More and more AR mobile games have been popping up since the arrival of the worldwide hit, Pokémon Go. One example that has similar mechanics and may pique your interest is The Witcher: Monster Slayer. It’s an action-based RPG that lets fans of The Witcher series relive the main game’s world. How does this mobile game fare against some of the widely-played AR titles, then? Find out in this The Witcher: Monster Slayer review.
Inside This Article
What Awaits You in The Witcher: Monster Slayer?
The Witcher: Monster Slayer lets you track, hunt, examine, and go head-to-head against the fiercest monsters. What makes it different from the titles in The Witcher series is that the monsters that await you exist in your environment. That means you have to track them down with your phone in the real world to play. In a nutshell, the experience is like playing Harry Potter Wizards Unite or Pokémon Go.
The game got released for mobile in July 2021. It is based on the famous triple-A game franchise, The Witcher. Thus, it is no wonder that the in-game happenings are also set in the latter’s world. But in The Witcher: Monster Slayer, you play as a customizable character instead of the popular series’ protagonist, Geralt. Speaking of Geralt, note that The Witcher: Monster Slayer isn’t connected to his story at all. It takes place before the events of the main game, so you won’t meet him on mobile.
Every game has a goal, even AR ones like Pokémon Go or Harry Potter Wizards Unite. The same applies to The Witcher: Monster Slayer. What you need to accomplish in it is simple: to rid your realm of monsters. You can do so by engaging the beasts you see on your map in battles. We’ve already tackled a bit what you can do in the game, but let’s discuss the gameplay in detail below.
When you start the game, you’ll be reminded immediately of The Witcher series. You plunge into the world and begin the game as a recent graduate from the Witcher Wolf School. As you make your way out of the institution, you encounter a merchant who aids you on your first mission. This person joins you on various quests that give you coins in exchange.
After this point, the game feels a little less like a game from The Witcher series. That’s because the lore isn’t so evident; the developers had to make it more suitable for the platform. Nonetheless, it’s a decent starting point for anyone new to the franchise.
If you are new to the series, then here’s something you should know about Witchers: they’re monster hunters who have traded their humanity away. These people have mutated several times, allowing them to gain superhuman qualities that monster slayers require. However, even with upgraded strength as a Witcher in-game, you can’t always withstand the fights without help.
Given that a Witcher isn’t an omnipotent being, The Witcher: Monster Slayer players like you must sufficiently prepare before you jump into battle. There are multiple things to consider, including the monster’s sword weaknesses and the useable oils and potions. Moreover, you have to think about the sign (spell type) you should use and the pros and cons of each. We’ll expound these below.
Like in The Witcher 3, the most important element to prepare is your weapon. Witchers usually have two swords on them: silver and steel. The former is the best choice for defeating monsters. However, if you are going to face off against something else, steel is the better option.
Unfortunately, you go without a silver sword by default, leaving you crippled at the start of the game. That means you have to rely on other things, which brings us to these two in-game supplies: oils and potions. These things are essential, and while potions may be toxic in The Witcher franchise, that isn’t the case here.
Additionally, preparing oils is essential if you want to strengthen your sword. Various oils will help you prepare your weapon against different monster types. But unlike what’s common in the series the mobile game takes inspiration from, you don’t need to prepare one big batch of oils. You’ll apply the whole of it to your weapon.
Apart from oils and potions, you’ll also need to study the monsters you encounter. Some creatures are weak to specific attacks and elements, so keep that in mind before you engage or choose a sign to specialize in.
The adventure might be easy initially, but improvements are a must along the way. Thus, it pays to know how you can advance in The Witcher: Monster Slayer — progress like you would in RPGs.
In the game, arm yourself with weapons (swords and bombs) and then buff yourself with items (oils and potions). As you annihilate monsters, you’ll gain more items and ingredients. These are good for crafting more or better items and weapons, allowing you to progress much easier than without the said supplies.
In addition to drops, you also get experience points after slaying monsters. Once you gain enough, you can level up. This will cause the monsters around you to level up too; they will become stronger and harder to defeat. In this stage, attribute points will matter the most as you can allocate them to different qualities. Those include combat, signs, and alchemy — with prioritization left to you, the player.
Apart from battles, you’ll also engage in numerous quests. These quests vary in difficulty and provide different rewards depending on their nature. You can then use the rewards (usually coins) to purchase and craft various materials. For example, you can use them to craft a specific potion or oil that heals or deals more damage. Alternatively, you can also craft equipment if you need those more.
Merchant and Item Purchases
Unfortunately, like most free mobile games, The Witcher: Monster Slayer has a lot of microtransactions. The most common one you’ll encounter is those for potions and oils. These items are essential to winning and something you can’t go without.
Of course, you can craft these items if you gather enough ingredients. These can come in the form of drops from monsters you defeated. However, if you prefer not to grind, you can purchase potions directly with coins — the in-game currency.
Speaking of coins, you can earn these within the game, but it won’t be easy. The best way to earn them without shelling out anything is by completing quests and daily missions. These can offer you anywhere between 50 to 100 coins each mission, and you get about three of the said activities a day.
Like potions and oils, good gear and equipment also cost money. You’ll need to cough up a bit of real-world cash to get them if you want them quickly. They’re great for combat and are almost essential to stand a chance against tougher bosses.
Now onto what makes The Witcher: Monster Slayer play similarly to Pokémon Go and Harry Potter Wizards Unite — the map it offers. With the map, you can navigate areas to find quests and monsters. You’ll encounter monsters fairly frequently for the most part. The game also adds a bit of realism because real-world time, weather, and location affect what you experience in-game.
Again, there’s not much difference between The Witcher: Monster Slayer and Pokémon Go. However, it’s the quests that make the former unique because they don’t stay in one place. Once you encounter a quest, you’ll be redirected to a different place, forcing you to walk farther. Of course, you can relocate these quests if they land somewhere sketchy. However, you can’t control where they end up, so you’ll still need to walk.
Unfortunately, while The Witcher: Monster Slayer performs decently, for the most part, it isn’t perfect in this regard. The user experience isn’t all that great while using the map. For example, some updates and renders take long to appear when you’re out and about. It can even take a few minutes before the assets load, so you could potentially walk past monsters and goods.
Of course, you can circumvent the walking mechanic if you choose to play from home. The developers know that not everyone wants to travel far to play, so they’ve come up with a built-in system to allow that. If you choose to go this route, the map will be riddled with monsters even without movement.
However, the game does encourage players to walk around. Doing so increases the number of monsters and quests. If you stay in one place, chances are you’ll encounter the same monsters over and over. Furthermore, being stationary means that you won’t find as many quests as when you’re traveling. It’s also a little counterintuitive because The Witcher: Monster Slayer, as an AR game, was created with travel in mind.
Excited to test the gameplay and experience the fun yourself? If yes, you don’t need to download The Witcher: Monster Slayer APK to begin your journey. The app can run on iOS and Android straight from the official mobile stores, allowing you to play from almost any mobile device. However, it does have compatibility and system requirements to run smoothly.
If you want to play The Witcher: Monster Slayer iOS version, you’ll need iOS 12.0 or later. It also needs a device that can support Apple’s ARKit. Hence, it’s only compatible with iPhone 6s and later devices. For a list of compatible iOS gadgets, see this list from Spokko.
The Witcher: Monster Slayer essentials for Android are nearly the same. All you need is an Android gadget that supports AR-Core. To know all supported smartphones, see Spokko’s list for Android users.
Tips for Beginners
For interested or newbie AR gamers, here are some tips to bring out your A-game or improve your experience in The Witcher: Monster Slayer.
1. Ditch the AR
AR games like The Witcher: Monster Slayer have their perks. The biggest allure of these is arguably the ability to see characters in the “real world”. The same is true for The Witcher: Monster Slayer as it can be engrossing to see its characters in action.
However, as immersive AR is for games like these, it also has downsides. For example, using the AR feature kills the phone battery quicker than playing regular games. Hence, you’ll trigger only a few fights outside before you need to get home and charge your gadget.
Moreover, while the graphics of The Witcher: Monster Slayer are good, they look a bit out of place in AR. They don’t truly fit in the background or surroundings and look a bit ridiculous in real life.
That said, we’re not saying you should ditch the AR entirely. You can still keep it on while walking around or preparing for battle. During a fight, though, we recommend turning it off; that will maximize the experience.
2. Learn the Attacks Thoroughly
There are multiple attack types in The Witcher: Monster Slayer, and it’s important to know which to use. Thankfully, the game does tell you what kind of attacks a monster is weak to before you begin a fight.
Fast attacks require quick finger swiping, but keep in mind that your character’s animation can only go so fast. On the other hand, strong attacks require more timing and precision. It would be wise to learn these moves in the practice area beforehand (found on the home screen).
As for critical hits, these deal a lot of damage to the monster when they’re weak. They only come up as your critical hit meter fills up (the yellow bar at the top). Once this happens, you’ll get a chance to hit the monster with a critical hit, indicated by a yellow circle. You can tap the screen once the circles align; that will deal a big blow.
3. Learn to Defend or Parry Wisely
Defensive maneuvers are crucial to winning battles as they lessen the damage you take each battle. To do so, tap and hold at the right time, and your player character will block the attack. That won’t negate all of the damage dealt, but it will reduce it to a smaller amount.
However, if you’re facing an enemy on medium or hard difficulty, regular defensive strategies might not work. In these cases, it’s better to learn and perform Perfect Parries. How to execute those, then? Wait for a window of opportunity indicated by red markers over the enemy. Once you see it, prepare to defend with a Perfect Parry right before you get attacked.
4. Cast Signs
The Witcher: Monster Slayer is a lot like other Witcher games, so it also incorporates a bit of magic. As mentioned, the spells are called “Signs” in-game, and they inflict elemental damage to various enemies. While you are free to go with a melee-centric strategy, magic makes you even more powerful.
At the onset, you are given Igni, the element of fire. You can cast this during a battle as long as you hit the game interface’s bottom-right button. Afterward, trace the Igni sign that pops up on the screen.
Casting spells are crucial to winning battles, and they’re also hard to mess up. The game goes into slow motion as you’re casting one, so it’s easy unless you aren’t paying attention. However, remember that monsters will attack right after you cast, so be prepared to defend quickly.
5. Don’t Fear Failure
Fighting against monsters in The Witcher: Monster Slayer can be difficult. That’s why failure is inevitable in some scenarios, especially when you have weak equipment and items. Nonetheless, don’t be scared to lose a fight because sometimes, it’s the only path to victory.
What do we mean by this? Well, fighting against medium- or hard-level enemies can be frustrating, especially on the first attempt. That’s why we recommend not taking any valuable items with you at first, so you won’t lose any of those precious supplies after losing. Instead, jump in and try learning the monster’s attack patterns first. Once you’ve studied them enough, you can try again with stronger gear and items at the ready.
Is The Witcher: Monster Slayer Good?
The Witcher: Monster Slayer will be fun to play if you already like AR games like Pokémon Go. Its mechanics are similar, and the game forces you to walk around to meet your goal. Moreover, it progresses like a regular RPG, incorporating hybrid mechanics into one mobile game. The gameplay is also similar to that of The Witcher’s, so you’ll familiarize yourself with it quickly if you are a fan of the series. It’s enjoyable and addictive.
However, The Witcher: Monster Slayer does have its quirks here and there. As mentioned, those are the long load times of the interactive map and the tough grind for progress. After all, items and weapons aren’t cheap, and crafting them will take time unless you are rich and have cash lying around for microtransactions.
Overall, The Witcher: Monster Slayer is an AR mobile game good enough for The Witcher fans to enjoy. And even if you’re not a fan of the franchise, it is capable of pulling you into the world of Witchers and make you want more games based on it. You’ll have to face the disadvantages we’ve mentioned, though.
Is The Witcher: Monster Slayer Free?
Yes, The Witcher Monster Slayer won’t require you to spend real cash while playing on Android or iOS.
Is The Witcher: Monster Slayer Playable When You’re Offline?
No, The Witcher Monster Slayer requires a network connection to run. It cannot be played offline.
Is The Witcher: Monster Slayer a Pay-to-Win AR Game?
No, you do not have to pay to win in The Witcher: Monster Slayer. You can grind for your desired items and needed experience points by playing the game — although it takes time. The game’s in-app purchases, which make progression easier, are optional.