Coromon is the latest game from developer TRAGsoft and publisher Freedom Games. Coromon, which calls itself a “creature collector” game, proudly proclaims itself as “a modern take on the classic monster-taming genre.” How much of that claim holds true? I took a dive into Coromon to find out for myself, and I came up with some mixed feelings.
Before I get into the game’s flaws, it would be criminal not to mention the beautiful pixel art style. The art of Coromon is fantastic, and I can honestly recommend it on that fact alone. Despite everything I’m going to say below, if you go into Coromon with a realistic understanding of what the game is, then you will probably enjoy yourself. My biggest gripe with the game is exactly that. You can take one look at it and know what exactly what you’re getting.
Let’s start out by calling Coromon what it is. When Coromon calls itself “a modern take on the classic monster-taming genre”, that genre in question is less of a genre and more like a single franchise. Coromon is Pokemon, and I don’t say that to be rude. More than just an inspiration, this game takes everything from its gameplay, to its world design, to the structure of the plot and tropes straight out of the Pokemon series. It does it so blatantly that looking at the game itself gives you an uncanny valley kind of feeling, because it is quite literally just Pokemon with the creatures changed.
Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. One thing Coromon definitely has going for it is its’ monster design. None of the creatures you tame and battle with in Coromon look like bootleg versions of Pokemon, with each one feeling like a fully unique and visually interesting design. The roster of monsters in Coromon are most certainly not a recolor of that featured in Pokemon red or yellow.
Everything else about the game feels like a Pokemon fan game, though. The gameplay is basically a direct copy of any pixelated Pokemon game, which is what you would expect from something like this. However, this feeling goes beyond the gameplay. To quote the Steam page for Coromon;
“The sun begins to dawn on Velua, a new day for the world and a new day for you, a freshly minted Battle Researcher of the global research society known as Lux Solis. It’s your first day and everything goes smoothly until a mysterious force attacks your latest workplace. Build up a squad of Coromon, track down the invaders, and grapple with a rising threat that endangers everyone on Velua!”
Something about that just feels… icky. It sounds so close to the usual tropes of a Pokemon game that you could have told me that was the plot of the next installment and I’d believe you. This sort of ties into my main problem with this game. It’s just a legally distinct monster trainer game without too much more to offer.
Pokemon-inspired is one thing, but I would expect a game inspired by Pokemon to do its’ best to pull away from a lot of the tropes and systems featured in nearly every Pokemon game and try to do its’ own thing. Coromon, in my opinion, does not.
It certainly tries, in some ways. You can deeply customize the actual gameplay, with each difficulty offering something new to the game beyond just stat changes. It also includes a built-in Nuzelocke feature, which is cool, but again just feels like something you’d hear about in a Pokemon fan game.
The game certainly has an identity crisis, too. At times, it feels like Coromon is blatantly making fun of Pokemon, throwing up a “this isn’t your grandma’s monster collector!” front. Then, it feels like the game immediately backs up on that premise and seemingly tries to be as much like Pokemon as it possibly can be.
The game also features some flaws in the Pokemon-style gameplay that to me are a little too glaring to overlook. A lack of dual-type creatures creates some simple monsters, which leads to simple battles. The Potentiflator, which as far as I and other players know is the only way to increase your Coromon’s potential (which is sort of like their power-level,) has a chance to fail, and can only be attempted once per Coromon.
The Final Word
I debated hard about the rating of this game, but it’s like I said, if you know exactly what you’re getting into Coromon is still a decently good time. It lacks depth, and I feel like it drags on too long for what it is, but if you’re just looking to play an incredibly pretty Pokemon game it is kind of hard to argue with Coromon’s price.
Our Coromon review was written based on the PC version of the game. Find more detailed looks at popular and upcoming titles in the Game Reviews section of our website!