[Monster Train] Ive got fire in my caboose!

Jubal77Jubal77 Registered User regular
edited May 24 in Games and Technology
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Hell has frozen over. Only you can protect the final burning pyre from the forces of heaven and restore the inferno. Monster Train brings a new strategic layer to roguelike deck building, with three vertical play fields to defend.


Ive been on the fence about picking this game up. I did today and four hours later I am still wanting to play more. Monster Train is another in a line of games of the roguelike deckbuilding type. But I feel it distills it down into a much more friendly and playable formula. The game is developed by Shiny Shoe. The group that has had some decent games released. Games like the Banner Saga Trilogy. The Lucasarts remasters. Puzzle Raiders. Some decent games :).
Its holding at 87 on Metacritic and overwhelming positive on Steam.

At its core the game is simple and holds to the roots of what you would expect from a roguelike deckbuilder. The main core mechanic that brings this game away from its competition is the tiered wave based fighting. You are riding a train into the center of hell to rekindle its fire. The deckbuilding portion is well thought out with the factions breaking up the various normal mechanics that exist in these games. The gameplay has been varied and fun even within the same faction.

It would take a long time to explain it all out and so below is a youtube of a tutorial from the developer of the game.




I havent tried it yet but it also has multiplayer so it offers more to it than its competitors in that alone. From the website:
In the Hell Rush multiplayer mode, eight players compete in a frantic real time contest. Each player has the same resources as opponents to create a level playing field. With the clock ticking it’s a test of who can make the best decisions under pressure. Only a true speed demon can remain undefeated.

I feel this game deserves its' own thread and so lets share all the fun times to be had in this game!

Jubal77 on
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Posts

  • PinfeldorfPinfeldorf Realtor Santa ClaritaRegistered User regular
    This game hits all the buttons of Slay the Spire, but also tower defense, kind of. It's really incredible honestly.

    Jubal77sanstodoSatanIsMyMotorThe Escape GoatIolo
  • CantidoCantido Registered User regular
    Having never played Slay the Spite, I jumped straight to this because it simply looks faster. I don't even have to fast forward and units are slapping the shit out of each other with a believable amount of "weight" to it, like Darkest Dungeon.

    My initial concern is that healing is useless chaff in the deck because everything in my deck is Heartless (no healing allowed.). But I see there are multiple deck colors and this will inevitably change.

    3DS Friendcode 5413-1311-3767
    Jubal77
  • 3clipse3clipse I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    I accidentally played this until 3 in the morning, whoops.

    Jubal77schussPinfeldorfAegisFencingsaxThe Escape GoatIoloMNC Doverchrono_traveller
  • Jubal77Jubal77 Registered User regular
    I am still working on the last clan but so far my favorites are still the Awoken. I like to tank out with spikes. Only covenant 1 still as I always seem to run into counters. Need to diversify and look ahead, just having so much fun just killing thing,

    I agree cantino about the speed. In fact speeding it up makes the hit sounds speed up too and can be annoying heh.

  • FryFry Registered User regular
    My thoughts after watching a couple videos are, that this looks like Slay the Spire, but with all the unfun bits sanded off. Like how in Spire, you almost never actually want to take new cards, but in Train you usually do. Instead of one boring upgrade for each card, Train has a wide variety of ways to upgrade each card, and upgrades are pretty frequent. The map screen is much better, too.

    I feel a strong urge to resurrect my dead computer to try it out.

  • Jubal77Jubal77 Registered User regular
    With the unit and spell upgrading mechanic you can even make your machine butlers do work if you want. I am finding it kind of hectic as I learn and unlock new cards. Still at the first unlocked difficulty but im still just messing around.

    The difficulty of even the trash mobs jumps so quickly that you do need to plan ahead an upgrade your key areas. Which you get after every fight.

    I finally unlocked the last clan and im not sure if im a fan of the burnout mechanic or not. Seems like it could be really strong. I was looking forward to this clan for the harvest mechanic but I might just use them for a secondary group to go with the incant runs.

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    This game is marvelous.

    Building an Architect Penumbra and just loading the second level with 7 dudes, constantly chewing on Morsels, was deeply satisfying. I like how the feeding mechanic forces you to put your best dudes out front and take risks.

    Almost all my wins have come from front loading damage with a Quickened monster, though, tbh.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • Jubal77Jubal77 Registered User regular
    EM did you unlock the X gorge and force eat card yet? That is sooo good. I just had a run where I was hitting bosses for 2k+ dmg on spells because of stygian spell weakness stacking and just blowing them up with high dmg multi hitting upgraded spells.

  • SpawnbrokerSpawnbroker Registered User regular
    I've been trying to get a win on Umbra/Hellhorned and I just cannot make this pair work out for me.

    Maybe I should stop focusing on feeding and instead try to do weird stuff with X spells.

    Steam: Spawnbroker
    akjak
  • PinfeldorfPinfeldorf Realtor Santa ClaritaRegistered User regular
    I've been trying to get a win on Umbra/Hellhorned and I just cannot make this pair work out for me.

    Maybe I should stop focusing on feeding and instead try to do weird stuff with X spells.

    I have every combination of victories that doesn't include Umbra, and both Umbra/Awoken and Awoken/Umbra, but just can't see to make it work with any other clan. I would have thought Wax/Umbra would be easy but it really relies on having a couple of very specific cards to function. Also your guys don't keep their Gorge buffs if you recycle them, so the whole Morsel thing may just be a trap.

  • 3clipse3clipse I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    My immediate impression of Stygian is that they are absolute trash.

    Maybe they get better when you unlock things but all of their cards feel insanely low impact compared to Hellhorned or Awoken.

  • Last SonLast Son Registered User regular
    I had an absolutely disgusting game as Stygian/Hellhorned.

    2 of the little totems that have incant: everyone on the floor gets armor 1, an artifact that caused incant abilities to happen twice, and the artifact that causes all armor gains to give 4 additional armor. Every time I cast a spell everyone on the floor got 20 armor, which given I was playing Stygian I was casting 3-4 spells per turn.(Fun Fact, armor caps at 999).

    Then I got Battering Ram.

    With the various spells giving spell weakness I managed to hit Seraph in his stupid face for over 30k damage.

    FryJubal77PinfeldorfTeriferindestroyah87IoloCorp.ShephardElldrenMoridin889ArcticLancer
  • 3clipse3clipse I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    Stygian feels very feast-or-famine. If your synergies pop off you can just win on like, turn 5, but if you don't find the right stuff it offers almost nothing to other clans because the cards tend to be really weak on their own (vs. like e.g. Awoken where a couple Hollows and some healing cards can completely carry you).

    Mirkel
  • Jubal77Jubal77 Registered User regular
    I take it back. Burnout is fun. The tanks for the clan are fun I just need to make sure to bring awoken for the healing.

  • milskimilski UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ Registered User regular
    It feels like this game as a whole is very feast or famine. The nature of how absurdly the runs seem to ramp up over time and the huge and multiplicative impact of upgrades means most of my runs have either felt like I'm an invincible God of death or just limply waiting for death with little in-between.

    You can't write me off like that! You're just a voice, pal! You don't know a DAMN THING ABOUT RACING!!
    3clipse
  • MirkelMirkel FinlandRegistered User regular
    milski wrote: »
    It feels like this game as a whole is very feast or famine. The nature of how absurdly the runs seem to ramp up over time and the huge and multiplicative impact of upgrades means most of my runs have either felt like I'm an invincible God of death or just limply waiting for death with little in-between.

    I feel like trinkets are usually the biggest culprit for this as some of them are really powerful. In the last game I got one that gave all my demons multistrike. Having multistrike on one guy is powerful enough, but I was fielding about half demons at that point so it was a ridiculous power jump. Also things like the trinket that gives 2x spike damage or 2x regen healing are massive game changers if you play Awoken.

    3clipse
  • PinfeldorfPinfeldorf Realtor Santa ClaritaRegistered User regular
    I had a game today with a minion that had 113 attack! 9 times. And was Quick. I very much won.

  • 3clipse3clipse I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    Mirkel wrote: »
    milski wrote: »
    It feels like this game as a whole is very feast or famine. The nature of how absurdly the runs seem to ramp up over time and the huge and multiplicative impact of upgrades means most of my runs have either felt like I'm an invincible God of death or just limply waiting for death with little in-between.

    I feel like trinkets are usually the biggest culprit for this as some of them are really powerful. In the last game I got one that gave all my demons multistrike. Having multistrike on one guy is powerful enough, but I was fielding about half demons at that point so it was a ridiculous power jump. Also things like the trinket that gives 2x spike damage or 2x regen healing are massive game changers if you play Awoken.

    This is definitely true - even lower rarity ones like the trinket that dazes enemies that enter your Pyre room gives such a big amount of leeway so you can develop a build instead of picking just to stay alive.

  • Jubal77Jubal77 Registered User regular
    edited May 25
    I am not sure I entirely agree. As I unlock cards and do more runs I find that I can make a build that has a shot now of running deep every time. And as I watch the people on twitch who are in much higher covenants it seems that yes it is still a rogue like but you can build around the best of what you get and still have a shot. Just have to remove from deck and upgrade effectively.

    Jubal77 on
  • 3clipse3clipse I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    If I had one genuine complaint about the game it's that the sounds they chose for Fel and Seraph are obnoxious in the extreme. Not even in a satisfying, "man this enemy's a dick" way, they're just really annoying sounds that make me want to play on mute.

    Jubal77
  • Jubal77Jubal77 Registered User regular
    Yeah I hold down right click on some mobs/bosses because of that. Oh yeah holding down right mouse button does ultra + mode.

    3clipse
  • 3clipse3clipse I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    Okay, I take back every mean thing I said about Stygian. I just killed Seraph the Temperant before he even got on the train because I managed to find multiple Frostbite effects, a spell that doubled Frostbite stacks, and an artifact that gives extra Frostbite stacks and causes it not to decay. Had him up to 288 stacks by the end.

    Jubal77
  • Jubal77Jubal77 Registered User regular
    Yeah you can do the same with spell weakness. And that one doesnt decay.

  • 3clipse3clipse I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    That said I do think you need either Awoken or Hellforged in there as your main clan, because the Stygian and Umbra champions seem pretty weak on their own.

  • Last SonLast Son Registered User regular
    Stygian's frostbite and spell weakness lines are good if going heavily into those strats.
    The only Umbra champ I've found useful is the gorge one when I got a morsel maker+master on the same floor as him.

  • KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    this is very much scratching my StS itch, although it runs a little choppy on my Surface (with all the graphics etc turned down). Making my way through slowly, loving it.

  • MirkelMirkel FinlandRegistered User regular
    3clipse wrote: »
    Okay, I take back every mean thing I said about Stygian. I just killed Seraph the Temperant before he even got on the train because I managed to find multiple Frostbite effects, a spell that doubled Frostbite stacks, and an artifact that gives extra Frostbite stacks and causes it not to decay. Had him up to 288 stacks by the end.

    Just 288? I found out that the cap is 999. Funny thing is I almost died even so, my units were really crappy and my pyre was down to 18. Was worried that it dies just before the boss does, but thankfully all floors are resolved first and only then the surviving enemies ascend and the top floor fight starts.

    Managed to unlock the last clan but didn't have much luck with it yet. Somehow managed to get to the last boss fight and lost it by exactly 1 hp - boss was doing 3x10 and two of my units had 30 hp so they were precisely killed before they got to attack. Boss had only a few hp left when it smashed my pyre.

  • 3clipse3clipse I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    Mirkel wrote: »
    3clipse wrote: »
    Okay, I take back every mean thing I said about Stygian. I just killed Seraph the Temperant before he even got on the train because I managed to find multiple Frostbite effects, a spell that doubled Frostbite stacks, and an artifact that gives extra Frostbite stacks and causes it not to decay. Had him up to 288 stacks by the end.

    Just 288? I found out that the cap is 999. Funny thing is I almost died even so, my units were really crappy and my pyre was down to 18. Was worried that it dies just before the boss does, but thankfully all floors are resolved first and only then the surviving enemies ascend and the top floor fight starts.

    Managed to unlock the last clan but didn't have much luck with it yet. Somehow managed to get to the last boss fight and lost it by exactly 1 hp - boss was doing 3x10 and two of my units had 30 hp so they were precisely killed before they got to attack. Boss had only a few hp left when it smashed my pyre.

    Oh I mean it wasn't a Frostbite deck at all, it was a Large Plants With Swords deck that happened to get some cool Frostbite synergies in the last couple areas before the boss.

    I've got all the factions now, and Awoken really feel by far the most consistent. Hellhorned can put out a lot of unit damage but have very little sustain, and the rest are all either too utility or combo focused and they struggle to get off the ground until you beat Daedalus (meaning you frequently die at Daedalus). Awoken gives you a guaranteed tank in your champion and a lot of healing that can cover for gaps in your deck until you get some good drafts.

  • AegisAegis Not Quite TorontoRegistered User regular
    edited May 25
    First run of the game: These Hellhorned are neat, I like the multristrike and Rage, but they do seem a bit squishy.

    Second run of the game, as Awoken: I am INVCINCIBLE

    ...Incidentally, 5 1 mana starting heals that heal 2, regen 1, and deal 60, and triple 0 cost heal & deal 12 (thanks duplicate card pitstop), and double 13 Attack, Sweep, Quick Husk Hermits (thanks again duplicate card pitstop), is really stupid.

    Aegis on
    We'll see how long this blog lasts
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  • KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    yeah I haven't really figured out how to make Hellhorned work except for either Armor-focus or allying with Awoken so I can try to keep them healed. Still haven't won a run with HH yet.

  • milskimilski UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ Registered User regular
    I won with Hellhorned first run; I just got the "Your dude gets +10 damage on kill" for my main character, threw him on the first floor every mission, tossed him behind somebody else, and let him get to like 200 damage per round by the time the boss showed up.

    You can't write me off like that! You're just a voice, pal! You don't know a DAMN THING ABOUT RACING!!
  • 3clipse3clipse I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    Okay I know I said Stygian were bad and then walked that back, but Melting Remnant are actually so bad. A focus on quick cycling units doesn't work once you have like any amount of Covenent enabled and everything you play will just get one-shot. The spells also don't synergize at all with any of the other clans and in fact have pretty serious anti-synergy with most of them.

  • milskimilski UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ Registered User regular
    edited May 26
    Well, I had a run where I started with 2x of the 100-damage-to-everything card, 2x of the "all enemies get spell weakness 2" card, and the Snecko Eye equivalent (everything has a random cost, draw +3 each turn).

    Then I got a random event where I could choose to duplicate a card 1x or 5x.

    Y'know what's really funny? A deck that's 30 cards, 10 of which wind up being "deal 100 to every unit." Got all achievements for killing major bosses before they even get to act pretty easily.

    milski on
    You can't write me off like that! You're just a voice, pal! You don't know a DAMN THING ABOUT RACING!!
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    3clipse wrote: »
    Okay I know I said Stygian were bad and then walked that back, but Melting Remnant are actually so bad. A focus on quick cycling units doesn't work once you have like any amount of Covenent enabled and everything you play will just get one-shot. The spells also don't synergize at all with any of the other clans and in fact have pretty serious anti-synergy with most of them.

    Melting Remnant are extremely good. Their revive spells can revive units from other factions, which is quite powerful — you just have to focus on the spells that extend their burnout. I usually permafrost one or two of those so I can churn through them, or put revived units behind the tank who adds burnout when she gets hit.

    The 0-cost, high-attack, size 1 baseline troops are just fantastic. Ablative armour that buff themselves and get revived, or backline damage sources.

    If you make a fat monstrous Penumbra build and sit him on the first floor and just pound through enemy ranks until he dies, and then just... resurrect him afterwards, it's pretty hilarious.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
  • PinfeldorfPinfeldorf Realtor Santa ClaritaRegistered User regular
    I think Melting Remnant is the best clan, honestly. If you get a way to cut the wick or increase burnout on your champion and get him the burnout upgrade early, he just does the entire fight for you. They get guys that earn you money for kills or just seeing enemies die on their floor (two different units). And if you DON'T get that upgrade on your champion, you can get the upgrade where he rebuys one of your dead units every round, shove him on the top floor, and let your weenie idiots die on the ground floor and then they get super stronk. I especially like Melting Remnant coupled with Hellhorned and just rebuying rage and flame imps round after round after round, stacking rage on some big fucking idiot beefer demon and protecting it with an undending supply of fodder.

  • MirkelMirkel FinlandRegistered User regular
    I'm having trouble with Melting Remnant too. 0/2 wins so far at Covenant 1. I do fine against trash but then the relentless rounds for the boss fights ruin my burnout timers or I have bad luck and my best unit just happens to be in the graveyard when the relentless rounds start and I can't get it back. The clan just seems overly fiddly and prone to failing at crucial moments. Recycling HH imps was fun but didn't seem very powerful, second try was with Umbra and then you really run out of room on your floors. Dunno.

  • SpawnbrokerSpawnbroker Registered User regular
    edited May 26
    3clipse wrote: »
    Okay I know I said Stygian were bad and then walked that back, but Melting Remnant are actually so bad. A focus on quick cycling units doesn't work once you have like any amount of Covenent enabled and everything you play will just get one-shot. The spells also don't synergize at all with any of the other clans and in fact have pretty serious anti-synergy with most of them.

    I haven't played them at higher covenants, but they feel extremely powerful to me. I also saw a youtuber struggling with them and complaining about their mechanic feeling underpowered.

    You need your deck to lean in to one of two styles of play with them. Are you going to abuse Reform and intentionally sacrifice minions every floor to beef up your guys, or are you going to grab some of the burnout buff spells to stop your candles from dying. Do one or the other, don't try to do both.

    Grab the Burnout 3 hero and put him on the bottom floor every fight and see what I mean. Get a Molded in your deck, reduce it's cost to zero and give it Holdover ASAP and laugh your way to the win.

    This game really clicked for me when I realized that there are one or two key spells per faction that absolutely MUST be cost reduced or given Holdover so they're in your hand every turn. Hellhorned and Awoken are the exceptions because their units are so good. The other 3 factions you have to find a powerful synergy and devote all your gold early to getting it set up, or you'll die to Daedalus or Fel before you're up and running.

    There's a reason why the spell shop always gives -1 cost reduction as the first option every time. Its THAT good, use it as much as you can.

    Spawnbroker on
    Steam: Spawnbroker
    Aegis
  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    Also, like Slay the Spire, it's a good idea not to take cards if you don't have a use for them. Your deck will already be full of trash from the random starting cards most of the time.

    Since creatures stay summoned, you can end up with really thin decks once everything is deployed, just casting your best spells over and over.

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
    3clipse
  • 3clipse3clipse I will build a labyrinth to house the cheese Registered User regular
    What covenant are you all playing on? At Cov5, the starting Melting Remnant guys all die before acting, and revives don't help when the issue is that their base toughness is simply too low to have any staying power.

  • Evil MultifariousEvil Multifarious Registered User regular
    3clipse wrote: »
    What covenant are you all playing on? At Cov5, the starting Melting Remnant guys all die before acting, and revives don't help when the issue is that their base toughness is simply too low to have any staying power.

    At 4+ you have to put them behind something, or let them die to get beefed up and resurrected, or deploy them higher up and get some time for buffs or blockers to deploy

    The most annoying opponent for them is anything with a high volume of attacks, it's true

    Inquisitor wrote: »
    I fucking hate you Canadians.
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