While the name Monster Tale may indicate some of least-conspicuous naming conventions imaginable, the tale it weaves in its gameplay are reminiscent of one of the DS' most original black sheep games: Henry Hatsworth and the Puzzling Adventure. As you may recall, EA Tiburon had a small team working on a wholly unique game that blended action-platforming on the top screen with Panel de Pon-style puzzles on the bottom. Defeating foes in the puzzle realm kept them gone for good, but you could also access special powerups with skillful use of puzzling.
The ultimate boost was called "Tea Time," which cut to a study full of gentlemen sharing tea, then a giant golden mech flying past the Union Jack to aid Henry by bashing things senseless for a while.
Well, Henry Hatsworth may not have had its due on the shelves, but the team behind it aren't ready to give up the idea of hybrid action. Dubbing themselves DreamRift, the small team have broken off from EA and set up their own studio, and their first game has found a publisher in Majesco. NaviFairy first piqued our interest in their next title with their reveal last November, and now there's finally some meat on the bones of this project.
The above trailer shows a glimpse of the unique combination of combat and monster training. In theory, it looks like something between 'Metroidvania' and A Boy and His Blob. Except it's a girl--Ellie--and from the concept art, both she and and her monster can change forms depending on how you take care of him and what items you offer.
While the action looks similar enough to Henry Hatsworth, the idea of blending a monster-nursery with your combat is one that will likely have to be played to believed. And given the fact that DreamRift is still willing to take chances on ideas that have neither an established genre or a licensed character, we're hoping their experiment pays off in the end!
Monster Tale is scheduled for release into its natural habitat--the Nintendo DS--this March.