Gotta Collect ‘dem Coromon
Coromon is a fun monster-taming RPG that draws heavy inspiration from the classic Pokemon mainline series. Filled with over 110 unique creatures, over a dozen creature types, and pixel-perfect art style, Coromon not only piqued my interest, but captivated me throughout my adventure.
You start off in Coromon as a young adventurer who has recently joined the ranks of Solis as a researcher who is placed into the Titan Taskforce. The objective of this group is to find and investigate the 6 massive Titans that are wreaking havoc in this world. All of this was streamlined within minutes and allowed me to just jump into the game. The story also gradually emerges with a ‘big bad group’ and some other recurring characters. Though the story started off strong and continued to build, there was never a major payoff to what everything was building towards. However, it is worth expressing explicitly that the build up and layering throughout the 30 hour adventure kept me engaged and didn’t deter from the overall enjoyment.
The customization of the character in this pixel-adventure is robust with dozens of hairstyles, facial features, and body features. Additionally, players aren’t restricted by manly or feminine features, but are free to customize their character to fully match how they want.
Within the first few moments of the game, you’re given a gauntlet to help explore the world. At first this is mostly used as a vanity item, allowing you to see other researchers who may want to battle or offer some special insights of the world. However, you’re eventually afforded abilities that assist you within the world. A force push, for example, allows your character to literally push items out of the way to form new paths; similar to Strength in classic Pokemon games or Push in Golden Sun. These features have been super fun and interesting to experiment with and allowed for a more Metroidvania approach of going back and seeing spots and hidden items that you otherwise missed without these abilities. There’s several more slots for these, so the possibilities will continue to grow and can offer exciting new ways of traversa – you’ll have to discover them for yourself.
Gameplay also shines through in Coromon. The very quick summations of the world, its creatures, and battle mechanics can seem a bit overwhelming, but the game assumes that players have some sort of connection with Pokemon mechanics or other monster-taming games. Luckily, if this is your first game of the genre, Coromon offers detailed notes and summaries of type matching, creature strategies, and lore summaries. Additionally, there’s a log that keeps track of all side missions and mainline objectives, allowing you to either try and blast through the main story or check off some side adventures for rewards like items and money. Resource management wasn’t a problem for me, but with the numerous gameplay options, it can be a restrictive challenge for those seeking that type of engagement.
The main focus of Coromon are the wonderful creatures throughout the world. With over 110 creatures, I quickly became enamored in… catching them all (it had to be said). All the creatures are wonderfully animated, colors are vibrant, and all have a cohesion to them that is difficult to put into words. Every creature I found offered that “wow” moment where I wanted to learn about and experiment with them in battle. Some creatures are adorable, others scary, a few kinda gross – all of them intriguing in some form. Kudos to TRAGsoft for the love that was clearly put into all of these Coromon.
My favorite surprise from the game was the satisfying cycle of constant rewards for simply playing the game. Milestones, an in-game rewards feature, allows you to level up your character to earn additional items to help you along in your journey. Defeating Coromon, evolving Coromon, and other game-specific actions are milestones that you’re already doing throughout the game, but keeps a fantastic loop of rewards to encourage players to keep doing what they’re doing. Even larger boss encounters felt refreshed and new compared to other monster-taming game – a welcomed breath into the genre.
Another pleasant surprise was with the fantastic approachability for the game to offer various tiers and a customization experience in the difficulty of the game. The game offers a suite of options from traversal, battle modifications, and creature management tailored to how punishing you’d like to push yourself. I started on the normal difficulty, but then tweaked the item usage to streamline for me a bit more. Adjustments can be done on the fly and you’re not trapped into one option. And some of these options are absolutely punishing – perfect for players who want an intense experience (and those who love Nuzlocke features in Pokemon games will be drawn to this feature for sure.)
Coromon also has a multiplayer option where researchers can battle each other in a 3v3 or custom battle. If your creatures aren’t up to snuff, you can loan out some creatures – though this could be spoilers if you don’t want to see any creatures. I only dabbled in this area of the game since the entirety of Coromon felt more like a single-player adventure for me to experience on my own.
Overall: 9.0 Out of 10
Coromon is a nostalgia trip down memory lane while simultaneously forging its own path. The 100+ creatures, wide variety of characters, and beautiful pixel art style, made me want to explore and delve deeper into the Velua region. The past few years’ examples of monster-taming games had me wishing for more, and my wishes were answered with Coromon.
A copy was provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review on Nintendo Switch and PC.
A version of this review is also posted on Six One Indie.