In the last decade the monster/pet trainer genre has exploded and we have many variations of said genre. Temtem, Nexomon, Digimon, Monster Hunter Stories, etc. have all retired the phrase “Pokémon Rip off”. Calling any game a Pokémon ripoff would be like calling every platformer a Super Mario ripoff. Each game adds it’s own spice and ingredients to the collective genre mixing bowl.
Beasties is the newest arrival in this category. Developed by Rokaplay and published by Just For Games. The question is “Does it pull it’s own weight and justify itself?” Well let’s get into that. I was provided with a review code for the Switch version of the game for this feature. You can find it on Switch and Steam.
Beasties plays very similarly to Puzzle Quest and/or Puzzles & Dragons. You’ll be matching 3-in-a-row colorful symbols with each of your creatures corresponding to a tile color. As you accumulate matched tiles you’ll be able to use your beasties’ unique skills to turn the tide of battle. You can weaken enemy beasties and then use a beacon on them to capture them and build out your team. That is a lot like the pokeball mechanic in the Pokémon games.
You can also match neutral grey blocks and your top Beastie will attack in a straight-forward manner. The game does an interesting thing with improving stats. Instead of having an experience bar for each of the Beasties, they “level up” by accumulating 15 bits of sand t convert into an emblem/plate that will raise an attribute (attack, defense, HP, or ability). You would think you could abuse this system, and you would be kind of right. There is a level cap of 20 for each Beastie, so you are supposed to swap out your low rank Beasties for their superior counterparts.
The Hard Truth
The story is pretty simple. Your human character (who looks like a chess piece hopping around with a human face on it) is running errands for the island locals and eventually you’ll face the toughest Beastie trainer on the island. That’s it. The game is like 2-4 hours long. The explorable area is just the town, and the one route to the north of it, and that is it! There are like 15 Beasties, tops, and not much else to do with the game. The Beasties don’t even change form or develop more than one ability.
The story is subpar, the gameplay/combat is just ok, the replay value is low, and difficulty is all over the place. You can tell there is a massive difficulty spike in the last hour or so to pad out the game time a bit. I really wanted to like this game but the execution is lackluster and it’s a bit of a drag. Unfortunately the neat leveling mechanic just isn’t enough to salvage this experience. It is for that reason I give Beasties a 4 / 10 .
Despite my negative experience with this game, there are certainly monster collecting games out there worth playing. Don’t give up on this genre! For all gaming news, reviews, and opinion pieces be sure to subscribe to GeekNewsNow. Also check out my gaming centric podcast, Duosense! As always everyone stay geeky!