Automon – Early Access – Game Review

Automon

Developer: Gral Games

Publisher: Gral Games

Game Series: Automon

Platform: PC

Release Date: Early Access launched 4th March 2022

Age Rating: TBC

Automon

Automon came out earlier this year () via Steam’s early access program. It is a rogue-lite creature collector auto battle (yeah that is a mouthful) but that is the best way to describe this game. It features many unique creatures for you to capture on your journey to defeating the CHAMPION! It also has the honor of being one of the three games I actually bought on release this year: the other two being Pokémon: Legends Arceus and Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.

Image Source: Itch.io

Story of Automon

The isn’t much of a story to Automon. In the campaign you start by selecting your starter (typical of any Pokémon-esque game) then make your way through 100 waves. Each wave you will select which path you wish to go down. Each path with show a grid of potential spawns and the difficulty of the battle.  Every 5 battles you face a boss, after fan-feedback the developer has added rewards from said boss fights. These range from badges that increase stats boosts, Automon and extra XP. When you do finally make your way through to the 100th wave you will face the champion, beating him will win the game.

The Champion of Automon

However, a really good addition I like is when you beat the game your winning team becomes the champions team for the next playthrough. This adds a sense of challenge, pushing you to always beat your previous go, in this game quite literally by defeating your last winning team.

Pros of Automon

The game is really easy to pick up but hard to master which is my preferred gameplay style for rogue-lites. The game is a new take on the old Pokémon recipe and does manage to breath enough fresh air into this dated sub-genre. It is done mainly by imagining if Pokémon was a dystopia, barbaric and unjust, that’s Automon. I also quite liked playing this game whilst finishing my university assignments as it was very easy to play and with it being an auto-battler it doesn’t require as much attention as other games.

Cons of Automon

I don’t really have many things I don’t like about Automon. The is a few things that are rough around the edges, some balancing that still needs tweaking, but the developer is routinely updating the game and keeping in touch with its community. I’m sure the game will continue to change during early access, so I choose not to pay much notice to the little things that are just the natural when a game is in early stages of development. I do however wish the leveling of  the Automon was more rewarding. I wish the was evolution implemented in some way, I think the mere stats getting increased is a bit boring.

Solution to Cons of Automon

I believe the game could fix two problems in one by allowing you to combine mons into some kind of evolutions, fixing the evolution problem and the problem of sometimes having too many good Automon you’ve leveled up but needing to switch one out for a better type match up and having to waste the time and effort you put into leveling up them Automon.

Summary of Automon

In conclusion Automon is one of the more ingenious Pokémon clones available right now. Perhaps this change with the release of Palworld but right now I would say the best Pokémon inspired game is Automon. It breathes enough fresh air into the Pokémon formula that has slowly been turning stale over the last few generations. I do believe this is only a fraction of what the finished quality of the game will be but am already in love with it. The fact games last about 5-20 minutes is perfect for me when I need a quick way to blow off steam in between coursework and writing my next book. I do however desperately wish the developer introduces some sort of evolution mechanic. This is because as I tend to get a bit bored of the Automon staying the same the whole run.

Image Source: Steam

Overall Rating: 8 – Very Good!

Platform Played On: PC (Steam Early Access)

Game Time At Review: 7 Hours

Recommendation: Yes

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