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Pokémon Clones That Are Actually Great

It comes as no surprise that an IP as popular as "Pokémon" has attracted a number of imitators over the decades. For every official entry released, two new "Pokemon" clones seem to spring up alongside it. Some of these games have proven little more than shameless copies, quickly lost to the annals of gaming history after The Pokémon Company forced them out of circulation. Others have taken a more transformative approach, paying homage to a beloved design style while iterating on the core mechanics to produce fresh results.


The latter tactic has produced a number of breakout "Pokémon" clones capable of satisfying gamers hungry for their next monster-catching fix. While none of them have reached the same heights as the franchise that inspired their creation, they all have a unique angle to offer on a tried and true formula. Playing each feels a bit like peering into an alternate dimension and discovering what "Pokémon" might have become if the developers had made different decisions during the production process.


"Temtem" combines two genres — monster catcher and MMO — to create a familiar yet distinct experience. Instead of training Pokémon, players tame Temtem scattered across half a dozen islands (as opposed to regions). Much like the "Pokemon" series, the core loop of "Temtem" involves catching, battling, and training. Rather than gyms, tamers challenge dojos — they even have their own Team Rocket equivalent to deal with, Clan Belsoto.


Though an obvious "Pokémon" clone, "Temtem" stands out thanks to its complexity. Those who like the concept of "Pokémon" but prefer more of a challenge may take to taming Temtem. Instead of just encouraging the standard level grind, "Temtem" rewards those who favor knowledge and planning with a more satisfying progression. The key? Learn the system and work smarter, not harder.

If you enjoy exchanging your time for cosmetics, "Temtem" also includes a seasonal battle pass and other in-game purchases. A wealth of end-game content further incentives moving through the story. The ability to interact and easily trade or team up with other players also removes some of the friction of the classic "Pokémon" formula.

  • Release date: September 6, 2022

  • Available on: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, Xbox Series X|S

  • Genre: monster catcher, MMO, tactical RPG

  • Game modes: single-player, online multiplayer (up to 1000), online co-op (up to 1000)

  • Metacritic score: 79 (PC), 76 (Switch), 73 (PS5), 80 (Xbox Series)


"Coromon" casts players in the role of Battle Researcher for the international organization known as Lux Solis. As a newly inducted member of the Titan Taskforce, you'll set out into the land of Velua to uncover more information about the area's Titans (which also function as boss fights). Along the way, you'll assemble a team of Coromon and take on a dastardly group that threatens the safety of the entire region.


Fans of the "Pokémon" entries released for the Game Boy Advance will find a lot to like in "Coromon." The title capitalizes on a sense of nostalgia, combining recognizable plot and gameplay elements with an appealing lineup of creatures to catch. Predictable story beats and a tedious grind, especially in the early stages tarnish its luster. However, it still has a lot to offer those looking for a more traditional "Pokémon" clone.

"Coromon" particularly shines when it comes to allowing players to customize their difficulty settings, offering a more tailored experience and boosting replayability.

  • Release date: March 31, 2022

  • Available on: PC, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS

  • Genre: monster catcher, turn-based strategy, RPG

  • Game modes: single-player, online multiplayer (custom, up to 6)

  • Metacritic score: 73 (PC), 75 (Switch)

Disc Creatures

"Disc Creatures" follows a Disc Ranger as they set out into the world with their DiscKid to tame critters, perform good deeds, and uncover secrets. One of a growing number of great games created by a solo developer, "Disc Creatures" oozes nostalgia. This love letter to the monster catchers of yore contains 200 unique creatures, all with their own skill progressions.


If you've ever found beating up and imprisoning "Pokémon" in Pokéballs off-putting, you may prefer the approach in "Disc Creatures." Thanks to the handy DiscKid, Disc Rangers collect digital copies of the critters they encounter — a smart choice, given that these beings can talk and even own property in this setting.

Though made for PC, "Disc Creatures" would feel right at home on the Game Boy Color. Eschewing the 1v1 format for a 3v3 approach to battles, the title places a greater emphasis on team composition. Disc Rangers also need to plan their strategy around charging up energy bars. However, the game still bears the hallmarks of a "Pokémon" clone, including type vulnerabilities and status effects, making it an easy transition for die-hard fans.

  • Release date: October 17, 2019

  • Available on: PC

  • Genre: monster catcher, RPG, adventure

  • Game modes: single-player only

  • Metacritic score: N/A (PC)


Of the "Pokémon" clones out there, "Ooblets" might provide the most distinct gameplay loop. The title combines the monster catcher and farming simulator genres in one adorable package that centers on a customizable character intent on helping the fellow inhabitants of Badgetown. Rather than traditional battles, you and your Ooblets progress through a series of dance-offs. Between house renovations, quests, taking part in minigames, and exploring the area, players will find no shortage of activities to keep them occupied.


Beyond its "Pokémon" roots, "Ooblets" will likely also appeal to those looking for games like "Animal Crossing" or "Stardew Valley." Leaning into the farming angle, players plant and harvest Ooblets, as opposed to encountering them out in the wild. The signature dance-offs unfold using card-based mechanics. Each Ooblet comes with unique cards, making the title reminiscent of a deck builder — though the sheer number of options can land farmers in the weeds when it comes to determining the best combinations.

While not a seamless experience, "Ooblets" makes up for its shortcomings with a cozy and laid-back atmosphere.

  • Release date: September 1, 2022

  • Available on: PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One

  • Genre: monster collector, farm simulator, adventure, RPG

  • Game modes: single-player only

  • Metacritic score: N/A (PC), 74 (Nintendo Switch), N/A (Xbox One)