Set out on a cross-country journey to win back the love of your life and endure the hardship of making story-defining choices that affect your life and the lives of those around you.
User reviews: Very Positive (789 reviews)
Release Date: May 21, 2014

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Includes 2 items: Always Sometimes Monsters, Always Sometimes Monsters - Soundtrack

 

Recommended By Curators

"A creative choice and consequence simulator that while not heavy on graphics and gameplay, is a very interesting "create your own story" game."

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August 13

50% OFF - Always Sometimes Monsters (Now With Demo)



Hey Vagabonds,
Just wanted to let you all know that Always Sometimes Monsters is currently discounted 50% Off until Monday, August 18th as we release the new Always Sometimes Monsters Demo!

The demo is a unique piece of content that's a little wacky, but completely original. Those of you who have already finished the game will definitely want to give this a look. We don't want to spoil anything, but there's some really neat connections it shares to the main game.

In addition to the demo, we're also releasing Patch 1.21
============================
- Fixed minor spelling errors
- Fixed rare bug where it was possible to be trapped in Ad agency
- Fixed minor text placement error
- Fixed minor bug with City 3 dealer quest
- Firewood Quest updated
- Fixed rare bug in Meat packing where it was possible to get stuck
- Miscellaneous
============================

Lastly, we wanted to thank all of you for your support thus far and appreciate all the e-mails, tweets, and comments we've received about the game. We'll have more surprises for you in the future.

All the best,
Vagabond Dog

8 comments Read more

Reviews

“Always Sometimes Monsters deals in chaos and quantum theories – in every second of our lives, we make choices that forever impact our timelines going forward, dictating whether we keep or lose friends, maintain a job or succeed in our goals. We are the masters of our destinies, Always Sometimes Monsters says – but we can't control other people's lives. That's where it gets tricky.”
4/5 – Joystiq

“It's an earnest look at life under tough economic pressure, at love when things don't go according to plan and at a creative career during its shittiest lows. It has a lot to say, and importantly, it speaks from the heart.”
8/10 – Polygon

“Always Sometimes Monsters isn't the first game to get clever with morality. It's not the first game that's had a few grey areas. It also isn't about either of those. It's about perspective. It's about empathy. It's about who we are and why we do what we do. That narrative is one of contradiction and hypocrisy, because that's what real people are about.”
9/10 – Eurogamer

Content Warning

Always Sometimes Monsters has content dealing with racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, mental health, sexual assault, child abuse, animal abuse, drug abuse, and suicide.

About This Game



Out of money and out of luck you find yourself heart broken and on the verge of collapse. Your landlord's taken the key back, you can't finish your manuscript, and your beloved is marrying someone else. With no choice but to handle whatever life throws at you, you set out on the open road on a mission to win back the love of your life. The story from there is up to you. Can your life be salvaged, or are we always sometimes monsters?

Choice
A story-driven experience focusing on relationships and emotional bonds rather than traditional RPG combat and adventuring. Indecision is your enemy and empathy is your weapon in a quest to earn one last chance to win back the love of your life.

Circumstance
Choose from characters of different gender, race, and sexual preference and live through the common experiences and unique hardships of each based on your selection. NPCs may treat you differently based on your gender, race, or sexual preference opening and closing different paths along the way.

Consequence
Each playthrough is filled with a staggering number of diverging paths that can be discovered through both overt actions and subtle choices in conversation. The journey you experience will be tailored to your personal ethical compass as your decisions both conscious and subconscious change your fate.



Download the original Always Sometimes Monsters soundtrack by LASER DESTROYER TEAM featuring 15 remastered tracks from the game. Available on Bandcamp.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7, or 8 (32-bit or 64-bit)
    • Processor: Intel Pentium 4, 2.0 Ghz or faster
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 1024 x 768 desktop resolution or better
    • Hard Drive: 500 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
48 of 71 people (68%) found this review helpful
72.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 3
Wow, this game is good.

I'm a sucker for any game with a good story and Alway Sometimes Monsters does not disappoint. Not only does this game feel real but it also makes you think. I really do enjoy the simple graphics and I just love games that let you chose your sexuality instead of forcing you to be straight.

I want more games like this.
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13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
13.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
Pre-emptive warning: I haven't spoiled any major plot points, but there are some tonal spoilers for one of the game's endings.

I err on the side of recommending this game, but I can't claim that it isn't very deeply flawed. Its main failing is that the story is about a lot of things, but the ending is 100% reliant on whether or not you "win back" your love interest. Personally, I thought it would be most satisfying to play a character initially very deeply set on reconnecting with his ex, but gradually coming to terms with the breakup and, in the end, letting the ceremony go uninterrupted. In this playthough, I had been successful in almost every aspect of my life: religiously keeping a journal, participating only in activities I believed in, and treating everyone with kindness. My character's future was promising. So, what ending did I get?

The one where I'm suicidal, nihilistic and alone because I couldn't bare the pain of losing my ex-girlfriend, who I'd had every intention of getting over on the way to her wedding. This is the only ending possible if you fail to "win her back", regardless of your other achievements or the way you've roleplayed your character. The game as a whole could be massively improved by the removal of the framing device at the beginning and end, as, for many endings, it fundamentally doesn't make sense and stands contrary to the story's themes. There's a fine post-credits scene, but it didn't negate my confusion at my character's hysterical response to making a perfectly fair, mature decision that, in my mind, caused him no great pain. It was a very "Huh?" moment for me.

As for the rest of the story, it's pretty good. Tonally uneven but not at all bad, and I genuinely enjoyed most of the campaign. The trip was gruelling but satisfying, with more than its share of close calls and poignant moments, and it felt like I was coming to the end of a long journey when I finally arrived at the ex's wedding location. It's not realistic, but there's a realness to it -- something humbling about the situations you're faced with, an earnestness in the way the game presents love, friendship, and hope. I guess that's why I felt degraded by the ending... I mean, how can my character be so nihilistic when the past month has probably been the most interesting in his life? He's learned so much, experienced so much, yet the game gives me a pitch-black failstate because I didn't adhere to the arbitrary goal. It's not only unsatisfying, but also troubling philosophically. I guess I would recommend this game with the cliche that you should focus on the journey, not the desitation... or play with the LI in mind. Either way.
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 19
Damn! This game is funny as hell! The story is hilarious! And..(spoiler shizzle) investing in Sandviches? Rap-lyrics as password for your Happy Pills? I find this quite creative. If you want to be amazed, well just play it, and enjoy :3
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 17
I think I would give this game an 8/10. I stayed up very late to finish it lol. Its nice to take a break from all of the first person shooter games and racing and simulators. This game was different. It expelled strong emotions you real feel for the characters. You have a lot of choice over what happens in this game. It would have been nice to be able to go back through
and do more once you've completed it, but there are 9 save file slots so if you save at certain points you can do that anyway. All in all I highly highly reccomend this game. It had a suprisingly long length to it taking around 10 hours for me to complete.
I HOPE A SEQUEL IS MADE!!!!
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41 of 75 people (55%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 8
It's very difficult to recommend this game despite its rather lofty goals, which I respect. However, it fails to deliver on practically any of them, including an engaging premise. The consequence-driven gameplay is little more than a thinly-veiled illusion and the "adult choices" amount to little more than having tosubject yourself to menial, boring minigames in the semblance of menial, boring labor to earn a paycheck. There's little reality here, despite all its claims to be more mature and adult.

I respect what the devs tried to do, but ultimately, they failed.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
10.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
So I don't usually write this sort of stuff but I felt like this game deserved an exception. So what I have to say about this game... Always Sometimes Monsters is simply engaging. Whitout giving away to much of it's stoyline, which frankly it is nearly imposible to spoil anything, this was one of the few games I've played lately that made made me actually care for my character and their outcome in the story. Maybe it's because you can be whomever you want and pick any choices you feel like, or maybe because this is a regular story about a regular person. Your character is not a hero, it's not a villian, they are just trying to get on with their lifes trying not too make any wrong choices, which is also kind of difficult because life is like that, at the end, you always have one or two wrong choices.

So, as a tl;dr, this game is one lil' neat indie game that explores so many issues, many of them feel wrong, some of them feel right. Just like life itself. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to expercience a different kind of story.
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4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 16
This game proove that the story building is the most important thing to develop while playing an RPG game... This game will for sure stay in your head for a long time and willing to re-play again to live the story even deeper! This game rocks and need to be more well know!
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40 of 74 people (54%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 10
I really wanted to like this game, but I haven't been able to immerse myself in this world for reasons that escape me. |

I LIKE pixel graphics.

I LIKE thought-provoking concepts.

I LIKE things that aren't based around world war whatever or aliens or zombies or goats.

Too many of the situations in the game come off as trite. However, maybe I will eventually come around to enjoy this, but as it stands the world is/was too bland and forced.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
23.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
First of all i'd like to state that i am not over-exagerating anything, and i'd also like to state i'm italian so i apoligize for bad grammar.


ASM is a romantic choose your own adventure game of two regular people that happen to be seperated.


Now i'm not gonna lie, i got the bad ending. And it was cruel, so cruel that it lead to me rethinking about everything in my life, the fact that i wanted to become a writer didn't help. I did tear up, alot. And well, this game left a print in my heart. Seriously this is up in my top 3 fave games.


Bad thing is, i don't replay games. I play them personally and what i would do in their situation, with the choices i made,


[SPOILERS]

i attempted to object a wedding, confessed my love, and got rejected, only to find out my best friend was getting married with my "ex-lover". This, hurt my feels. Because i grew SO attached to these characters, and in the end, where did he wind-up? Some homeless sh*thead living in the gutter. i felt for the dude, and almost shot him due to his misery. But i didn't. I couldn't. After this ending i definantly turned off my computer and took a long bath to think about my life.









11/10. Not even kidding. New Favorite.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
25.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 15
While it's not exactly strong in the gameplay aspect, the story and choices are more than enough to keep you going through till the bitter or sweet ending.
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7 of 11 people (64%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
Amazing game. Would eat fish from dubster again. 8/8
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22 of 41 people (54%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
God. This game tries, it really does, but for every element that could have been masterfully executed, it is marred by a trite and pretentious attitude about the whole thing.

I don't need happy endings, I don't need to be the hero, I don't even need to be straight in the games I play. What I do need, however, is fun, and there isn't any to be found here. As far as real life simulators go this is about as real as it gets, since bland scenario after bland scenario is churned out with the enthusiasm that is only matched by the main character (whom I've named Plod) as he lists his way through a life that could have easily been lived out on our own if we weren't to busy playing video games that were actually fun.

While the argument could be made of "That's the point, it's supposed to be about the world." it's honestly ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥, since games don't need to be disgustingly boring to make a commentary on common culture. If your game's biggest feature is the fact that your choices have consequences (read: 'molyneuxism') then it's not really a game is it?

Avoid this game at all costs if you value spending your spare time having fun. If you really want to play it, you can perfectly emulate the experience by wearing a flannel t-shirt, identifying as the opposite gender while being sexually attracted to that gender, sticking your thumb up your ♥♥♥, and thinking about how upset you'd be if you had to bury your grandkids right after your cis-gendered children were diagnosed with cancer.

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25 of 47 people (53%) found this review helpful
1.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 11
This is another game that tries really, really hard to be art, and fails on pretty much all counts.

The artwork, which was in fact made in RPG Maker, looks awful, and is yet another game that tries to use 'pixel art' to cover up a fundamental laziness with the over all design.

The story is trite, comes off as having a lot of forced conflict, and has some of the worst writing I've ever seen in a game. The choices are arbitrary, making more of a cosmetic difference than a substantive one, and never really feel important.

All in all, this game is a victim of the "style over substance" design philosophy, and ends up not even having a good style to cover the lack of substance.
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
Always Sometimes Monsters is frequently tedious and rife with things that shatter any suspension of disbelief. I had high hopes for this game, but it really fails to deliver on its promise of an open story of moral ambiguity in favor of a tedious romp through a poorly explained plot that looks like it was written by a 15-year-old going through their "edgy" stage. There is a lot to do, but none of it feels especially worth doing, and a lot of it affects nothing so far as I can tell. Maybe there's a point to buying crab rather than chicken apart from wasting money. Also, ideas like "Sandwich Furtures" traded at a terminal in a sandwich shop, banks that require a security question to make a deposit, and day care providers willing to overlook an allegation of terrorism on a criminal background check are all sufficiently stupid (and not actually funny) that they do nothing but detract from the story.

The characters are too close to being parodies of archetypes to feel truly endearing, and some of them are introduced to disappear completely from the game moments later. I stayed at a girl's house for nine days and saw her exactly once, despite the fact that the she seemed like she could be an interesting and dramatic character. Meanwhile, I have to deal with the Kurt Cobain / Courtney Love analogues far more than I want. Too often, the choices I wanted to make I could not, and the questions I wanted answered were not.

Production-wise, the graphics are bland and inconsistent Some characters look completely different in their close-up versions and their walking versions. The imagery is often too cartoony for how dark the subject matter is trying to be (although a lot of that "darkness" comes off as a ham-fisted attempt at shock value), but not cartoony enough to feel like more than a bland vaguely anime look. The sound effects are ear-bleedingly jarring at times, with obnoxious beeps and sudden bursts of animal noise contrasted by the near complete silence of the game world apart from the music (of which I have generally few complaints). Even when the sound effects are appropriate, the lack of other appropriate sound effects make them feel out of place. If that was a design decision, it was a terrible one, but judging by the overall production value, I suspect they just couldn't be bothered to put any serious work into them.

I'm glad I got this as part of bundle, because I'd feel cheated if I paid for this by itself.
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 20
Pros: you can name your character Hores and her lover Carot; can poo in toilet; works on my single-core potato with GeForce Ti4200 – am being proud much of it! ♥

Cons: 'Tis 0-thing is writ by a bunch of illiterate, demi-imbecilic, puberty-ridden hipster losers, to say the least... As to techinical problems: first time running, the game didn't steal the focus, making moi send different combinations of "WASD" letters to a quite splenitive acquaintance of mine, greatly enraging the crabby buddy whilst making the chat window look like a spilt' gaming-themed aphabet soup; also, if you try to reconfigure the joystick controls, the buttons you change simply refuse to work... and F12 quits without prompting – so good luck taking screenshots of old ladies ♥♥♥♥ing, or whichever other "mature" things you find in this game!.. ^_^
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5 of 8 people (63%) found this review helpful
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
Awesome game, choice drives you through a journey you make. Your decisions have weight and they will effect you. Nice game, I would love to see more with this game or maybe something else by this team where you full on create a character and have all the choice and things implmented; but awesome game. Took me like 10-11 hours to beat the game with one playthrough and I will probably play it again. Also its in a humble bundle right now so you can get it for a dollar, so you really dont have a reason to not get it!
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6 of 10 people (60%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 15
Traditional rating : 6.5/10
Personal Rating : "Worth trying"


Well, it brings back memories of playing an old RPG game on snes. Probably teenage from 2k era hardly enjoy this.
The story itself is fine, not so much to tell, and the gameplay seems like repetitive after a while. The game is made on RPG Maker, there's not many good games made from them, but this one is an exception.
I will divide this in pro & cons.

Pro
+ 16bit music, you know, for nostalgia reason?
+ Text based dialogue, you know, for nostalgia reason?
+ The story is the main courses in this game, It's not the story about you crush zombie's head or killing the monster, it's about you fighting your way out of this cruel world. Yes, the "Monster" is our society. You're trying to survive from harm of our social integration.


Cons
- Sometimes there's a choice in dialogue that if you choose wrongly it will end (game over) the game and start again from save points. This game only auto-save your progress between map/stages , the choice sometimes appear at the middle of the playthrough. It really sucked to start all over again. You know, if there's a choice it should be having a different outcome of the story, not end or make it "game over".

- Some events only triggered if you walk over it (old styles) and you can literally don't know what to do if there's no event triggered. So yeah, you will walk almost all over place to make the event triggered and thats kinda cheap trick, I belive I can make event triggered by any other means in RPG Maker.




TL;DR
Anything else is so-so, the story was fine, the artworks kinda meh, the soundtrack is more of nostalgia thing rather than good cover.
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17 of 32 people (53%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 14
The idea behind the game is good, but the title is ruined by money farming in order to proceed in the story. If you want achieve the best ending, you need an insane amount of money, and still the ending will be simply awful.
Also there is not a moral dilemma, since you can play as a bad or good guy, choices are always clear and you won't be forced to act badly to complete your goals.
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38 of 74 people (51%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 12
You'll notice that I only got 5 minutes on this game. Because I played the GoG version of this game already, and I just felt like increasing my game count on Steam when I got this off the latest Humble Bundle. Also because Steam requires me to play the game for 5 minutes before I can post a review. Don't let the lack of hours here influence your opinion, please. I'm sure my review below will show that I know the game. This review was also orignally going to be MUCH longer, but it turns out that Steam doesn't like it when I write too many words.

ASM is a game made in RPGmaker, which already earns it negative points because RPGmaker is an awful engine, that is all about your choices, expect not really. You're allowed to pick your character from a handful of characters in a room, and then you can pick your LI from a handful of characters in another room. Yes, you can choose to be a gay man, or a lesbian, because this game wants you to think its ~progressive~ when the entire game is written to be pretenious. The game has you going from town to town and sometimes experiencing flashbacks, trying to earn money and fix the "main problem" in each town so you can get to your LI and try to stop her wedding. Of course, you also get dialogue choices that allow you to say "Nah, I'm over her", but they don't matter and I'll tell you why soon. The game has four "towns" for you to deal with, with the first town having the most content. It's an awful place that lets you see first hand how choices don't matter at all. You did Option A? Ending A happens. Did Option B? Ending A still happens, but with a teensy-tiny variation. The only time where the game isn't sniffing its own ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ is in the second town when it decides to correctly say Republicans and Democrats are both terrible people who are in corporate pockets.

There are also flashbacks, as mentioned, about your college life and the life you had with your LI. These flashbacks, for me, only confirmed that my old college friend and my LI were both huge ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s who I would refuse to deal with if I had the choice, which I don't, because this game provides as much "freedom of choice" as a Fable game, but at least Fable can provide variations in the endings for each choice. Anyway, when you meet your LI, it turns out they didn't want you at the wedding, but your friend, who is marrying LI, invited you. The same friend that your LI told you to screw over and the same friend that your LI called a creepy little stalker. Turns out your friend managed to get a publishing deal even after you screwed him (guess your LI only wants to go with whomever is gonna get the deal), and the LI's father decides to confront you on your choices in the game, even through it doesn't matter, because all you can say is "I regret it" and "I don't regret it". You are also asked for the reason you're around, and I reconfirmed that I was around only to say goodbye to my LI. You're forced to go to Vegas and gamble because you probably only got $1000 to your name and you need $15000 if you want to buy a tuxedo and get the best "ending" for you and your friend (otherwise he dies or you lose your book deal).

Wedding happens, I let the girl go so she can get married, and yet despite me saying repeatedly that I did not want to get back with my LI, I turn out to become a bum because she was my TRUE LUV and without her, despite the fact that I could easily get a job and find someone else, I'm just a useless sack of ♥♥♥♥.

So I replayed it, this time going for the girl, slightly changing my choices, mostly taking the bad ones, dealing with that AWFUL boxing minigame in the third town, telling the parent I regret all my choices and I want the girl back, and then I win her back. Woo. Now my friend is the bum because she was his TRUE LUV even though he had his own book deal he could finish, and he was doing pretty god damn fine before he got with the girl.

This game doesn't respect your choices. It doesn't even care about them. It's a game about you being in true love with a huge ♥♥♥♥♥ (or huge ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ if its a guy), your friend being a ♥♥♥♥♥, and everyone you know being useless ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥s, except for the cowboy guy in Town 3, who was the only person in the game worthy of any respect. I was tempted to play a 3rd time and make all the worst choices, because I suspect so long as you say "I regret", you want the LI back, you make sure your book deal is safe and that your "friend" lives, you can get the "best end", which is you getting back with an awful person.

I regret the money I paid for for this game on GoG and regret the dollar I gave to Humble Bundle, since it included this piece of crap. 3/10, and that's only because I'm feeling generous. I wish Steam would increase the character count for reviews so I can really get into how awful this game is. Now to remove this piece of crap from my computer again.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
15.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 21
This is literally the best game i have ever played.

Its more than just a game to have fun. It is a story, your story.

It hit home with me if im honost, now how many games have you played that have done that? That make you just stop....speachless....and make you come to terms with the choices you've made and have to make to validate your previous choices, or just forget it all together?


-Spoiler warning, kind of, since things could change somewhat depending on you?-




I killed a man infront of his 4 kids to get a car to travel and see my Ex who I still loved and wanted to win back before she got married. I ended up finding out she was set to marry my old best friend. Threw a series of mistakes i ended up saving my old friend from getting murdered herself and I let the wedding go as planned so my ex could be happy at the expense of ruining my career and ruining my life.

All the time and effort I put in to getting to her at the expense of other peoples lives, sometimes literally, for my own happiness...and at the end of the day I made the choice at the expense of my life, for her happiness.

At the end of the day life is a cruel, shallow thing. The question is, how cruel and shallow are you willing to be for your own happiness? That is, if you even achieve it.
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