We were the first to try the latest demo of upcoming multi-console game, Monster Boy, which combines platforming charms of Super Mario with open-world freedom of Zelda [Review]

We were the first to try the latest demo of upcoming multi-console game, Monster Boy, which combines platforming charms of Super Mario with open-world freedom of Zelda [Review]

Nobody except the designers had actually played the latest build of the retro platformer when we got our hands on it


Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom has a bright and cheerful colour scheme.
Photo: Game Atelier & FDG Entertainment

Fellow Young Post intern Joshua and I were hanging out at the Retro.hk gaming expo, when Maurice, a member of the Game Atelier development team, came over to talk to us with an incredible offer. He said we could play a few levels of their new game Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom. While we didn’t get to play it on the Nintendo Switch, Maurice told us we were the first two people, other than the developers to play the latest version of the game. 

Yeah, we were kinda wowed, too.

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is an exciting upcoming action and adventure game due for release on multiple platforms, including the Nintendo Switch, by the end of the year. The colourful experience is the spiritual successor of Sega’s Wonder Boy series – an addictive side-scrolling platformer in the vein of the original Super Mario games.

The game starts with the villainous Nabu slinging dark magic spells from atop a flying barrel. As the main character, Jin, you must stop him, equipped with only a sword and cape.

What makes Monster Boy so alluring is its open-world structure. Similar to Zelda, or even the genre-defining Grand Theft Auto series, freedom of choice really brings a lot of flexibility and imagination to the game.

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Not interested in following the story line? There’s nothing stopping you from exploring the world with no end-goal in mind. The game is full of small Easter eggs and hidden features, such as obscure chests and weird requests from the kooky villagers.

If you’re someone who loves an excellent and appealing narrative, however, Monster Boy will certainly do the trick. As you work your way through puzzles and navigate gradually more difficult levels, players gain and acquire different items.

The first are the “heavy boots” – footwear that slows you down on land, yet allows you to walk comfortably along the seabed. This one item opens up the game in an astonishing way, the underwater world bringing a whole new dimension.

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Progressing through the game also grants you unique abilities. There are six transformations you can switch to, depending on the task at hand. Quite like the way items do, this component certainly bears a whole new element to Monster Boy. An early skill that is acquired is the “fire ball” - where players manage a limited stock of fire balls which may be thrown out at monsters, terrain, or anything that you can think of.

Also overlook the nostalgic retro soundtracks that provide a cutesy background vibe as you go exploring. Monster Boy looks set to be a great treat for platformer fans everywhere, and comes out on PS4, Xbox One, Windows, and Switch before year’s end.

Edited by Jamie Lam


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