Mondealy Is Setting The Benchmark For Casual RPGs

After revealing an underground kingdom in his hometown of Mondealy, Michael inadvertently gets wrapped up in fantastic adventure.

Mondealy is wonderful. Without knowing much about it, I signed up to review it, expecting to smash through in a weekend or so. However, slightly delayed, I ended up taking it with me on holiday, playing on the Steam Deck. And it was one of my favourite bits of the holiday.

Developed by uglycoal and published by Valkyrie Intitiative, this narrative-driven RPG is the tale of an unlikely hero, Michael, some Sweet Tooth-like hybrids, deception, a fragmented kingdom, and big, beautiful hair. The latter isn’t a selling point, but what I’d give to have locks like Mikey’s…

With approximately 10 or 11 chapters with a prologue and epilogue tucked in for good measure, Mondealy is a relatively short modern-day fairytale adventure where you more or less save a kingdom from its demise, albeit indirectly.

Mondealy Review - Mike the shadow
Mike the shadow. Source: Steam

Mondealy Review (PC)

The story begins when Michael’s ex, Dary, advises that the former has been fired and is now unemployed. The two decide to hang out with this new found poverty/freedom concoction, with the option to go to the beach or an abandoned tower. Opting for the latter, I’m unsure if the beach gives the same outcome. I’ll let you know in a walkthrough, perhaps?

Without giving too much away, Michael somehow uncovers a path to an underground world and is immediately taken captive and presented to the King. Skipping all the drama, this only takes a couple of minutes as the monarch is pretty indifferent to Michael’s abrupt arrival, granting him a room and freedom of the kingdom.

It’s not that there’s a class system here and Michael isn’t within the fold, but he’s human. The folk of Dargratt are half human, half animal, and other than a few raised eyebrows, they’re pretty much accepting of him. Free to return home, the pull is too strong, and he returns to Dargratt and gets stuck into some quests.

Mondealy Review - Mike the adventure
Mike the adventure. Source: Steam

Super Furry Animals

I seldom play RPGs like this, usually because of the time factor, but it took about six hours of exploring almost all of what Mondealy had to offer on my first playthrough. Aside from the appeal of a relatively short game, the artwork and music had me at “hello”. There’s undoubtedly a chill vibe here with zero pressure, fear of death (unless you don’t look when crossing the road), and a cosy feel-good factor that’s the digital equivalent of a hot chocolate in the alleged “Summer”. Yes, I’m UK-based, thus bitter about the weather.

When compiling my notes, I saw that the Steam page compares this to Undertale and Oneshot. I’m not familiar with the latter, and in fear of breaking the internet, I wasn’t a fan of Undertale and found it overrated. That’s the truth, I’m afraid. With that in perspective, Mondealy is way better than Undertale. It’s like Deltarune without the comedy or combat. Err…

Once again, the presentation was spot-on and the story, while a little patchy, was very wholesome. In some deluded interpretation, Mondealy is almost a visual novel, where you get a couple of ‘choices matter’ dialogue moments and on-rails storytelling but complete freedom to move around the four districts in the game from a top-down perspective. In these moments, you are usually performing a fetch quest that is either related to one of the many side quests or to propel the story forward.

Mondealy Review - Mike the plank
Mike the plank. Source: Steam

Time For An Adventure?

So if it can be completed in about 6 hours, is it even worth it? Just to play devil’s advocate, there is an achievement to complete the game in 2 hours, so it is, in theory, a swift game. But…. as I said, the story is lovely, the artwork and music perfect companions (check out the Mondealy OST playlist on YouTube), and you’ll want to stay in town for as long as possible. Achievements are abundant; thus, expect repeat plays if only for the completionist in you.

Some of these achievements are missable, so all the more reason to play it again. But the bottom line is Mondealy is a lovely standalone fairytale with a modern twist. I can’t recall a recent title that satisfied me on completion without breaking a sweat as much as this did. It’s that good.


Mondealy isn’t likely to change your life, but it’ll enrich it for the time spent playing and discussing with your imaginary friends afterwards. Even though this isn’t a typical turn-based RPG (there’s no combat), it encourages me to play more titles from the genre. Or perhaps this is an exception and the benchmark for an indie RPG? Recommended! 

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