crashes after I unlock the plant lady and resets

bear_storm
bear_storm

Bugs I have encountered:

-Cutscenes randomly load incorrectly, with placeholder error panels mixed in among panels from different cutscenes in the wrong order

-Sometimes it is impossible to proceed from the shop to the next map. Exiting to the menu and returning to the run fixes it.

-Character epilogues display as a single page of black and white panels (maybe this is intended?)

-Redrawing the buy pile bugs out approx 50% of the time, resulting in too many or too few cards displaying, and buying any of these cards results in buying one of the generic resource cards instead

However, despite that second bug being super common and disruptive and requiring you to play around it in a way that I doubt is developer intended, this is a 10/10 game.

The mechanics are a little bit Tanto Cuore, and a little bit War Of Omens, but with the gimmick that your buy pile and resources change as you take damage. This means you can easily clutter your hand with garbage cards, and filtering is hard to come by, but also you can build strategies around clutch late-game reversals.

However, what makes the game transcend is its 50s horror comic aesthetic, twee barbershop crooning soundtrack, and off-beat but weirdly incisive setting. There's not a *lot* of writing in Monster Within, but the characters are all decently fleshed out and distinctive. And the story framework for the cardgame---everyone's a classic hollywood monster trying to blend in in sleepy suburbia---might also be saying something interesting about how any attempt at 50s style cultural homogeny is really just a rug thrown over the deep weirdness of people.

Monster Within seems to be under ongoing development---more features look planned that haven't been added yet, so the game is likely to lose its bugs in an update or two---and there's already decent replayability, with a handful of unlocks gated behind each of the ten or so characters.

If you like resource management PvE card games and you want to support small developers, I'd definitely say give this a shot. Even with redrawing the buy pile straight up not working, I've had a blast.

Beep
Beep

Just the presentation is worth your money

NoraNoir
NoraNoir

Great game! It does have a really bad habit of crashing my pc though

Evillevi
Evillevi

Came from tf card battle which is a NSFW origin as far as I can tell, but this is a fairly interesting deck builder system that only got better with the comic style it adopted.

So The monster within (TMW) is a game where you play cards to get resources, which you used to buy cards to protect, damage , or get more resources as needed. And every turn the enemy would attack you for X - Y damage. If you win the battle you get to pick a passive. And as you're health lowers you buy pile/resources gain start shifting from human to night to monster.

PROS:

This game differs massively from other games because the resources you're focusing on changes as you take more damage. making defense cards much much more valuable. And you get a lot of flexibility for how high/low risk you want to take.

Also while basic the comic artstle is stylish as fuck.

Cons:

Enemies are basic. they don't do much.

There's probably a fair amount of polishing for the UI but I'll give it a pass since in it EA

darkarts
darkarts

The Monster Within is a rougelite deck builder with fresh twist. The mechanic of having your buy pile linked to your health not only changes up the formula from other deck builders, but also makes learning challenging and rewarding wile unlocking new things. For new players, the game might seem easy and a even little broken, but that's because at the higher difficulty's the game gets much harder and rewards stringing card combos together. For returning player familiar with this games previous iteration, this isn't just an old game with a new skin. With a slightly new game flow, different card ability's, and a tutorial that's MUCH easier to understand, this is well worth the purchases.

bullno1
bullno1

Use resource to buy card to discard pile kind of deck builder.

Nothing special, clunky UI. Play Star Realm or Shards of Infinity instead.

Reaper Lord
Reaper Lord

Its a nice round based card combat game. the graphics are nice and the system is the same as in the former game.
i wonder if there will be a modding oportunity in the future or and tf card battle dlc.

Silvertongued Devil
Silvertongued Devil

Inexpensive, quirky and creative, Monster Within brings a slew of novel elements to the deckbuilding genre. While so many others tend to chase after mechanics similar to MTG, Monster Within makes itself known with a unique transformation system and myriad monster-specific mechanics that dramatically shift how the game plays.

Of course, this isn't the creator's first game - indeed, they have a previous card game with very similar mechanics - called TF Card Battle. Released in 2018 it is more or less a direct predecessor to Monster Within, albeit extremely NSFW and completely free. The creator has been plinking away at the fundamental concepts that form this game ever since and, honestly, I found myself playing it way too often for the engaging gameplay over abundant debauchery than I'd care to admit.

So, should you get it right now? I think so. Only about 1/3rd of the expected content is present at the moment, but it's also dirt-cheap and the developer has been releasing updates for a free game for over three years now, so I have no doubt it'll get there in the end. It's a good way to support an indie dev who genuinely deserves it.

Anonymous
Anonymous

love the early access smooth fast and fun. The only thing i wish they would add is a kind of monster mode for your monster with some penalties because if get you get to many bad hands its hard to comeback from it once you get low on heath. over all love the game.

nerilac
nerilac

Overall, I’ve enjoyed the game. I already knew the prototype version, so the "1.3" hours may be misleading. If you like deck building games, you will probably also enjoy this one. If you don’t like them, what are you doing here? If you are unsure about card games, maybe go for one of the big names first since those are more polished.

Here’s some Monster Within specific feedback for the dev(s): [Out of Date; Devs updated the game, imrpoving at least some of these aspects further, but I’m to lazy to redo the review atm.]

1) Awesome choice of theme, music, and pictures. Even just the intro splash screen with the cheerful old-timey music and still picture was so amospheric I spent a minute listening to the music and looking at the picture before looking at the options etc.

2) In the tutorial, the text inside the text boxes continues to warp for a while as the pictures move to their place. This looks flickery and unpleasant. (Same in some of the other scenes.)

3) The pictures slightly moving as you move your mouse in the tutorial is neat, though.

4) Clicking the draw pile shows you which cards you have. It would be nice, if clicking it again would close that window instead of having to move the mouse to the "x" button.

5) It took me until after the second fight to figure out how "swap theme" works. I didn’t realise that the "SWAP THEMES" writing was a clickable button.

Issues

1) Tutorial: "use them to beat down yyour oppoenent" should be "your".

2) First game: I moved a "scrutinize" card slightly without buying it. It didn’t snap back to its place but kept moving back to a place slightly to the right/down.

3) Sometimes, if I use "tab" to play all cards, but there are more cards than fit on the current comic pages, an error occurs. The game completes the current page normally, but on the next page it leaves first or first two comic panels blank. Instead, it puts the last cards directly into the second or third panel.

Spacecookie
Spacecookie

This is glorious. In the same way that 'B' movies are fun, this card game is light and fun. You can play it while waiting for the dentist, or waiting for your latest amazon delivery to arrive and have as much fun either way.

I recommend it, though not without a little note about how it doesn't explain itself quite completely and so we have to work out a little bit about what it actually means.

At its monstrous heart it's just a simple card game, based on all those 1950's 'B' movies. The sort of ones where you make a bucket of popcorn, just to throw it at the telly in those unintentionally funny-because-it's-awful moments. :)

Now you too can live the dream of being a monstrous 'B' movie star.

I honestly don't know why it's not more popular, as many games worse than this have been played bought to other gamer's attention, but not this one apparently. Such a shame.

tldr: Play cards, have fun, rawr.

Domp
Domp

One of the most aesthetically pleasing deckbuilder games that exist in the market.

hippy068
hippy068

At present i wouldn't recommend. The progression in the game is based on doing things to unlock stuff (thankfully if you click on the locked stuff, it will tell you what you need to do to unlock it, in theory) sadly in reality, i have beaten the game with the scientist multiple times, it didn't unlock what it's supposed to, i beat the game on the blood 1 difficulty again multiple times , again no unlock, so i can't unlock any more characters, cards or ailments until this is fixed.

What i have played so far has been kind of fun though, so if and or when this gets fixed chances are pretty good i would change my review to recommend.

ani |*‿*)
ani |*‿*)

I Love the classic design Big fan of Retro Style Monsters c:

anotherterribleidea
anotherterribleidea

It's just not there yet...

I got this in early access because it looked really promising, but I can't recommend it in its current state. The gameplay is undeveloped, the animation is minimal (even for a card battler), and it's just not that fun. Stylistically, it's great! But as a game? Not so much.

Pros:
* The Graphics/Art Style - The game looks great! All the characters/creatures look very cool, and I dig the whole horror comic vibe.
* The Music - Very nice tunes that match the era and tone of old horror movies. Fun to just have these playing in the background. Reminded me of how a similar musical aesthetic was applied to Stubbs the Zombie.

Cons:
* Gameplay - The mechanics are... lackluster. There is little strategy to the early game each round. You can just toss cards up with no thought, because most of what they do is just get points to buy other cards. You do a little damage, you block a little, but it's not really deep. And even once you get going, why make a game about being monsters if you goal is to not let your self become a monster?
* UI - Hope you like static screens with some text! In a battle, there are MINIMAL indicators of what is happening. The only thing that shows your attacks or defense are icons with point values... there is no attack/block animation for you or the enemy. Attacks are displayed as damage values in text boxes under the enemy, and damage is just a small number at each characters feet.
* Controls - I tried to select the Blob after I unlocked him, and somehow ended up doing another run as the vampire. Once you get into the Afflictions, it's not clear how to remove vs overwriting something, so if you click on a potential buff or debuff to see what it is, you now have to actually have one added whether you wanted it or now.

I hope this gets better with some time and polish, but this one should be a pass for you for now. Lots of other better deck builder games out there worth your time and money.

KumquatsAmok
KumquatsAmok

The Monster Within is a deckbuilding game that oozes atmosphere. The art and music are excellent and do a great job of putting you in the setting.

Admittedly, there are a lot of deckbuilders. So, what does this game bring to the deckbuilder genre other than a fantastic theme? First, the cards you can choose to buy are dictated by your health. The lower your health, the more powerful cards you can buy - but, of course, the closer you are to losing. This mechanism feels really good, especially because the rounds go a little longer than most deckbuilders. Which brings up something else different about The Monster Within - The longer rounds allow you to really build your deck around a theme and capitalize on that theme. The third thing that sets this game apart is that the developer is extremely responsive - seriously. Join the discord and have your bugs taken care of pronto.

The game has a good amount of replay value for what you pay for it and each class feels unique and makes you want to experience all of them. That being said, in the games current state there definitely isn't a LOT of replay value. The story is given by short witty comic strips, which is enough for this type of game but don't go into it expecting to become engrossed by the plot. The only other weakness of the game is, like other reviewers have said, the early parts of each game can get a bit repetitive but after those parts the games do have a fair amount of variance, even within the same class.

Overall, it's a cheap and well-balanced deckbuilder with a great developer. If you like deckbuilding games, I'd recommend giving this one a go.

badlymadetraveler
badlymadetraveler

Funny. Not trash. More variety than a huge roster of 2 dimensional characters (at least gameplay wise).

Call out all the "better" card games you want but they probably won't have the same themes. Games like Slay the Spire are completely irrelevant to this anyway.

MrArcaneGates
MrArcaneGates

I have definitely gotten my money's worth because i quite enjoy the game, but there are definitely games with a lot more playtime/€. The game is still a bit rough around the edges (it's early access after all) and for me personally, replayability is a bit limited because the decision making and variety of decks/playstyles is not quite there - yet, hopefully. The characters have very different abilities which does offer variety, but also railroads you into a certain playstyle per character.

It's already worth it for me, but if you have to carefully choose what to spend your money on i'd suggest wishlisting this for now and picking something else.

Dantalion
Dantalion

A solid deckbuilder with an unusual style. Still needs some polish, but that's what early access is for.

Noah the Goblin
Noah the Goblin

Very fun game, if you like card games. It's a deckbuilding game with different phases. As you go through rounds as the same monster you may switch up your strategy and build towards a different strategy for future rounds to play a monster.

ses
ses

Needs a lot of polishing but very interesting game that allows you to come up with many strategies to beat it.

If the devs are reading:

There needs to be the option to choose any affliction to add before a round, I keep starting games with a certain strategy in mind have to restart a bunch of times to get the affliction i want.

Also, I noticed that the gameplay settings such as whether cards could be bought with a single click reset completely each time the game is launched.

The Joking Joker
The Joking Joker

The game mechanic is quite nice and apart from a few bugs and a few things that lack in communication the game is quite fun.

As for bugs, the hunger passive of the vampire doesnt always calculate right. for example it says: 11dmg -hunger and then gives you 3 less than what would be calculated by that.
Sencond thing about the hunger machanic is, that it wont rise above 10 on its own unless you push it up with cards. That doesnt have to be a bug, but it seems like it could have been mentioned in some part of the descriptions.

Complex
Complex

Great art, unique gameplay mechanics and a TON of character specific cards/strategies. If you're looking for something you can really sink your teeth into, this game will keep you busy. Looking forward to more content updates!

Lord Vecna
Lord Vecna

Fun game. Love the art and concepts. Most bugs get or are getting patched out. And a lot more content on the way. A hidden gem if I do say so myself.

crimsoncobra9
crimsoncobra9

It's an interesting game. It's plot lite, and what plot there is is easy to skip. The mechanics are interesting, and I'm very curious about future content. I loved the spooky b-rate 50's-70's horror vibe it has going and would like to see more monsters. There are a few classics missing.

Laconic
Laconic

I found I am remarkably good at this for reasons I cannot explain.

cHoVe
cHoVe

I love this game.
DC Deck Building Game is a family favourite tabletop deck builder. The Monster Within plays similarly with the a few of its own mechanics making it perfect for those after a deck builder where you get to be an evolving (devolving ?) monster, standing against other monsters.
The variety of play styles available is terrific as is the way the "Buy" deck changes depending on how far along you are into your "monstrousness". I think it's great how, even though you become more of a monster as you lose health, you actually become more powerful.
This game is thematic, looks great and is an excellent choice for any player who's a deck-building fan.

PJammaz
PJammaz

it's pretty addictive and it has a really good amount of content

lufialunar
lufialunar

very buggy. game does not respond most of the time. sometimes it crashes, or just straight up freezes. task manager starts to lock up too when you try to close this program when it freezes. when it does work. Inputs do not work half the time. Please wait for a more stable build before getting this. I am looking forward to it though.

toriver
toriver

Deckbuilder with interesting concepts like card set upgrades, health modified by selectable advantages, swappable card sets for the card market, a gradually changing swapping of the sets and currencies as you lose health, and quick-playing to boot. Oh, did I forget to mention the funny comic-book intro to every match?

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