You say you like indie games, but when you moan about the low-budget, janky animation and dodgy visuals, one has to wonder if you’re just saying it to be kewl. Seduction: A Monk’s Fate is one such indie game that you can get on console, and here’s what I think.
For starters, the animation is a little ropey in places, but do you know what? I like it. If the game were an animation, I’d happily watch it as the art style’s pretty nice, but it’s the story that appeals most. Watch a film then, right? No, not really, as there’s some entertainment in the puzzles.
You play the monk Lee. Some years ago, his father asked for refuge at the temple, but he disappeared, and the monks take lil’ Lee on as their own. Raised by Uncle Wong and mentored by the abbot, he’s got quite a decent life, but something doesn’t add up in Seduction: A Monk’s Fate.
This may insinuate that there’s something saucy going on. There’s not. After a series of events, Lee finds himself in the underbelly of the temple, uncovering some mysteries as he goes along, plus demonic encounters that make you question what is real and what’s in his mind. What’s actually happening in the temple? Who’s that woman that keeps disappearing? And will my hair ever grow back?
Of course, I know the answers to these as Seduction: A Monk’s Fate is a relatively easy platinum as you can see everything – perhaps shy of some collectables – in one run, that’ll last a couple of hours depending on your problem-solving skills. There are a decent amount of puzzles in the game, and I’d say that a third of them had me stumped a little, thus enjoyable. Nobody wants a puzzle that’s too easy.
There isn’t any combat in the game. Instead, Lee will need to dodge a few baddies and complete a handful of QTEs with the d-pad. Otherwise, it’s straightforward. Anything that can be interacted with will show a ‘?’ once you approach, but they’re pretty damn small, so you might miss the odd thing. Equally, you’ll have to work out a few early problems using Lee’s praying ability. Not only does it get rid of evil, but it opens up new options, too.
Perhaps the most frustrating thing about Seduction: A Monk’s Fate is the speed at which Lee moves. He seems to jog but is perpetually underwater the way he does so. If you have to repeat a section or two (ask me about the well), it can push your buttons, having to wait for him to do the same thing again and again. While there are adequate checkpoints, sections like the Inside-like underwater sections are annoying as it’s easy to die from enemies, spikes and a lack of oxygen. It’s one-hit-kills, my friends.
But the positives outweigh the negatives. KOEX’s game, published by Eastasiasoft, is indie through and through. To me, his has a lot of charm – especially the atmosphere it instils. The background ambience is a little repetitive, but it perfectly suits the mood and sets the tone. Again, the graphics, though not everyone’s cup of tea, are effective, though some models are a bit sketchy. That’s a play on words – you have a journal with some sketches in it.
So what am I trying to say? Seduction: A Monk’s Fate is primarily about the story, and while I’ve finished it and know the conclusion, I have to say it was a little unexpected (in a good way), without any spoilers. The mythology is interesting too, and there aren’t many games that use seduction as a theme without donning some slutty shoes and fishnets. And that’s just the men. Nope, Seduction: A Monk’s Fate is tasteful (considering the deaths and sacrifices), and I’m going to give it a thumbs up. Seek it, friends.