Recently, I was on a fairly long journey and I needed a distraction from the monotony of travelling so I took my Switch with me. I could’ve played one of a number of games, but I settled on A Monster’s Expedition, a charming puzzle game that has you play as a monster, pushing over trees and visiting lots of small islands which hold mementos of a previous “human” world.
A Monster’s Expedition doesn’t have too many complex mechanics to it. You play as a black blob with a backpack, walk around an island, push over trees and roll them into the water to create bridges or small rafts for you to visit other islands. It doesn’t sound like much, but finding the correct orientation and position to roll the trees in the water for you to visit other islands is quite a challenge. There are occasions where there are potentially multiple islands for you to visit off of just the one or two trees that are on the island. Each island is unique and poses a different challenge for players. The best islands are the ones that house some item that we would probably view as being mundane, but through a monster’s eyes they become much more interesting. They each come with a fun – and often funny – description of what the monsters think this item was used for in the primitive human society and finding all of them is a great way to spend some time!
It’s a casual puzzler, and I really like that. Everything about it helps you to forget about the stresses of modern living and thrusts you into the lovely world that these monsters reside in. The graphics are very pretty, without any clutter and just enough space for you to roam around and solve puzzles while enjoying your surroundings. It is all so dreamy as you move underneath the clouds as well, so you really get a nice chilled atmosphere to play through. This is amplified by the music which is just bliss. You’re always just surrounded by a lovely aura of relaxation as you play, and that’s something that just isn’t created well enough in most games.
There’s not a great deal of things I can say that’s negative about A Monster’s Expedition. I needed a game that would help pass the time on the train, and in general, the game helps me to relax when I’m stressed out. In all, that’s pretty much exactly what I look for in a game, and there’s very little else that I would want to add to the game. The puzzles are fun and perhaps they may have included a couple of extra mechanics, but I don’t think it’s necessarily required. Genuinely this might be one of my favourite games I’ve played this year.