Village Monsters is a life sim set in a dead game

village

What happens to forgotten games? I’d like to think some of them just turn into after-hours parties, like a lock-in at proper old boozer. When nobody new comes to play, the characters just grab a pint or do a line of shots and hit the dance floor.

Village Monsters [official site] sees things differently. Here, the baddies inhabiting an abandoned RPG have moved on and are now living the good life. You can join them in this Harvest Moon inspired indie game.

Village Monsters is still in a pre-alpha state but you can download a demo version right now

There are loads of hobbies to take part in, like cooking and fishing, and you can also go on adventures and bring back collectibles and decorations for your house.

Most importantly, there are pets. Initially, the pets were a cat, dog or guinea pig, but a recent update suggests you’ll be able to tame any critter. I approve. Give me all of the animal friends.

When I first saw the screenshots, I thought, “oh, it’s Stardew Valley but also Undertale”. I think there’s less emphasis on farming though and more emphasis on all the rest, and there are day/night cycles, NPC schedules and dynamic weather changes. Stuff that I love, basically.

I’m going to quote a big block of planned features here, mostly because it uses the word “rambunctious” so I’m unlikely to improve the wording.

  • Purchase, furnish, and upgrade your very own house. Hang up some new wallpaper! Plant a garden! Sit atop a golden throne you found in the woods!
  • Pick up a new hobby, like treasure hunting, cooking, critter catching, or fishing. Donate your findings and creations to the Historical Society of Monsters
  • Meet a boatload of rambunctious and whimsical villagers with their own personalities, schedules, and problems to solve
  • Experience total immersion thanks to a robust day/night cycle, seasonal changes, dynamic weather, and a packed calendar full of events and holidays
  • Explore a bizarre digital world that’s been transformed by its abandonment
  • Bring back the treasures from your expeditions to decorate your home and village
  • Unravel a unique story through dialog, environments, descriptions, and other esoteric means
  • Enjoy the deep satisfaction of dog ownership
  • Discover a world brimming with lore where every area, villager, and item has context and background
  • Solve mysterious and other quests, and enjoy rewards that can upgrade your house and village
  • Complete a massive compendium full of collectibles and secrets

goodegg

It might seem like a small thing, but I’ve been reading the devlogs and really like the effort to add flavour and background information to every item. Given the strange setting, it’d be a shame if there was no attempt to explore the leftover RPG features that are the building blocks of the world.

A full release isn’t expected ’til next year but you can try that demo right now, and it will receive updates as development continues.

4 Comments

  1. Drib says:

    So the idea is that the prophesied hero showed up, did his thing, and then stopped playing the game?

    Vaguely meta, but also just sort of sounds like it equates to ‘things are okay now’. So, it’s a fantasy world life/faff about simulator?

    Though that sounds like I don’t like the concept, I do in fact enjoy life sims. Might be worth looking at the demo anyway.

    • SirPenguin says:

      Hey, this is kinda weird to do, but I’m the dev on the game and can answer your question.

      The conceit is that the game itself was never actually finished or released. The monsters were told that their job was to stop the player at all costs, but the player never came. The monsters lacked purpose, and as they watched their world rot away around them they decided to abandon their posts and start new lives.

      Really, it’s mostly just backstory and a way to contextualize things in the game. I think my earliest design note was something like “Animal Crossing, but with monsters?”, and this allowed me to get there

      Above all else it’s a faff about simulator, which is the first time I’ve heard that phrase and I’m now madly in love with it.

      • Drib says:

        Hey, always good to see a developer answering questions in a comment section. Certainly won’t see me complaining anyway.

        So thanks for clearing up the conceit there. I can’t watch videos here at work, so maybe that would have helped my interpretation.

        Anyway, I’ll look into the demo at least! Also, glad you liked the phrase, I’m not sure where I heard it, or if I just ended up combining other things.

        Good luck with the game!

  2. TheBetterStory says:

    This looks quite enjoyable! Love the idea of a peaceful monster village. It looks like there’s no option to play as a lady human, which is a bit disappointing, but it doesn’t seem like there’s any character customisation in the first place.

    I do wonder why they’ve chosen to add descriptions of the characters’ actions right alongside their dialogue. Normally you’d either stop showing the character’s portrait during the description so it’s clear they’re not talking, or you’d just leave the descriptions out altogether. Having it in pale text next to their dialogue makes for an odd reading experience.

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