Pokémon is one of those titles that is pretty much unlimited in terms of content and that content is expanded every single time a new game comes out. But what if you want to play a game that’s similar to Pokémon? So we’re looking for sprawling role-playing games that feature monster-capturing and monster-battling mechanics. There aren’t as many of these games as you’d hope, so that’s why I decided to work on a list with some of the games that are remarkably similar to Pokémon. As usual, feel free to share ideas or even your own version of the list in the comments down below.
5. Fossil Fighters (Nintendo DS)
In Fossil Fighters, you assume the role of a boy who has just moved to Vivosaur Island, a place where you can dug up fossils. By using the touchscreen, you can clean those fossils. Once you’ve cleaned fossils successfully, you can extract their DNA to revive dinosaurs-like monsters called Vivosaurs. You can use Vivosaurs for fighting and winning those fights levels up your rank which grants you access to more areas where you can dug up more fossils. A sequel called Fossil Fighters: Champions also came out in North America for the Nintendo DS.
4. LostMagic (Nintendo DS)
LostMagic is a real-time strategy game for the Nintendo DS. The game combines two main mechanics: a magic system and the ability to capture monsters. In the game you assume the role of a mage and since he can’t use physical attacks, he relies on magic to face enemies. Most enemies can be captured via spells and once they are under your control, you can use them in battles.
3. Monster Rancher DS (Nintendo DS)
Although usually described as a life simulation game, I think the Monster Rancher series has much more in common with Pokémon than with Harvest Moon or Animal Crossing. One of Monster Rancher’s most distinctive qualities has always been the ability to create monsters from physical media. In the PS1 and PS2 eras, you could use random CDs and DVDs from your collection to do so. Unfortunately, that functionality was lost in the portable version. In the DS though, you can create monsters drawing in the touchscreen or singing in the microphone.
2. Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker (Nintendo DS)
Although Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker is a spin-off, the game features some of the most characteristic aspects of the Dragon Quest series, like Akira Toriyama’s unique art style. In the game, the main character wants to become the world’s best monster scout, so that he can tame some of the fiercest creatures in existence and use them in battle (sounds familiar?) Up to three monsters can be controlled in battle and, since you can’t control monsters directly, you can set AI patterns. A sequel, appropriately named Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2, came out in 2010.
1. Digimon World DS (Nintendo DS)
The Digimon World series was conceived in the PlayStation era, but while I enjoyed those games, I admit that they have their fair share of issues. Arguably, Digimon World DS was one of the best titles in the series (others prefer Digimon World Dawn and Dusk.) In the game, players assume the role of a Digimon tamer and embarks on a journey to capture 230 creatures. The game features Wi-Fi and local connectivity, so if you want to play against others, this game is for you.
These are some games that were considered, but didn’t make it to the final cut: Spectrobes.