I've just discovered a mobile game which is easily the best in the monster catching-and-fighting genre that I've seen so far. It's called EvoCreo (also available on iOS), and it's free (or you can buy a version for $1).
Although there are lots of things Tuxemon does better (for one thing, choosing 16px tiles means more of the map fits on screen), it's definitely worth playing. They've clearly put a lot of thought into making it easy to play on the mobile: buttons are in sensible places, things respond to being clicked on as you'd expect them to, etc (although there's still too much clicking to get to the next bit of text, which is something Tuxemon and Pokemon also struggle with).
Some things that are worth thinking about/work really well for EvoCreo are:
- They have some monsters wandering around the overworld, as well as tall grass encounters. This adds a nice mix, where you can chase/run away from some visible creatures, while also getting random results from the grass. For example, if there's just one creature you haven't grabbed in an area, you can wade through the long grass or you can just keep an eye out for one wandering around.
- Information about the battling creatures is visible if you tap on their HP bar: it tells you their name, level, what conditions they are subject to, their typing, exact HP, etc. Then that information is hidden again until you request it, giving a beautiful large battle arena (which looks pretty). You can even click each condition and it tells you what it is and what its effect is.
- There's an auto-battle option. It plays an ad, which is a clever way to monetise the game. You don't see the battle in progress (because the ad is playing) or what XP you get, you just get told at the end if you win or not.
- There are no PP. Instead, each move has a number of rounds until it is available again (including "1", in which case it is always available). This is a really nice element to the game, and it adds a tactical touch missing from PP.
- Related to there being no PP is that a creature knows all the techniques it's ever learned. It can still only use four in battle, but out of battle you can switch these for any other techniques.
- All stat changes come from conditions, so you never have a technique that gives you Defence +1. Instead, the technique gives you Shell, which gives you Defence +1.
- Conditions continue beyond a single battle, even positive ones like Shell. They can be upgraded, so e.g. if you would get Shell twice you instead get Hardened Shell.
- There are nice little touches, like the home screen having a little scene that features you active creature.
- There are Traits, which I think are like Pokemon's Abilities (except you can swap them out) and Abilities, which I think are out-of-combat benefits. Just like techniques, you can swap out any you have learned. These serve as that game's equivalent to HMs, so you never need to waste a technique slot on Surf or Cut.
- Five rather than six creatures in the party. I don't know why EvoCreo did this, but I think it'd make sense for Tuxemon as well, because with only five elements it's already going to be easier to cover all types.
- Arenas where you have to fight three trainers in a row, without being able to go to a medical centre in between. Requires different strategies for success.
- Healing potions that heal a percentage of total HP, + a fixed amount of HP. This makes them useful at any level.
- Separate move slots for Elite Moves, which have a really powerful effect but a slow recovery, and Heal Moves. There are a variety of Heal Moves, some of which have benefits other than just healing. I feel like these open up a similar design space to Mega Evolutions and Z-Moves in Pokemon.
Last edited by Sanglorian (1 May 2017 12:09)
I really like some of those innovations, especially keeping all of your moves and picking four to have combat ready. Removes a ridiculous limitation but keeps in a tactical limitation.
I also like their alternative to PP, it reminds me how dragon breath weapons work in D&D (although in D&D it's 1d4 rounds, rather than a fixed number).
I just wish I could get the game to consistently run on my Moto G4 I'm lucky if I can get the app to actually load.
I really like some of those innovations, especially keeping all of your moves and picking four to have combat ready. Removes a ridiculous limitation but keeps in a tactical limitation.I also like their alternative to PP, it reminds me how dragon breath weapons work in D&D (although in D&D it's 1d4 rounds, rather than a fixed number).
Funny, those are the two innovations (plus having elite/normal/healing moves with different slots) that I've been most fascinated by. I keep playing over in my mind the ways that it makes the game play totally differently to Pokemon. "Do I use my elite now so it recharges faster, or do I wait till I can add another buff, so it's more likely to hit?"
I did think of one potential improvement: having elite moves start without being recharged. That way, they only become available after some time in combat - you can't spam them then switch out.
Last edited by Sanglorian (2 May 2017 03:43)
I like that tweak a lot, I think it would improve the dynamic of combat.
A few other things I've noticed as I've played more:
- There are "classes" like Massive, Ice, Radiation and Insect which also affect type strengths and weaknesses, although I'm not sure how.
- In Trainer battles you can choose to retreat, but it's a forfeit (i.e. I think just like losing by another means).
- There's a button you can press to find out what your current quest is.
- You can "Glide" across empty spaces, and have random encounters while you do so.
Last edited by Sanglorian (3 May 2017 10:09)
There's a button you can press to find out what your current quest is.
Such a feature is a must have! I hate how I don't find enough time to play games all the time and when I start playing after a long week or so, I have no idea where I was at...Alternatively, we could have a little refresher when you load the game. I think leafgreen and firered did that, didn't they? Showing you the last 3 or 4 (important) thing's you have done...In the Professor Layton games you also have that kind of refresher when you load. Some story part is told again, so you have a chance to remember what happened last time and why you are in the middle of some random place.
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Some kind of journaling system would be neat. It would be relatively trivial to implement too.A simple script command to add a new journal entry (probably accepting a localization key) and a list of journal entries currently added.
I wonder if this has any connection to Evocri: An obscure game attempted after the fall of Pokenet / Pokemon Global (following harassment by Nintendo). The project doesn't even have a website sadly, but its developer posts videos now and then on his Youtube channel.