Created by a single developer, Koex Studio, Seduction: A Monk’s Fate receives it’s console port courtesy of eastasiasoft. The publisher very much appears to be invested in such titles. The likes of Z-Warp and Divination proving to be modest successes. Yet the practice is very hit-and-miss. And as this Seduction: A Monk’s Fate review will inform you, it’s not always as easy as it looks.
Seduction: A Monk’s Fate tells the story of a child orphaned at a monastery at a young age. Lee, as your character is known, has grown knowing little else than his humble monk’s life. However, he has recently been made to switch to a new room. Since doing so, Lee has a recurring nightmare about a pale woman. He attempts to talk to his superiors about this, but he is told that he is not pure and must meditate to clear his mind of sinful thoughts. Returning to his room he attempts to do so, only to find himself waking on an entirely different plane of existence.
The setup is fantastic. As is the visual style; painterly in it’s cutscenes and animated as if made out of paper during gameplay. However, the game falls down as it simply can’t find the right balance between brain scratching puzzles and frustrating challenge design.
While at first Seduction: A Monk’s Fate appears to be a metroidvania-style game, in truth it’s much simpler. You will be searching for items and doing a little backtracking, but only ever a screen or two. There’s no map, simply because there doesn’t need to be one. In fact, Seduction: A Monk’s Fate has more in common with Flashback. There are no combat challenges, but each screen presents it’s own challenge and often multiple screens will combine to reveal each puzzle’s answer in sequence.
This is the good part of Seduction: A Monk’s Fate. It does a good job of telling you what is needed, then leaving you to figure out exactly how to obtain these items. The bad part however, is when the game tries to add in tension-based gameplay.
Early on in the game a sequence will have you entering into a tunnel and being faced with a beast. This beast is uninterested in you, more concerning with the food on the floor. The task is simple: walk past the beast while it is distracted by the food. However, move when it is not and it will kill you almost immediately. Finding the sweet spot between movement and standing still will take far too many attempts.
The game itself is relatively short; easily completed within a couple of hours once you now how. However, it’s these sequences that will absorb all of your time, and not the brain teasers the game handles so much better. It’s a shame, as during writing this Seduction: A Monk’s Fate review we were genuinely enjoying the puzzle design and unique artwork. But ultimately, there’s too much frustration for too little reward.