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Coromon demo hands-on preview

Coromon

Welcome to the world of Coromon! Which… stands for something I think. But that’s besides the point, someone else is trying their hand at the collectible monsters game and maybe this time they’ll do it right (or at least better than Robopon).

With Steam’s Next Fest underway, celebrating upcoming games on the PC distribution platform; now is the perfect chance to give the game a try before its release on March 31st.

Coromon
Developer: TRAGsoft
Publisher: Freedom Games

Platform: Windows PC (Previewed), Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS
Release Date: March 31, 2022
Players: 1
Price: $14.99

Coromon

To get it out of the way, yes, it’s meant to be like Pokemon. But that doesn’t mean it has to be exactly like it. For one thing, Coromon has good graphics. I’m kidding, but the spritework in this game does deserve recognition. It reminds me of the spritework in gen three of Pokemon (Ruby and Sapphire) but with a little more depth, though unfortunately lacking in animation.

Battle animations are also simple, with little attack symbols basically invading an enemy’s space to represent the attack. Cute little claw marks, teeth, little bee stingers, and more are all used to show something happening. Some status attacks barely get that though.

Coromon

So sprites are good, animations lacking. Onto music, it’s so-so; it’s loud kind of grating but it’s whimsical enough for a light-hearted fantasy.

But let’s get into the nitty gritty, the gameplay. Coromon featurs 13 types but only 7 of them are represented as creatures. What does this mean? 6 of the types only exist as damage types. Magic, Cut, Heavy, etc. There are no “Cut” type Coromon, but a Coromon can know Cut type moves.

Coromon

This might sound counterintuitive, but I’m almost a little disappointed at how original Coromon tries to be. Originality is a good thing! But a game like this will largely draw the eye of either hyper casuals looking for a monster collecting game at a lower price point, or people desperate for a modern take on Pokemon that has more going for it than brand recognition.

As someone on the latter end of the spectrum, I was hoping some knowledge from that huge franchise might translate here. But with 6 move types not being represented in your monsters, I can’t help but feel like STAB (Same Type Attack Bonus) isn’t a huge factor in play.

Coromon

But therein lies the largest source of trepidation with Coromon, the lack of multiplayer. TRAGsoft is on record via their own FAQ saying that the single player experience is their focus and multiplayer will likely come depending on the game’s initial success.

Will there be multiplayer functionality?

A solid single-player experience is our top priority. If the playerbase will be large enough, we aim to add multiplayer shortly after release.

But for anyone looking for a competitive game, it might be wiser to look elsewhere. Types and move sets appear to be simple and the combat lacks a great deal of depth.

Despite a shallow pool of moves and typing arrangement, ironically what Coromon does well is make the esoteric EV and IV system from Pokemon more available. Coromons have two EXP tracks, one is their actual level, while another allows you to allocate points in stats you see fit. This is similar to EV training in Pokemon.

Coromon

Coromon also has built in Nuzlocke modes with their Hard and Insane difficulties. For those who don’t know, a Nuzlocke is a type of self-challenge in a Pokemon game where you set rules for yourself such as

  • If a mon faints, it’s “dead” and you have to release it
  • You can only catch the first mon you encounter in a zone

and other such rules. Though it’d be nice if they called these modes Nuzlocke outright in the game (though maybe the term is copyrighted) because it could mislead players.

Coromon

Ultimately, Coromon is a cute diversion but without knowing how or even if multiplayer will be implemented, it lacks any potential for community that similar games have. Sure there’s palette swapped Coromon, but there’s less thrill knowing you’re never going to show them off to anyone else. In the game’s current state, Coromon may be lackluster for a PC title, it’ll be cut above its competition on mobile devices.

Coromon is set for launch on March 31st across Windows PC and Mac (via Steam and the Epic Games Store) and Nintendo Switch.

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A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.