GamingReview: Monster Train First Class

Review: Monster Train First Class

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Card games can be fun, especially if you’re using them to defeat an enemy or another group of players, can even be a friend! Monster Train First Class is just as it sounds, monsters on a train. You as the player are given a variety of cards to pull from the deck and play against the other enemies that are attacking.

The game starts off very easy, perfect for one to get a hang of how to play the game. If you happen to be a first-time player of any card game such as ones that require you to build a strategy to fight the other teams or enemies, this game will be a perfect one to try out! The entire card game is easy to learn, with a high chance of winning right on the first battle! That is even if you never played a card game like this or didn’t have much of an idea how to play.

It honestly isn’t too difficult to play, but this is true for the first few rounds. So even if you make a mistake it’s very easy to get back on track and defeat the enemies attacking you. When I first tried, I might have come close while playing to being defeated. However, to my surprise, I still was able to win the game and this is going in a bit uncertain what I needed to do. Plus, it only took a few minutes to play the first round.

Oh yes, there is no need to worry about concentrating as much when it comes to playing the right card. True again for the first few rounds, but as you move on, it’s time to get thinking and focusing on what you’ll need or what to have ready for a winning attack. No matter where you’re at in this game, you’ll be granted access to know about each of the cards you are about to play. Everyone is very well explained, and it’s easy to understand what the card will do to the enemies or your own team created from the cards played.

Additionally, with the small number of cards to look through on each turn, you can decide which to play and how many you can play till you have to end your turn. Each time a card is played it’s put in another pile, the discard pile. For those starting out, a tip I can suggest about the cards is if one is said to cause damage when used on the enemy, that is a card one must play first or sometime during your turn. Especially, if you have others in your hand, it’s best to play these when you can and on the enemies that have the least amount to go to be destroyed. Always aiming for the same player will reduce the hits they can give you as it will reduce the number of enemies on one side, faster.

To be honest, when I started playing for the first time, I didn’t really understand the cards. I learned by playing that there are plenty of unique cards, with different abilities to use in the game. So it took time to understand, and yet can be difficult for anyone to understand a few that really don’t tell you much or if you need to recall what a card can do.

Thankfully, there is a button you can push on the console to make the details of what the card is meant to do, appear right in front of you. Instead of just using the card on an enemy, to heal, and provide a protective team of monsters on your side, you can easily reveal what the card or cards will do for you once played. Plus, when you do finally play the card if it’s attacking the enemy, or adding a new member to defend you, these actions happen right away!

Like many games, even those that are RPG-style, when you battle in those games just as you are doing in this game, but with cards. You can see the special effect, attack/hit, or anything else you choose to occur right away. No waiting or having to plan each attack before it takes place on the screen. Additionally, this goes the same for the opposite side, if you’re using an attack card it could cause the attack granted on any member of that team you are trying to aim for.

While talking about the cards, there is a limit of cards one can play on their turn. After you finally played enough cards that your points will allow you to. You will then have to end your turn. This is where the enemies you are fighting will begin to play and try to defeat you and any of the monster-style team members you have placed on the screen.

The background scene design where you are battling is that of the title of the game. The battles take place on a moving train. So as you’re trying to defeat the enemies boarding the train, it will appear as if it’s moving in the background. It doesn’t add or do anything to cause you to feel rushed, as it’s just the scene not to be a distraction or cause another obstacle for you to work through. Plus, being a game that uses the word Hell a bunch of times, it’s clear that its theme revolves around a devilishly dark and monstrous or Hellish-style game. This must be why it’s a game that features horned and devilish-style monsters with fire-style attacks.

The other thing to understand about this game, which is a big part of the game. You will have to be aware of the fire that’s lit on the top level of the train. This is what decides if you’ll win or lose. Now I at first was scared because the boss, the last to arrive on the train, got up there quite quickly and so did many other enemies that I had to defeat. However, I didn’t realize that the fire I’m trying to keep protected is very much a weapon too. Since the cards I did play weren’t as powerful, especially to defeat many of these enemies arriving on the train.

Being still the first time playing, I did notice, how my cards weren’t as powerful as the fire I have to keep from being destroyed on the top floor of the train. It is one powerful fighter! The best part is that the fire on that floor doesn’t require any buttons or activation to set it off. It will begin attacking freely on its own and can take the most points from the enemy aiming for it. Instantly defeating them!

A few times when I was playing, I honestly felt GAME OVER was going to occur, but it didn’t! That blazing fire I’m protecting is way more powerful than the cards I can play. I found that to be a bit strange but I guess it’s a blessing I won’t be ending the game so soon.

Nevertheless, the major part of winning this game is trying to protect the fire from being destroyed, that is if they can really destroy it. Another relatable design to fit the theme of the underworld and these devilish monsters battling. Additionally, since I haven’t yet mentioned it, but the music is also quite fitting with the scenery, theme, and characters. Everything seems to play right together.

Another thing about the game is that the train can take different paths as you view the map. This is something you’ll notice at the end of each battle. It’s also able to be seen on a map, a route you can travel before entering another battle. There is either a choice of moving to the left or right as you go down the tracks. While it doesn’t make much of a difference, but there is a reason to know which side you’d like to travel on.

They all have a few different merchants and places to purchase or sell items, as well as upgrade a few too! Two of these buildings for example that you can visit are called PyreRemains and Merchant of Magic. These markets do different things and knowing which side you want to travel, as there are other locations to visit can aid in the cards you’ll play and how much more equipped you’ll be in the next battle.

Other than all I’ve mentioned, this game is basically the same throughout. You practically can get a routine going and keep moving down the tracks on the map as you fight your way to win! As mentioned before, it’s not too hard to understand or difficult to play. Everything is explained clearly as you play, and there are even a few additional features that help you speed through the opposite sides’ battle time and get you to yours quicker.

Lastly, this game provides plenty of battles, multiplayer challenges, and plenty of shops to visit for items to buy or upgrades to help aid you in this card-style battle. Plus, like many card games, it takes a bit of planning to make sure you use the right card at the time of the battle, leaving room to use those for the next attacks and invaders boarding the train. So it just can be a perfect strategy card game for beginners who never have played anything like this before and wants to move on towards the more challenging battles that require one to be a bit clever to win the round, as they do get challenging!

SUMMARY

+ Up to 8 Players
+ Graphics and Sound
+ Challenging
- Takes Time to Learn

(Reviewed on Nintendo Switch)
Natosha M
If it's a game filled with action, adventure, challenges, and a great story, you best believe it; I want to play it! I'm always excited to try something classic or original when it comes to a videogame.

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