Disclaimer: This is an entirely personal review and is in no way affiliated or sponsored by Nexomon or Vewo Interactive Inc.
When one thinks of a monster capture game, the majority of the time, all roads lead to Pokémon. Due to the success of the multi-million dollar franchise and it’s notorious successes in almost every Nintendo handheld console system, the mobile market and now on the eve of it’s console debut – Pokémon is a series known by all, loved by all. The biased excitement from choosing your starter, the sense of wild adventure coursing through you while venturing through the tall grass in the newest games and not knowing what types of creatures – and future friends – await you there... Trust me, I know it well. Pokémon is one of my favorite games in the entire world. However, I also know, the vast, empty hole that aches in one’s soul when you finish the story, the post-game story, fought the elite four over 9000 times and attempted to breed or shiny hunt all the Pokémon your mental state allowed (for the time being). I know the hole that a game and a story of that caliber leaves behind until the series' next release – and on a soul-searching journey to remedy that ache is exactly how I found Nexomon.
Nexomon is a mobile game developed by Vewo Interactive Inc., stationed in Richmond, Canada. It’s role-playing, monster-catching extravaganza with vast ties to the Pokémon series, but enough personality, production value and one hell of an incredible writing team behind it, to make a firm stance on a completely dominated game genre. It’s available on IOS & Android and, what is probably the most incredible part, the full ad-free version of the game can purchased for $1 USD. (Yes, one friggin dollar.)
The first thing I want to address is the writing of Nexomon-- that is filled to the brim with not only incredibly personality, but refreshing originality.
The game's hierarchy structure is definitely similar to what we know from Pokémon; however, in this game, the Champion, dubbed the Nexolord, also serves as the main antagonist of the plot, as he plans to resurrect the Omnicron, a great evil Nexomon that led a devastating war on humanity centuries ago. While the plot starts of seemingly simple at first, the stakes do go up really high, really fast. One of my favorite aspects of the writing is the cast of compelling characters you come across on your journey. From the NPCs in town to the Nexolord’s henchmen, everyone is uniquely personable and offers some contribution to the plot and it’s enjoyment – including LOTS of comical mishaps between characters, which for me is a big plus. While I can't dive too deep into the story itself in an attempt to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, the game itself does connect to mythology, different cultures, the supernatural, political class tensions and religion.
The real reason I downloaded the game off the app store and now, my favorite part of the game itself, lies most definitely in it’s design. It takes a swing at combining what the older mobile console Pokémon games had in it’s chibi-like sprites and pixel art approach with a much more clean, smooth and modernized look in animated 2D. Quite frankly, it’s a pleasure on the eyes. There are SO many details! Half way into the game I swore that every single NPC I encountered was an original design—every single one. You never saw the same ‘Lass’ twice. (As the game progress, sprites are in fact repeated, but for a good portion of it, they are not. Legit original designs or at least vibrant recolors for every NPC in every different town, city, battle, etc. That’s kinda amazing, if you’re asking me.) The Nexomon themselves are also very creatively designed. While there’s definitely room from improvement on some monster designs (as expected), a vast majority do a great job of tying in outlandish or opposing concepts into a single monster. Be ready to see some Pokemon Easter Eggs in some of these too, haha.
Here’s where I do get a bit critical and like all games and stories, where a bit of the lackluster begins to come through. In blunt, the battles go by fast in the game—and by that I mean, whether you’re at level 10 or level 100. The easiest way for me to describe is that some attacks (if not most) towards a disadvantaged typing are either 1 hit KOs or you’ll be left with maybe 15HP from a full health bar (on a good day). If battling is not your cup of tea and you’re here for the exploring, well all the power to you. The catching system is also a bit wonky. Nexomon are divided into tiers of rarity from: common, uncommon, rare, super rare, mega rare, ultra rare, and legendary. This systems works more similarly to that of Pokémon Go and Pokémon Let’s Go in the fact that you don’t necessarily have to weaken the monster in order to capture it, it’s a rates thing. And by rates I mean, luck. And by that I mean stock up on Nexotraps. Lots of em. (In my experience, I was frustrated on the lack of Nexotraps for the first town of the game. After a good grind session, I had no further problems with in-game currency or stocking up on Nexotraps.) Even though it’s not a battle focused game, I do recommend not writing this title off just yet as it’s Pros definitely outweigh the Cons.
Besides the $1 to get the full-game and get rid of the ads, the game also offers monetizing options for various other features like changing your over-world avatar’s outfit/design (SUPER COOL), having a little Nexomon pet follow you around, buying master balls-- I mean Gold Nexotraps, some other premium items like EXP shares and rare lures, etc... and pulling actual Rare Nexomon. For it’s worth and from someone who is honestly a bit stingy when it comes to in-game purchases, I do dare say some of these are worth investing in and very fairly priced—again each item varies and is solely dependent on what your wants are from the game. The only in-game purchase I bought was the EXP multiplier for $5 bucks and #worth.
All in all and most importantly, I’ve had so much fun playing this game. I’m over 40 hours in with, lots of good laughs under my belt, bad ass Nexomon on my team and a smile on my face. All for $1. This is an amazing game and although it is structured to resemble ‘Pokémon’ in many a way, it offers so much of it’s own personality and just a mix of great production, conceptual design, good writing, humor, originality to be labeled as another indie ‘Pokémon Clone’.
You can download Nexomon using the links below and support the developers on social media as they work on ‘Nexomon 2!’
Download ‘Nexomon’ on IOS: Here!
Download ‘Nexomon’ on Android: Here!
Like the Official ‘Nexomon’ Facebook page: Here!
Follow the Official ‘Nexomon’ Subreddit: Here!