Review: Monster Train First Class  Rides onto Nintendo Switch

Screenshot: Monster Train First Class You could tell I really liked Monster Train when I first played it. So it's great to have it available to-go on Nintendo Switch. Monster Train First Class is the same Monster Train you can play on PC and consoles, but it comes in a complete package with all DLC included for Switch. Monster Train First Class is a roguelike deckbuilding card game where you play as a group of hellish minions driving a literal monster train into the heart of hell. Hell has frozen over, and your train’s pyre is the way to reignite it, and reclaim hell for yourself. To do this, you’ll have to fight against heaven’s champions, but you’ll have plenty of chance to upgrade your decks, cards, and monsters along the way to create a fun synergy that can take down even the mightiest of foes that Monster Train can throw at you. First Class means that The Last Divinity DLC is included, which adds the Wurmkin clan with their two heroes and entire deck of unique cards, as well as a new champion for heaven, with their own minions and challenges. Screenshot: Monster Train First Class Monster Train First Class is the complete version of Monster Train, which brings the available number of decks, or “clans”, available to play as up to seven. Monster Train has a game mechanic where you can mix and match decks, with one deck being the primary and the other acting as a secondary. Whichever is your primary deck also determines who your champion will be. You start off with one choice, but as you play each deck you unlock more (and more powerful) cards as well as a second champion with its own abilities. Whether you win or lose a run, you work towards deck progression, so if you’re repeatedly hitting a wall, you’ll eventually get better cards to help push you through your roadblock. I love deckbuilders that have the possibility for extremely fun synergistic builds, and Monster Train is definitely one of the best for this. There are a number of different ways you can build each deck, and depending on which artifacts, spells, and minions you collect on your way to ignite hell’s frozen heart, each playthrough can feel extremely different. The biggest gripe I have with Monster Train is how simple its map is—you only have a binary choice after each battle on the direction you want to take. Each path is usually a trade-off between various merchants and other upgrades, and can feel unexciting after playing for dozens (hundreds?) of hours. Screenshot: Monster Train First Class While it’s already insanely replayable, if you want more of a challenge Monster Train allows you to increase your covenant rank so you can test your limits, or set the difficulty right around where you like it. There are also daily challenges that you can partake in, including multiplayer races and daily challenge runs.   Monster Train First Class is a great fit for the Nintendo Switch, and the port is well done. While it isn’t as smooth as I would have liked it to be, it’s still a great experience, docked or portable. The ever-so-slight sluggishness of the menu plus using a controller took me a bit of adjustment, however.  Unfortunately, Monster Train First Class doesn’t take advantage of the Switch’s touch screen capabilities, but it’s not a huge loss. Screenshot: Monster Train First Class If you’ve been waiting for Monster Train First Class to come to Switch, or if you’ve never heard of it before, today’s your lucky day. Monster Train First Class bundles in The Last Divinity  DLC and includes all of the great content from the base game. If you like deckbuilders, Monster Train is one of the best.   Monster Train First Class is available now on Nintendo Switch.       If you like the video game, tabletop, or other technology content that Third Coast Review has to offer, consider donating to our Patreon. We are the only publication in Chicago that regularly reviews video games, and we cover lots of local Chicago-based events and more. If you want to contribute to our coverage of Chicago’s video game scene (and more) please consider becoming a patron. Your support enables us to continue to provide this type of content. You can also catch us streaming games we’re reviewing and staff favorites on our Twitch channel.  
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Antal Bokor

Antal is video game advocate, retro game collector, and video game historian. He is also a small streamer, occasional podcast guest, and writer.