Monster Legacy review: free-to-play Pokemon
As far as mobile games are concerned, Monster Legacy is really pretty and quite addictive. There's more than 100 unique monster to capture and use in combat, battles and quests to evolve your monsters, base building, special moves, and multiple currencies. It's a fun dungeon crawler with vibrant visuals that is well-fitted for short periods of pay. That said, if you really want to advance, you're going to have to pay real-life money -- as is the case with many free-to-play mobile games.
The concept is simple yet addicting. The player explores dungeons around the world of Arborea. Along the way, you capture and train a bunch of different monsters to help you defeat the Evil Lord Ardur. As monsters evolve, you get new forms for them and powerful attacks. You even earn in-game currency (coins) along the way to help your progress, but it rarely feels like enough. While I've been tempted to buy gems (the premium currency), I've held off.
The beginning of the game holds your hand as you learn how to play, but the tutorial is fun and really teaches the concept of Monster Legacy well. After picking and naming your avatar, you complete some quests that teach you the basics. Then there's the combat. Monster Legacy uses a turn-based combat system that utilizes multiple mechanics to keep it intriguing. You can swap between monsters when you're low on health or just want to get a monster in there that does more damage against a certain type of element (think Puzzle and Dragons). Your basic attacks don't do much, but you have more powerful attacks and buffs that use a swinging meter (like in Gladius) where you want to try to stop in the sweet spot. If you get in trouble, you can spend the game's premium currency that will do a really powerful special move and essentially get you out of any pickle.
How do you get those monsters? Just like you would in Pokemon. But instead of Pokeballs, you're using traps. You build two types of traps -- a wooden trap with a low success rate, and a deluxe trap with a moderate success rate -- by using coins. The best trap, which guarantees you capture a monster, costs gems. And there it is... You do get a bit of gems for free, but boy will you be hurting for them as you advance.
While the combat is the part I enjoy the most about Monster Legacy, there is a base-building feature called your Ranch. At the ranch, you build shops and buildings that give you free items like coins. You can craft items at these buildings, but the Ranch also houses your monsters that aren't in your party. You can see them moving around your Ranch with not a care in the world... those cute litte buggers.
Like Clash of Clans or Puzzle and Dragons, the more time you put into Monster Legacy, the more you're going to get out of it. You can play the entire game without spending a dollar, but you're going to have a rougher go at it than someone that has bought gems. If you go into Monster Legacy knowing that, it's a pretty fun game that provides nice visuals and fun on-the-go.