TouchArcade Game of the Week: ‘Coromon’

Pokemon-likes are a full-fledged thing, and it seemed like for many years there was always a new one coming around on mobile. People would get all excited, the new Pokemon-like would finally release, but it never felt like any of them really lived up to the lofty expectations of those searching for that Pokemon experience on mobile. Then last year TRAGsoft and Freedom Games released Coromon on PC, after it had spent a couple of years in early access. All of that early access time was actually a good thing as the developers were able to address a lot of the feedback from all those early players to deliver a Pokemon-like that actually hit all the satisfying marks that the series is known for, while also putting their own unique spin and modern flourishes into the experience. The results have been very well received on other platforms, and after some sort of SNAFU that caused a delay in its intended release a couple of weeks ago, Coromon is now available on iOS devices.

Let me get this out of the way right now: I’m not a Pokemon person. I didn’t grow up playing the games or really have any interest in them. I’ve always been excited for whatever Pokemon-like that’s come along on mobile over the years, but I always end up not quite “getting it" and end up fizzling out not long after starting up. Not being a huge Pokemon fan probably means I’m the exact opposite of the audience these developers are targeting, but that also gives me kind of a unique perspective in assessing a game like Coromon since I don’t really have any preconceived notions or anything. And, well, all I can say is I’m digging this one a lot so far. This feels like a much more polished experience than any other Pokemon-like I’ve played on mobile before, and the art and animations are just fantastic.

This is a $20 game on other platforms, but here on iOS it’s a free to try model with a $5 IAP to basically unlock the full game, with a couple of other IAPs that can unlock some optional quality of life features and several more IAP that are more or less progress fast forward buttons. Also uncessecary, but they’re there. It’s hard not to see the IAP listed in the App Store and think this is a freemium’ed out cash grab, especially since so many similar games on mobile are exactly that, but that really isn’t the case here. This is actually a paid game on other platforms and it seems all they’ve done for mobile is make it free to start and then break up some of the features into multiple IAP so you can kind of buy as much or as little as you want. The key point is that if you go for just the $5 full game unlock you’ll be just fine ignoring all the other stuff.

It’s a shame having to spend so much time explaining the monetization of mobile games, instead of answering a more simple and straightforward question of “Should you buy this game yes or no?" On the other hand, with Coromon being free to try it’s easy to recommend just trying it for yourself to see if you like it. The free portion is more than enough to tell you if this will be a game for you or not. The multiple IAP types do make things more confusing, but like I said if you enjoy the free portion enough then don’t hesitate to throw five bucks at unlocking the whole thing, and you’ll know before too long after that whether you feel like forking out for any of the other stuff. This is a game that has had years of updates and features added in, and it shows in the final product, and it seems the devs still are far from finished with this one. If you’ve been waiting for a worthy Pokemon-like experience on iOS and haven’t been satisfied with what’s come before it, I think Coromon might be the one to finally give you what you’re craving.

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