Coromon – A Good Game That’s Not A Pokémon Clone
Coromon by TRAGsoft is out on the PC – Steam, Android and iOS, with a Nintendo Switch release to be announced later. If the game looks familiar, it’s because it looks a lot like Pokémon. And while there are many similarities that embody the joy of monster-catching, collecting and development, there are ways that Coromon is very much its own game.
Set in a charming pixel-art world, Coromon is a bright zesty new take on the monster taming genre. It has the core of a Pokémon adventure as in the monster collection and a similar battle system. But it differs in a few ways. There are over 120 Coromon to catch, each with their own types and skills, and you can battle other players with your squad online.
Aside from various differences compared to traditional elements from games of the genre, quality of life improvements are also a godsend. The ability to teleport/fast travel early on is great, especially as side quests begin to pile up. Compared to its influences, Coromon is generally a more rewarding experience, and if you choose, a more difficult one. Which makes the overall catch and collect grind more interesting.
But let’s get into the review so you can learn more.
A Familiar Story In Coromon
The story in the game is a similar start your own adventure story. Local boy/girl leaves town for the big city. You begin your story with your dream job as a Battle Researcher for Lux Solis. After you select your starter Coromon, your journey begins. While many elements have been explored before, Coromon does a good enough job of providing a narrative that pushes you along. What starts off as a new job soon changes to one much larger in scale. Not a mind-blowing story but it’s interesting enough to get you through without being bored.
The core gameplay loop involves navigating from area to area, battling trainers, catching Coromon, solving puzzles, and completing quests. The main quest revolves around six Titan bosses which are multi-stage battles and generally a breath of fresh air compared to typical boss battles.
Despite the familiar experience, Coromon has some novel ideas related to its core systems.
Such as your attacks that are tied to a stamina bar (SP) instead of Pokémon’s PP system. That system limit attacks based on a set amount of uses, but in Coromon each move costs a certain amount of stamina to execute. Once your stamina is depleted, you’ll have to rest for a turn (or consume an item) to replenish your stamina, leaving you vulnerable to attacks.
As you level-up monsters through experience points, a separate potential meter fills to upgrade individual stats like attack, defence, or HP. It’s a minor inclusion but, for those who enjoy digging into the deeper aspects of the turn-based meta, it affords a greater level of personalisation over your team.
As such, the rhythm of Coromon’s battles feels slightly more strategic. In that, you’re encouraged to use powerful attacks sparingly to maximise the most efficient use of your stamina gauge.
Flexible Difficulty Settings
With regards to the gameplay difficulty, there are multiple difficulty modes that apparently alter “fundamental mechanics”. There’s a built-in Randomizer and Nuzlocke mode, as examples. While the default settings present a decent challenge, players are free to select easier or harder difficulties.
Nuzlocke mode is a set of fan-created rules designed to make Pokémon games harder. In it, players must release any monster that faints and is only allowed to capture the first Pokémon they encounter in each new area.
In Conclusion of Coromon
Coromon does a lot to set itself apart from a simple Pokémon clone. There’s deeper gameplay and a lot of modern-day improvements that Pokémon could learn from as well. Aesthetically the game is beautiful and battles with backgrounds matching the environment you’re in are a great visual change.
You might simply write off Coromon as a copy of other games. But think of it as more of a game inspired by previous works. While the inspiration is obvious, various design choices within the gameplay are clear upgrades. If you are a fan of monster collecting games, Coromon is differentiated enough to give it a try.