Master of the Monster Lair Review
Master of the Monster Lair box art
System: DS Review Rating Legend
Dev: Global A Entertainment 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Atlus 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Oct. 21, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-2 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

There are other noticeable problems with this title that are worth pointing out. The recipe system allows you to use dropped items to create food, which gives your characters permanent stat increases. It’s a neat idea at first, until you realize that the items called for in recipes come from a specific enemy. So, you’ll be killing one or two enemies over and over and over again, every day, to get the ingredients for the best recipes and give yourself the best stat increases. There’s no experimenting at all, because it doesn’t make sense to use any recipe other than the best one.

Master of the Monster Lair screenshot

Additionally, the enemy variety is severely lacking. Each floor is home to just a few monsters, so fighting through the same floors every day can get really repetitive. As you might be able to tell now, repetition is a huge element of this game. I can understand a little bit -- there are very few RPGs that don’t involve repeating similar tasks quite frequently. But I feel that Master of the Monster Lair takes it to a completely unnecessary level.

One final complaint I have with the game is that actually building your dungeon is an excruciatingly slow process. The amount that you’re allowed to build is determined by the talking shovel’s MP; this stat grows so slowly that creating a sizeable, interesting dungeon can take a very long time indeed. This only serves to add to the monotony that really seems to characterize Master of the Monster Lair.

Both the graphics and music in the game are sub-par. Visually, this game doesn’t look that great. The dungeon itself is very bland, and the battle screens don’t look much better. The music is even worse; though you do have a choice of music, it’s all bad. The music is grating, repetitive (surprise!), and not worth listening to.

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Add Master of the Monster Lair to the huge list of video game disappointments. This is a title that had a lot of potential; starting out, I really loved the new ideas that the game offered. But the more time I spent with it, the more I realized that this is not a game aimed toward a traditional crowd. It’s extremely dumbed-down, easy to play, and slow-paced. This game had some really great ideas, but execution was very poor. There are far better RPGs out there, and frankly even the interesting dungeon-building mechanic doesn’t provide enough of a reason to play Master of the Monster Lair.

By Joseph Catalanotto
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.5
Graphics
Bland, muddy, and uninteresting visuals comprise the vast majority of the game’s scenery.
3.5
Control
Traditional D-pad and face button controls get the job done for exploring and building your dungeon.
2.2
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The music is repetitive, annoying, and very simple. You’ll play with the volume off.
3.2

Play Value
Managing your dungeon is surprisingly addictive, but too slow-paced. The battles are far too repetitive and not nearly fun enough.

3.0
Overall Rating - Fair
Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.

Game Features:

  • The discovery of a talking shovel begins an eccentric adventure where you become the master of the monster lair! As the shovel’s new owner, you’re given the incredible job of digging a dungeon and hunting the monsters that come to live in it .
  • Transform a small hole in the ground into a huge dungeon for hunting monsters! Fill it with over 20 different types of rooms, including Chapels, Cellars, Stables, Trash Dumps, and more to attract different types of monsters and help you obtain different items.
  • Challenge your friends to reach the end of your custom monster lair and see what monsters and items are waiting in theirs. Trade designs over local wireless and prove that you’re the best dungeon digger around!


  • Screenshots / Images
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