How did my passion for mobile gaming start? My first dose of "mobile" gaming came from Pokemon Blue on the Gameboy Color. I can't tell you how many hours I feverishly poured into that game. I would play it for as long as my little AA batteries would last me. I loved being able to bring it with me on car trips or wherever I went. It is definitely one of my most precious gaming memories from when I was a kid. Now that I am an adult, I find myself seeking that nostalgic feeling of being a kid again, especially through playing games similar to those that I experienced in the past. That is why I regularly scour the App Store for modern games that resemble the games of my childhood, as well as why I decided to download Nexomon [$2.99] by LIME TURTLE, INC.

You begin Nexomon as a new "Tamer" who has the ability to tame Nexomon. Nexomon are the Pokemon of the Nexomon world. After you choose your character's gender and name, you set out on an adventure to build a powerful team of Nexomon and save the world. Does this sound familiar? The story was a bit cliche at the beginning of the game but it was surprisingly good throughout its entire duration. The cast of characters you meet within the game each have personalities all of their own and I enjoyed getting to know each of them throughout my journey, especially my quirky robot companion named Atlas.

The aesthetics of the game are incredible. I loved the ridiculously detailed 2D artwork and animations throughout the game. Nexomon have super smooth animations that bring them to life in battles, characters/environments are varied and well-animated, and story sequences are thematic. There is even a gyroscope mechanic that moves the background of the game whenever you tilt your phone during the opening screen and Nexomon battles. I thought this was a clever addition. I have absolutely no complaints in this department. The developers definitely made a lot of effort to give Nexomon a unique look and it shows.

However, how does the gameplay of Nexomon measure up to its high-quality visuals? There are 9 diverse regions for you to explore and 8 legendary Nexomon to defeat. There are also Overseers (Nexomon's versions of Gym Leaders in Pokemon) and other Tamers for you to battle. The battles themselves take place in a wide variety of locations, such as tall patches of grass, caves, volcanoes, and other unique settings. You still adhere to the same rock-paper-scissors gameplay of Pokemon within Nexomon, where using certain types of Nexomon against other types can maximize their effectiveness. It's important to mention that you acquire in-game currency for any battle that you win, including battles where you fight wild Nexomon. You can spend this currency to buy items at shops within towns. Towns also contain a hospital for you to heal your Nexomon.

The battle screen of Nexomon is set up similarly to Pokemon but, unfortunately, you cannot read the details of what each move does within the battle screen. You have to wait to learn the details of attacks until you are outside of battle. I found this to be inconvenient at the beginning of my time with the game because I was trying to learn what each move did. Another concern I discovered with the battle system of Nexomon is that moves that inflict status effects are extremely under-powered. It's hard to land them and they don't seem very impactful at all when you do, especially when trying to catch Nexomon in the wild.

This brings me to one of the main gripes I have with Nexomon: its catching rates. Nexomon are sorted into different rarities within the game. These rarities are in the order of common, rare, super rare, mega rare, ultra rare, and legendary. You catch Nexomon by using "Nexotraps"...LOTS and LOTS of Nexotraps. I regularly found myself having to use 15 or more Nexotraps to catch any Nexomon with a rarity of super rare or higher, despite lowering its HP significantly and putting it to sleep (as well as other status effects). This was very time-consuming and made me feel dread, instead of excitement, whenever I found a high rarity Nexomon. I feel as though the difficulty of catching rarer Nexomon should come from finding them in the wild and making them vulnerable enough to catch, not the actual act of catching them. It was strange to experience this in a game where one of a player's main goals is to collect as many different creatures as possible.

However, there are "Gold" Nexotraps available only through IAP that guarantee one capture each. I feel as though the capture rates for regular Nexotraps within the game were made this way in order to encourage players to purchase the aforementioned Gold Nexotraps. It's still possible to catch every Nexomon you encounter within the game but it takes a lot more time than it should, due to having to grind for in-game currency (to buy numerous Nexotraps) and then throwing handfuls of them (one by one) at a Nexomon hoping to catch it. The developers of the game have said that the rates were lower than they anticipated and that they will put out an update to increase catching rates. Hopefully that happens soon!

Nexotraps aren't the only in-app-purchase available within Nexomon. You can buy Nexomon companions to follow behind you in-game, new skins for your character, and Regular/Gold Nexoboxes. Regular Nexoboxes give you a chance of receiving any Nexomon within the game. Gold Nexoboxes have a chance of giving you a super rare Nexomon, or above, guaranteed. The notification icon for these Nexoboxes, as well as the notification icon for buying premium currency for IAP's, are visible on the main screen throughout your time with the game. There is no option to hide them. I found these icons to be quite tacky and in your face. It made me feel like I was playing a free-to-play game instead of a game I already paid for. Some legendary Nexomon are only available within Nexoboxes, which is quite a bummer. The developers say that they will be holding events where you can catch them for free instead. I am definitely crossing my fingers for this to be true. I don't like leaving things up to RNG.

You can also buy permanent items, such as Nexo Skates, Experience Share, Nexo Charm, and Repel Spray. I played without these items for about half of my playtime and then I experimented with all of them for the rest. I found that the Experience Share helped a ton with leveling my Nexomon faster and reduced most of the grind I was experiencing. However, I enjoyed grinding and leveling Nexomon one-by-one. In my opinion, this is a very fair IAP. The Nexo Skates and Repel Spray both did exactly what they said they would. I was able to travel faster and not run into any wild Nexomon whenever I didn't want to. However, I felt these were just quality of life items that are totally optional. They did not affect the gameplay significantly enough for me to feel that they were needed. These are definitely fair IAP's as well. The permanent item that had the biggest effect on my time with the game was the Nexo Charm. This item allows you to run into rarer Nexomon more often. Before I started using this item I had run into VERY few Nexomon that were above super rare in rarity. I feel like having the Nexo Charm made it so I could actually encounter every rarity of Nexomon, instead of once in a blue moon (or not at all). This is a must-have item (in my opinion) and it will cost you a little more money.

I don't want you to get the impression that all of these things make Nexomon unplayable or not enjoyable. You can beat the entire game after you buy it without any further purchases. I just feel like some of the IAPs hamper the experience a bit and hold it back from being almost flawless. Regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the game and I experienced the nostalgic feelings I was looking for. It was a blast to acquire my favorite Nexomon and create my dream team. I'll be observing the game's progression in the future and I will keep trying to to Tame 'em all, despite me already beating the game after around 10+ hours.

There's no doubt that Nexomon wears its inspirations proudly on its sleeve. It is first, and foremost, a game that tries to emulate the Pokemon formula. The phrase "Pokemon clone" usually has quite a few negative connotations attached to it. However, Nexomon manages to have an amazing art style, quality music, and a large/unique roster of creatures to collect. The only things that hold this game back from being incredible is its horrendous catching rates and the portions of its in-app-purchases that I feel should have automatically been included in the initial $2.99 purchase of the game.

If you are looking for a Pokemon clone for your mobile device, this is as good as it gets. Trust me, I have tried 'em all. Just be ready for an unnecessarily long grind ahead of you if you want to catch... *clears throat* tame 'em all without forking over a bit more money in the process. Don't forget to check out other people's impressions of Nexomon in our forums, where the developers have been quite active and receptive to feedback, and leave impressions of your own.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • sakara214ever

    I totaly disagree with the 3,5 stars for a gmae like this but i respect your opinion. 🙂

  • sakara214ever

    I totaly disagree with the 3,5 stars for a game like this but i respect your opinion 🙂

    • Boobi

      He gave really good account why and listed the negatives.

  • ac166

    Hmm, sounds like it might be as grindy as the original micromon which this replaces to try and force the IAPs... mixed feelings...

    • Robbie1350

      There not forcing people to buy IAP it's just an option 😒😒😒

  • Kwadius

    I would rate 4.5 out of 5 stars. Minus a half star for catch rates...

    • Robbie1350

      The new update that's supposed to come out any time now because Apple won't release it that the update will fix up the catches

      • Kwadius

        I saw that on the forums and at the end of the day the rates aren't really that big of a deal for me

  • Uchti

    I agree with the text of this review! The rating is another matter though since it seems to be totally different than the text 😂

    But with the upcoming update and the increased catch rates, only the iaps hurt the rating a bit. I think it's a bit strange though, if you bought a full Pokémon game back in the day you wouldn't have gotten far with 3$. optional iaps are the best way to go imo.

    In Short: it deserves 4 or 4,5 stars imo

  • Gear71

    For a game that's been out about a week the forum thread is 53 pages long and counting. Hard to believe a game that's this popular could get a mediocre 3.5 star review. I am having Carter flashbacks.

  • Ivica

    Wow 3,5 stars????? This game is 5/5

  • Pedro Rama da Silva

    Pokemon blue on gameboy colour? That brings back memories. Sigh alas this just feels like another "gotta milk'em all" clone with the IAP, like the monster catcher stuff. Yes you can finish it without IAP, but it is just too grindy and you will almost never catch the rarest 'mons without the IAP (you say, but you can, it just takes lck and time. Sadly time is a precious commodity for me, so i always feel the IAP would be a must, so i just dont buy the game).

  • CamZer0

    3.5 out of 5. Harsh. Very very harsh. This game is 4.5 all day long.

  • dbagga84

    The catch rates are bad but I've never had to use 15 traps. The most I ever used on one nexomon was 10 and it was once against an ultra rare. In numerous occasions it's taken 9 but most of the time it only takes me 5-7 traps to catch super/mega rares. It's clearly different for different people but just sayin don't let it stop you from buying/playing it's really not as bad as they make it sound.

  • TheKindMind

    I completely agree with this review and the score. All the points he made were valid. When a majority of the game is spent battling (having problems with status effects) and catching Nexomon (with horrible catching rates) I understand why there are 1 1/2 stars taken off. Gameplay is very important and should take a chunk of the score. I don't understand why everyone thinks 3 1/2 stars is such a bad score either. That means its pretty good! 🙂

  • curtisrshideler

    Yeah, all of the good points were the reasons I almost bought it, despite not having the time to play it yet. But because the game was set up with low catch rates and IAP to offset that, I'll probably end up not buying it even if I did get a chance to play. But I'm glad those that love this genre have something to dive into.

  • CoolDukeNukem

    I disagree with everyone saying that this should be higher than 3.5 stars. The review gives some great criticisms that need to be addressed for this to be higher than that. This art and story are good, but not unique, the gameplay is bland Rock Paper Scissors, and the game incentivizes IAP on a game you have to pay for.

    • Robbie1350

      You don't have to pay for it, it's just an option 😒😒😒

      • melvin2898

        Yes but having those features in the game would make it easier to play. I hate grinding. It's not a fun thing to do.

      • icomma

        He meant that you have to pay for the game itself, which you do.

    • melvin2898

      lol It's not as simple as rock paper scissors. You could say the same about Pokemon and if you face a tournament player, you'll get destroyed.

  • Pagan Fox

    Personally disagree with the score, perhaps it was reviewed too soon?
    I'd have waited for the first update at least which would have sorted out the catch rates etc and thus would no doubt have provoked I higher rating.
    Oh well. I'm still loving it....5*

    • melvin2898

      You shouldn't have to wait for an update to accurately judge a game.

  • ilyes carre

    Pokemon blue on gameboy colour? That brings back memories. Sigh alas this just feels like another "gotta milk'em all" clone with the IAP, like the monster catcher stuff. Yes you can finish it without IAP, but it is just too grindy and you will almost never catch the rarest 'mons without the IAP (you say, but you can, it just takes lck and time. Sadly time is a precious commodity for me, so i always feel the IAP would be a must, so i just dont buy the game).

  • shining jade

    Given I follow this dev on fb and twitter I know the 1.3 update coming fixes catch rate and other issues now if apple get off there lazy butts and just let the expedited update through -_-

  • shining jade

    Also similar to junk jack / junk jack x Micromon & some other premiums the Iap help support the dev are optional, in my eyes long as the game plays offline & is fun & decent I don't mind OPTIONAL Iap, I bought a few in Micromon & tons more in Junk Jack & other offline premium/Freemium games I like.

  • melvin2898

    People are mad over a review. lol

    Don't get me wrong, this is a good game but purposely making the game more difficult by having things behind a paywall isn't cool. I get that people want to make money but this game is already 3 bucks and in the top 10 of the app store.

    It's hard to catch Nexomon and it's hard to level them up. I had to actually train to be ready for the first overseer. I think more tamers to fight could have been included.

    I do apperciate the fact that the developer is willing to work with people but some of the new IAP should just be natural things in the game.

  • tex42

    Thanks for the great review! You nicely summed up everything I have been reading in the forums and gave some good honest feedback on top of that. I think I'll wait to see if the catch rates improve enough with this update before I pick it up.

  • Saveria

    It's funny how scores chafe when the actual review is quite fair and overall very positive . like, I think of other games that scored higher than this that I enjoyed way less. Anyway, with the knowledge that a patch is coming to fix the low capture rate, a 4 would be my expectation but oh well. The actual review is nice and points out what makes the game fun.

  • Daniel10810

    Hello Everyone!

    Here’s a quick update.

    Update 1.3 – We uploaded this update since last Friday and for some reason Apple has yet to approve it. We’ve tried every possible channel to reach them but the only option left is to wait and hope it will released soon. This update includes known bugs like the catch rate, iCloud and some crashes during the final battle with Omnicron. We truly apologize for the delay. We are looking for options to compensate our players somehow for this inconvenience. Thanks for you patience!

    In other news update 1.4 is moving forward, this update includes many balance changes such as skills hit rates, it will also make it a little bit easier to grind coins and EXP, increase stats for evolutions, updated rarity tags, settings menu, etc. and much, much more. All thanks to your great feedback! This update should be ready sometime next week if everything goes as planned.

    PVP- we started working on the general design, we plan to include amazing features such as a hall of fame for season winners and rewards. Once we are more far into development we will share more details with you so we can gather as much early feedback as we can prior to launch. Thanks!

    This was posted about 2 hrs ago at time of me posting this

  • RinoaHeartily

    That's a very fair review. Don't forget they remove the AR from the original. Every skill looks similar and there's no reason to choose once skill over the other. Basically other than the graphics and cuteness. This game fall far behind the original.

  • brainbean

    With how active the specs are putting out updates I would give it a 4-4.5. Unfortunately Apple has delayed the last update since Friday. It's an exceptional game that I think will get even better after a few more updates.

    • TheKindMind

      The purpose of a review is to review a game in its current state...not on whether it will get more updates and improve in the future. That makes no sense.

      • Pagan Fox

        I think the issue for me is, some games can be released and updated/patched months ago and then reviewed (Rogue Wizards for example) and receive glowing five star reviews, and rightly so, whereas this game is released, has a few issues, and yet is reviewed within the first week since release.....of course it will be marked down whereas a few patches down the road it could be the best tamer game ever made.
        Who knows. I usually listen to my peers on the forums anyway.

      • TheKindMind

        I'm afraid I still don't see your point. It's not the reviewers fault on when he finishes a game, as well as its review. I feel like this review was very timely (finished in around a week). I appreciate that. It makes no sense to fault TA for putting out timely reviews. Again, it makes no sense.

  • Chaorro

    Yeah, the devs said they are coming out with an update to fix the catch rates. That was my only gripe with the game

  • Reviewer

    Here is the problem: actual Pokémon game on 3ds is $39.99 and yes you are not dealing with IAP. Now we are dealing with talented independent developers who were able to create similar experience for us with only $2.99 and optional IAP. This is the question: if they price the game for $29.99 and no IAP, are they going to receive better reviews or now being criticized for price! I think we should separate mobile gaming from cell phone gamers. Switch, 3ds, vita are tools for mobile gaming. Cellphones providing games for people who want spend few minutes to pass time.

    • houseofg

      Very well put.

Nexomon Reviewed by Wayne Skabelund on . Rating: 3.5