The latest entry in the mega-popular monster collecting and battling series is here in the form of Pokémon Legends: Arceus. In an effort to nakedly capitalize on everyone searching for “games like Pokémon” to recommend some great mobile games, here we are with a list of games fit that exact criteria.
Whether you want just another way to play with the same pocket monsters you know and love, or want something that just takes the underlying features of collecting and battling to different places, this list has you covered with rock solid titles along with reviews to inform your choice.
Developer: ONECLICK GAME Price: $0.99
App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
Graphics / Sound Rating: User Interface Rating: Gameplay Rating: Re-use / Replay Value Rating:
The forces of good and evil, Heaven and Hell, are constantly at war. This time around, the conflict is being depicted through a kind of mish-mash of match 3, RPG, and Pokemon. It’s got the looks and it’s got the wacky combination of gameplay elements, but does Angel Salvation hold up under scrutiny? Yup, pretty much.
The general gameplay in Angel Salvation is very similar to most match 3 games with one notable exception: a given gem can be moved anywhere on the board - both horizontally and vertically - over any distance. Matching a given set of gems will power-up a team member of the same color and unleash an attack, which varies in strength based on how many gems complete the set. And individual characters can unleash special abilities when charged that run the gamut from healing to massive direct damage attacks. Then there’s all the collecting. Gems earned through combat and help points earned through, well, combat, can be used to earn new warriors that can then be incorporated into the group. And then enhanced with unwanted characters or evolved into stronger forms once they’ve leveled up enough.
Angel Salvation is a good looking game for sure, but it’s the combination of puzzle gameplay and monster collection that kept me playing until the wee hours of the morning. Matching up those gems and seeing them cascade into combo after combo, then watching the ensuing barrage of carnage is always a pleasure. And collecting, leveling, and evolving heroes is a major hook.
The same care and attention given to the visuals and the matching game hasn’t been given to everything, sadly. Menus are set up oddly at times; the way I can’t double-back to the main Heroes menu from any of the sub menus without hitting Back several times or jumping over to a different menu and back again is one example. The way fairly significant information - such as money required for enhancements - isn’t communicated clearly is another. But the largest issue is the need for a consistent Internet connection. Yes, for some strange reason Angel Salvation is an online-only game. Even though the online elements (namely friends) aren’t a major focus. It's still a great game overall, but being unable to play unless online is majorly restrictive.
Angel Salvation can feel unpolished in bizarre ways at times, and the Internet requirements create a pretty substantial obstacle in certain situations, but the game proper is actually pretty great. It combines role playing, collection, and match 3 elements incredibly well and it can be very difficult to put down when trying to earn enough tertiary characters to level up a favorite.
My neighborhood is apparently playing host to a menagerie of monsters. That’s okay because they’re of the cute and cuddly variety, but there sure are an awful lot of the little buggers hiding out around here. Good thing I can use Mobbles to catch them. Then pet them and love them and call them George.
Mobbles is an interesting combination of location-based and monster-collecting and raising gameplay. As long as there’s space available, a player can wander around just about anywhere and try to track one (or several) of the little suckers down. If they can get within a certain real world distance, they can attempt to catch it. If successful, they have a new little buddy to feed and shower with attention. This is where the second half of the game comes into play. Each little critter can be fed, bathed, played with, and put to bed. They each also have their own to-do lists that will reward bonus gems (used for buying stuff) or love (used to level-up a given creature) that run the gamut from tickling a specific number of times to simply feeding at a specific time of day.
Every creature in Mobbles has a distinct look (always cute), and every creature also has its own basic personality. Although for my money Gummy is about as adorable a cartoon iOS “thing” as I’ve ever seen. Having to put them to sleep once they get tired from too much activity, typically for about a half an hour, can actually be seen as a good thing since it prevents people from spending way too much time poking virtual cartoon monsters. And the features that constantly unlock for each Sploon, Gummy, Runka, and so on can be a major driving force to keep players invested.
Though they may be cute and numerous, and full of un-lockable wardrobe options, Mobbles can also be a bit of a let down for someone who doesn’t know what to expect. Finding, collecting, and trading monsters typically lends itself to training and battles as well, but those are two features that are decidedly not present here. This is not a battle game, it’s a virtual pet game. It’s important for anyone interested to understand that as there’s very little in the way of action, which can be a huge disappointment if it’s not expected.
So long as people know what they’re getting into, they’re bound to enjoy Mobbles. It’s an entertaining and family-friendly game designed to get everyone out of the house for a bit while they go looking for new specimens, not a collect ‘em, train ‘em, battle ‘em affair. Given the sheer amount of cute on display, I’m inclined to be okay with that.
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Developer: MegaCubic Price: Free for a limited period ($2.99 thereafter)
Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPod Touch
Graphics / Sound Rating: Game Controls Rating: Gameplay Rating: Replay Value Rating:
The premise behind Foodie the Bug couldn't be simpler, as all the player has to do is get Foodie from one side of the level to the other before the timer hits zero. In reality it's much easier said than done, and the time limit ends up being the source of much frustration.
The game is split into four locations, each containing five levels. Every level starts with Foodie sitting on a catapult, and with a downward stroke on the screen the player can launch the bug forward and into the air. As soon as this happens two additional events occur. Firstly, the timer will begin ticking down to zero, and secondly Foodie's energy bar starts to deplete rapidly. Once this bar runs out then Foodie will plummet to the ground and the level will be classed as a failure.
To top up the energy bar the player must constantly collect jelly beans that are scattered throughout the level. Control is easy, with tilts of the device moving Foodie up and down. As well as jelly beans, each level contains a myriad of power-ups and hazards to help and hinder Foodie. To add to this there are also a number of enemies around, and Foodie can only take three hits before the level ends.
Foodie the Bug also has a number of recipes to complete. This can be done by collecting certain food items that are placed in every level. Once to player has collected the required food types they can 'cook' the recipe, which will add it to their collection.
As much fun as the game can be, there are a number of issues. Firstly, power-ups have a nasty habit of being spawned right next to hazards, rendering them impossible to collect. The focus on beating the time limit also becomes frustrating, especially when the much-needed speed boosts are blocked off by hazards.
For the most part Foodie the Bug is an enjoyable game. Just be prepared to see the 'fail' screen over and over again.
Everyone's gaga for catching and training monsters. It's a shockingly popular genre, which makes its overall lack of representation on the App Store all the more odd. That's not so say that no one's ever tried, but there just aren't that many choices at the moment. Greyhound Games, with help from ZigZaGame, is looking to do their part by releasing Dragon Island.
The overall concept of Dragon Island is as expected: capture monsters, level-up monsters, evolve and combine monsters to create new monsters and fight other monsters with said monsters. What sets it apart from the scant few other games in the genre on iOS is the use of actual time instead of energy or mana, setting a specific lineup for monsters (think "batting order"), a sprawling map full of places to explore and dungeons. The dungeons are of particular note because they're not only randomly-generated, but can also contain special monsters, treasures, their own towns and even other dungeons.
Currently the game is about 75% complete (according to the developer), and they're looking to the community to take it well beyond the 100% mark. They've set up a Kickstarter page to raise funds so that they can include more of, well, everything. More monsters, more dungeons, more items and more game in general.
What's there is already looking really good (placeholder graphics notwithstanding). I'm particularly fond of the monster illustrations. And the thought of Roguelike dungeons in a monster-collecting rpg has me salivating something fierce. If anyone echoes my sentiment, then I urge them to look into Dragon Island. Don't forget to take a gander at the handful of monster images (20+ out of 200) in the gallery below, either. Also, "LOL" at Unhappy Bird.