Oddly enough, even after all this time the App Store is still lacking a really solid Pokemon-like. There are a few out there that I'd describe as OK, or sort of similar, but if you're looking to scratch that collecting and battling monsters itch that you can only get on Nintendo platforms, there's not much out there. Or, not much before we saw Mirror Match Games' My! My! Monsters.

The game is in a very rough (and early) state right now, but I like everything they told me that they've got planned. They're trying to capture the essence of those nostalgic Pokemon games with all the exploration, collecting, and fighting that you expect but also with a hip social spin to enable all sorts of online community interaction.

The world map is delightfully pixel-y, and really fits in with the whole nostalgic theme they're going for:

As mentioned, the game is in a very early stage right now so it's hard to get into specifics when it comes to how large the world is going to be, how many monsters there will be to collect, and all the other social features. Mirror Match assured me they're really anxious to hear community feedback, so if there's some important features you want to see in a Pokemon-like, drop 'em in the comments.

  • http://twitter.com/VULTR3 Mike

    Well, they'll need to sharpen up the art style if they're gonna impress/become visible to anyone. We're spoiled with the art by Pokemon, you better at least compete with that, if not do better...

    • http://rjevans.net/ Ryan Evans

      Hey Mike,

      Like Eli said, the game is still really early.  We definitely want to hit a higher quality bar and I think we can with a lot of time and work.  Hopefully you'll like how it turns out!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003769531829 Supak Sipsanone

        when are you going to release the game is it this year or later on?

  • ianlogsdon

    Slogan should be really knockoffy..."you should strive to capture every one!"

    Or something else similarly tacky lol.

    How's that other Pokemon inspired app coming along, Pokemon but more evil, arent they releasing that this month?

    • http://twitter.com/flint_marko Flint Marko

      What game is that?

      • ianlogsdon

        Dragon Island, I'd forgotten the name at the time

  • http://twitter.com/oPStudios Nick McKenna

    Change the name! It may sound more knock-offy, but pick something that roles off the tongue better (the name "Pokemon" is a great example). "My! My! Monsters" sounds really silly--like a niche game! **Gasp** All the great games on the App Store have great names. Pokemon is such an amazing series. Do it justice if you're making an iOS clone!

    • http://rjevans.net/ Ryan Evans

      We're getting lots of feedback on the name this week, we're going to take a fresh look at it after the craziness of GDC has died down.  I appreciate you bringing it up though, the more we hear from folks the easier it is to make sure we're on track. Stay tuned!

  • http://www.facebook.com/sboeke Steve Boeke

    Hey. I'm pretty excited to see a game like this on the app store. I think it has great potential. Definitely do something with GameCenter and online aspects. Pokemon is a great game, but is so much more with friends or even random people. The name also isn't too hot, so maybe consider changing that too.

    Most importantly, the best part about playing Pokemon is exploring new places. When that new city finally becomes accessible, there is no better feeling. Or when you go to that random house in the midst of the forest to see some random character there with something for u to do. These moments are my favorite.

    Lastly, make the game your own. While I know you're making a "pokemon-like" game, don't just copy nintendo. Give its own style and feel. Make it your game.

    That's my feedback. I cannot wait to hear more news about the game!

    • http://rjevans.net/ Ryan Evans

      Thanks for all the great feedback!

      I totally agree on how important exploration and a "sense of place" are in these types of games.  It's definitely a core focus on us, since I feel like the entire monster/battle aspect of the game falls flat without it.

      And thanks for the feedback about the name, we're hearing that from a few folks, so once the craziness of the conference has wound down we're going to talk about alternatives.

      • http://twitter.com/mweiland88 Mike Weiland

        More than anything please make it easy to interact online via GameCenter! Also, if you do a lot of in app purchases, make them reasonably priced. Ex: $1/evolution stone or something like that. Please don't make it where you have to expend $50+ to have a decent game.

  • mclifford82

    I've seen better graphics on my gameboy.  Then again graphics always were secondary in games like this.  Hope it's good!

  • AppChat

    From the two screenshots, I'm excited about the game! Though I agree with the comments above - the name could be improved - a one or two word name would be better. The graphics look nice, however, it seems like you've got two different art styles - cartoon and pixel art? The cloud in the second picture just looks a little out of place to me... more cartoony, less detail(?) then the rest of the environment. The traditional Pokemon battle style looks great though. I came across an app, GeoSociety, the other day which is a Pokemon-like game. The graphics and gameplay are really well done EXCEPT the monster battles suck! Not like Pokemon and not a fun original battle style! It took away a lot of my love for the app and I put it down. Maybe you should try it out seeing as it's similar to what you guys are doing. Anyway, I understand it's in the early stages still. Looking forward to seeing this produced and would love to keep updated! I review apps on youtube.com/appchat I have nearly 20K subscribers. Regards, Elly

    • http://rjevans.net/ Ryan Evans

      Hi Elly,

      We've gotten lots of feedback around the name, I think we're probably going back to the drawing board on it.  Thanks for chiming in. :)  The battle demo that we showed Eli was made up of concept sketches that we cleaned up as quickly as we could, and all of the UI work was stuff that I made because our artist was working on other stuff.  So I think we'll raise the quality bar quite a bit over the course of development.  Style is a tricker issue and one that we'll continue to discuss as a team.  Please feel free to continue to give feedback if you don't like the way it's going.

      For updates I'm probably going to start a thread here on toucharcade once I get home from GDC, and we'll post regular dev updates in there and use it as a major place to get feedback from the community.  Hopefully I'll see you in there!

  • Tim Lotze

    totally agree with everything every one else has said.

    my own additional thoughts...

    -making certain monsters only catch-able in specific places at specific times. i think a lot of other games can lack this.

    -one thing i didnt like about pokemon is the fact that a lot of the best monsters are only catch-able at the end. and you barely get to use them. i think a good way around that is to be able to take a baby version of that monster through to the next play through. just an idea though. 

    -cities are uniquely different from each other. possibly having their own theme.

    -i think a pokedex kind of idea will be a good one. other wise it makes these kind of games seem too scattered when it comes to getting a vague idea of how many monster there really is. 

    -some certain or rare monsters have their own special attacks rather than every monster of a certain type all having basically the same attack moves.

    -re fighting people/leaders after youve defeated them. (maybe even their monsters continue to level up after youve defeated them)

    -i think the hardest thing is going to be the smaller details. such as battle movements. or attack displays. 
    i can imagine it involves a lot or work though.

    anyways. my points are most likely are unrealistic or just plain shite. but thats just my input.

    im looking forward to this release though

    • http://rjevans.net/ Ryan Evans

      Hi Tim,

      We'll certainly do monsters tied to specific locales.  One of the major things I think has been lacking from previous games is a sense of place/world exploration, so it's a major focus for us to try and get that right.  I really want to do day/night transitions and have mechanics or monster availability dependent on it, but I don't know if it's the kind of thing that'll be in the initial builds or something that has to come in a content update.

      We'll definitely have something to track all the monsters you found, we had a team meeting yesterday to start sketching it out. Really excited with the design ideas around it.

      I think the issues around higher level folks and having new challenges to go back for are a bit different in our game, since unlike traditional games we have the ability to add new regions/maps/monsters/npcs at any time.  We're spending a lot of time building tools to make content updates easy to build so there will always be new stuff around the corner to explore.

      You're absolutely right that getting the battle effects and animations right will be a challenge, especially since we're such a small team.  But we're going to do our best and hopefully everyone likes how it turns out.  But we'll continue to listen to feedback and improve on it as we go.

      Thanks for taking the time to give feedback!

  • http://twitter.com/mweiland88 Mike Weiland

    I think one good idea would be making your monster catchable only after you knocked it out. It doesnt make sense that you need it to be awake to capture and can't when it's passed out.

    If you were worried about the similarities, you could make it gps based meaning certain distances from your set "home" would generate more "exotic" monsters.

    Contrary to what many probably think, I don't think you should make it such that people have to trade to collect all the monsters. It would be neat though to imbed masters into each monster so that if they are traded, there is an anonymous but visible record of who has owned it previously.

    Done right, I think you guys should easily get a $10 price point!

    • http://twitter.com/mweiland88 Mike Weiland

      And lastly, please take advantage of iCloud so that you can pick up freely between an iPad and an iPhone. Plus it allows for easier saving

      • http://rjevans.net/ Ryan Evans

        Hey Mike,

        Thanks for all the great feedback, lots to think about.

        We'll definitely have a server component that stores your game data so you can use multiple devices.  We're also planning on supporting android so it probably won't be iCloud, but it should be seamless across any of the devices you own.

        Storing 'previous owners' of a monster is a cool idea!  I'll have to think about that a bit more.

        We haven't talked at all about how we want to do pricing.  We're a small team (3 people), so we're focused 100% on making a fun game, and once we have that we can start to figure out the other stuff.

  • Drew_Brown

    Going on what Mike said, i actuallly feel as if having the monster awake to catch it makes it a bit of a challenge to be smart with how you play because if you just need to knock it out it makes catching/obtaining the monster too easy because when i played pokemon and i was trying to catch a pokemon i felt as if trying to get it down into that tiny red zone of health and then catch it was a much bigger experience then just knocking it out and capturing it because it will add some more of like a "YES!!!! I FINALLY GOT IT!!" experience then just having to knock it out. i dont know thats just my opinion on that topic. but other than that the game looks fantastic im really excited for it.

    • http://rjevans.net/ Ryan Evans

      Hi Drew,

      Thanks for giving an alternative view!  I can totally see your point about how having to get the health down to a sliver provides great dramatic tension and reward.  Definitely something to think about as we work on all the game rules.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZE2DKQ5JG4UTOBTUCP2A5HIVBI Jason

    The graphics and art looks great so far! Here's my thoughts.

     I think the most important factor in a game for a phone or tablet is pricing. Games price over $4.99 seem way to pricy when there are a million other games out there for 99 cents/free but with micro transactions. I would take the micro transactions rout for pricing and put it free, 1 or $2 but have an ingame store that sells. I would sell money to the consumer, pretty much what Zenonia 4 did for 99, 2.99, 4.99, 9.99 you can buy gold or whatever your ingame currence is. The money purhcase should be needed to complete the game just to make it easier to play. There should be limited items like master ball was one to a game but allow the player to buy it with real money $4.99 or something to that degree

    Therefore, you need a money sink in the game besides pokeballs/potions. One idea is making a cruise ship (where player need to buy tickets using the ingame currency) that player can go onto to catch rarer monster at a easier rate. if say a monster appears at 1% rate in game jump it up to a 10% rate or something similar allow the player to stay on the ship for a set amount of time or steps and then kick them off. Have special items or very expensive items appear randomly on the cruise ship in the cabins/chests things like stat increase HP up STR ect maybe the Master ball ...holiday monster like Christmas/ Halloween ect based monster could appear in the ship around the selected times. I think leaving the monster there for a month at a time would be fair for everyone. Or maybe have a special monster each month that can only begotten in the ship and when December rolls around make a christmas type monster. That way people will be itching to go and board the ship collecting gold in game to buy their tickets and buying it threw the store as well.

    Assuming the game allows monster to level 99 make the game very simple in the beggening let the game be beatable by say level 50 or so. Like pokemon the difficulty isnt hard or challenging. Once the game is beaten let the player start the game over NEW GAME + everything is the same but everything is now insane. Enemies are 10 levels highier than you or something to where it's hard/challenging. Open up a few new areas/cave or road that is completed now to find new monster not found in the previous easy version. Add a super boss at the end of the second game something that comes out of the blue and he has one or many monster never seen before. All monster at level cap and a few new tricks/skills that haven't been using in the game before such as all his monsters come back to life after deafet once and you have to kill them twice to beat him. He should have at least one new monster never seen before in his team. Open up final dungeon/cave that allows you to find and catch his special monster and once you beat him recieve a items that allows money to be earned 1 gold at a time for each step or something very cool that gives the play sence of WOW look what I got!

    No one hit KO's those are just lame when there isn't even a fight or strategy involved in fighting when attack outweights defence. Make defence matter, make each battle between monsters take several hits to kill each other. Make monsters sparce in the wolrd map so people aren't like god dam every 5 steps I'm fighting this weak little bug. Allow the people that want to grind a cheap items in the store that increase monster appearance rates by 1000% or something.

    Open world is key, people like exploring. A map should only be vauge town don't put details into the map and leave it off the screen unless they open it from the items to look at it. No mini map on the screen while exploring takes away part of the mystery of exploring.

    Work on getting all the kinks out of this game then release a smallish scale game Perfecting the combat balance, rankings, social media interations, multiplayer things. Allow the game to be played by gamers and hear their thoughts, then make sequals and try to improve of the things the fans wanted slowly adding new monsters.It doesn't need to be like 100 new monsters or anything adding 20-40 monsters can net you a new game with a few added things and updated tweaks to your forumla from the previouse game. You can reuse the same story as seen by nintendo about 100 times and people don't really care lol. You can make special events in game, a clock system, casino's, male/female monsters, breeding, constanly changing shop with never before seen items/limited items ect...

    • http://rjevans.net/ Ryan Evans

      Wow, thanks for all the great feedback!  Like I mentioned earlier we're not going to focus on price until we have a game we're all happy with, but those are good ideas to consider when we get there.

      New Game+ is an interesting idea, but I'm not sure how it'd work with the current plan of continually adding new content at higher levels.  Our hope is to grow the world and increase the total area to explore than hoping players just want to replay the same content.  We're building all of our tools right now so as the game develops we can easily add new monsters/maps/npcs and even whole regions.

      Great feedback on quick KO's, will keep it in mind.

      For a map right now we're only considering a world map that shows the location of towns, the roads between them, and locations of areas we're calling "exploration zones" that will be larger areas that are the best place to go when you want to find new monsters to capture.  There will also be stuff to discover that will not initially be on the map, so hopefully you don't think that's giving too much away. :)  Oh, and right now encounters are shown as markers on the game map.  So while exploring you'll see an encounter marker and you can choose to engage it or not. When you do you learn if it's treasure, a monster battle, etc.  This lets players move quickly if they're in a hurry to get somewhere and easy to find your encounters when you just want to grind.

      Finally, I think you're spot on about launching with a small polished 'core' of the game to get feedback and make tweaks before we spend making months of content that no one wants to play.  Once everyone is happy with that we can start adding on all sorts of crazy features.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZE2DKQ5JG4UTOBTUCP2A5HIVBI Jason

        It's great to see your comments and thoughts. I was more concerned about a mini map on the screen that is a really annoying even if you can click to turn it on or off ala Zenonia 4. Great idea on the monster incounters allowing players to aviod if they want to and fight if they desire.

        The new game + feature was something that would fit well with a smallish scale game because instead of focusing on a lot of new content or dialoge you just up the difficulty and let players play for the fun of it and to train their monsters to their max level. With a monster fighting game that should allow PvP the goal ofcourse would be to get your monsters to max level and ultra buff. Like I said it's best to teak the forumla before going all out and designing a 50hour + game. If there are core problems not many people will play the game through and feel like it is broken or lame. If you have a small scale game 10hour or so and work out the bugs and get a feel for what you consumers want in the game then release, or release a new version of the game. IE a lite version of the game before the real version of the game for free or with a small price point and micro transactions this allows the consumer to not feel bad throwing down another 2 or 3 bucks for a game. This way you could also see how much money is generated by the micro transactions and see if you want to go that route for the full version of the game or if a flat price point would work better.

        Instead of grinding you can allow them to possibly buy level up potions as well.
        =) There soo many things you could possible add to the store and then you could run half price sales and stuff as well.

        PvP battles and rankings or something like trophies or special loot. This would probably take a lot of work but I think that will attract a lot of gamers. It wold give people more of a reason to play and grind or buy items.  

        Good luck wish you the best

      • http://rjevans.net/ Ryan Evans

        Oh I see what you mean.  Yeah, I don't think we'll have a minimap on screen at any point, just the world map that you can pull up.

        Thanks for your thoughts on the game structure, lots of stuff to consider.

        I really want to do realtime PvP battles but I don't know if we'll be able to fit it in the 1.0 version of the game.  We've got some smaller ideas around PvP in the meantime that will probably make it in, and then we'll add realtime battles in a future update.  My hope is someday it'll be robust enough that we could hold monthly 'tournaments' for special monsters/trophies/items.

        Thanks for all the great notes and the encouragement!

  • SlipperyWizard

    To be completely honest guys this game looks awful and the name is awful..  These screenshots are seriously boring looking.. There is notihn to look at its very plain. this game lacks detail in everything from the tree, the cloud, the bridge to the D-pad, I know i will not be buying this game and i cannot wait until zenforms Protectors comes out it is better looking and is definitly going to blow this game away! Come on look at "ursprout" its just a cabbage!! The other is just a rat with a leaf on his head? seriously want to improve before i buy this game....

    • http://rjevans.net/ Ryan Evans

      Thanks for taking the time to comment even you're not liking how the game currently looks.  Like I mentioned earlier we're a team of 3 guys and the demo is the result of 4 weeks of work, and I agree it's still rough and needs lots of improvement.  But we're working hard and we're dedicated to making the game great, so hopefully you'll come around as we post more updates.

      If not, no hard feelings and I still appreciate your comments/opinions. :)

      Edit: Oh, and as I also mentioned above, we're going back to the drawing board on the name based on the overwhelming feedback we got this week.

      • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.mcvicker1 Stephen McVicker

        I'm the developer of ZENFORMS and I just wanted to wish you guys luck. Maybe some day we will meet up and share game ideas!

      • http://rjevans.net/ Ryan Evans

        Hey Stephen!

        Zenforms looks awesome, would love to meet up sometime and chat.  The more games we get in the genre the better!

      • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.mcvicker1 Stephen McVicker

        People linked me to this and were asking me was I angry about it. Of course not. We have something in common if we are both developing a game like this. Have you got a site or anything? A twitter for the project?

      • http://rjevans.net/ Ryan Evans

        Yeah, I love meeting folks who are working on similar projects - we all clearly care about the stuff we make and I think we all have different takes on it.

        No website for the project yet, but I'm @rje on twitter - probably the easiest way to track info right now until I get everything set up.  Just folowed you guys, congrats again on the upcoming release!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/CEJ6WO7FOJJCZNITUB45ZPSVHM Buubuu001

    I've been keeping this on my radar ever since I heard about it on the Touch Arcade website. Im excited to see this game develop and unfold. Also thank you for being responsive to the comments as it shows your interest from what fans of catch'em type games have to say. 
    I've always had a couple of gripes with how pokemon has produced its product but considering their success they will never change their formula. I hate how they always put out 2 (or more) cartridges in order to get all of the pokemon. Knowingly, on the iDevices the unlocking of certain pets can be done differently. So I guess that would be a nonissue. 
    My other main gripe I had with the game is the childish personas. Im not going to lie, my younger brother got the original pokemon red back in the original gameboy days. That was in 1998. You can't tell me none of those pokemon players are no longer playing pokemon. I can still hang in a discussion with my nephew about them! I mean the story doesn't have to delve into the gravity Final Fantasy games or compete with the storytelling of R.R. Martin's Fire and Ice books but please don't give me a 13 year old boy or girl and expect me to compete with grown adult gym leaders and thwart team rocket with my gundam sized charizard. Hell, give me a herpetologist geek with a bug catcher net. 
    With the gripes out of the way maybe some things I'd like to see. Have you ever played any of the Monster Rancher series? It had a unique premise of raising monsters on your ranch and training them to battle in an arena. You'd level up their training devices, food, equipment, etc. But I digress what I really liked in particular was their breeding system. I know pokemon has theirs too but the great part about MR2's iteration of the breeding was it wasn't muddled. It was a simple +/-. If you got 2 monsters with extreme speed chances are their offspring was going to be faster than either. The other thing about their breeding was it was simple in that it took parent A's body and was modded by parent B's skin. Of course some were special combos where you'd breed a unique monster from a predetermined order or combo but there were no family limits no grass/fire trees. Everything was fair game. A rock golem with a snow wolf created either a snow golem or a rock wolf.
    Im kind of going off of the previous paragraph but in pokemon unless you're a perfectionist/completionist and have the time to grind to level 99 then more power to you. The MR series created life spans for their monsters where they were set to pasture after say 10-20 years of battling. This always intrigued me in that it encouraged me to play with more of my monsters. That, coupled with their breeding really encouraged me to see what my next created creature was.
    Well, Im losing steam and my wife got home. I hope those ideas help if not oh well. Im still super stoked for this fan service. More power to you guys!

    • http://rjevans.net/ Ryan Evans

      Awesome, thanks for all the great feedback!

      We don't have any decisions yet about creating 'version specific' monsters.  If we were going to do something like that though I'd imagine it'd be more like unique skins/looks of a monster and not wholly distinct monsters.

      Story is a tricky one because we're really trying to hit two distinct groups of people: the people like you and I who played these games when we were younger, and the new generation of gamers that have an ipod touch like we had our gameboy.  We're going to do our best to make both groups happy, but it's definitely going to be a challenge.

      I haven't played Monster Rancher very much but Valentino (the artist on the team) has I think.  I'd love to have some of those 'ranch' features early on in our game, since it gives a better sense of home/place than a single building that you start in and never really need to go back to.

      Breeding sounds awesome, but it also sounds like a huge undertaking.  We'll definitely consider it but it will probably have to be one of the post-launch major updates that we do.  My hope is that since we have the ability to add new end-game content at will, we can play to the strengths of different monsters and increase the overall # that you want to play with through content.

      Thanks for the encouragement, it means a lot to a small team like us!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/CEJ6WO7FOJJCZNITUB45ZPSVHM Buubuu001

        Thanks for the reply. The reason why I even commented on here is because I saw that you were commenting back to people. If I think of any more ideas to kick around I'd definitely reply here. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alison-Lush/703635290 Alison Lush

    hi, i just wanna say that the game looks great! I bet that from the screenshots and what you said to the other people on here, you guys will make a game that will rival and even do better than the other pokemon-like games on the app store. I just have 1 question, and that is: when will the game be out? Nevertheless, I will get it no matter the price, as soon as it comes out. good luck!
    jacobfarrow

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Alison-Lush/703635290 Alison Lush

    crud, this is my moms facebook... lol... my facebook is jacobfarrow, so just call me jacob, thanks

  • http://www.facebook.com/guy.babstock Guy Babstock

    About time this was done, looks great.
    The game will need to generate stats differently for each monster encountered as pokemon did to give diversity to the same 'species' of monster, could also sneak in some  form of the famous 'shiny' type?
    is there any plan for breeding in the game at all? was poorly done in pokemon and could be a nice way to make the game your own.
    keep up the good work!

  • Phoenix777

    I can't wait till it comes to the AppStore because I love Pokemon!!! :)

  • comicx90

    I do agree about the name with some other comments. I've been getting into the poke franchise and longed for a poke-like game for ios. Thanks for making that dream seem true. An online and game center mode would be epic. This game has definitely made my watch list.

  • wdhayes

    Hey is this game still going to be coming out soon? I know the post on it are a year old, but I would like to know. It looks like it would be a fun game.