Also on: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Publisher: QUByte Interactive
Developer: Cadabra Games
When I saw that Adore was a monster-collecting game, I figured I knew exactly what that meant: that it’d be another Pokémon clone. After all, I’ve played Coromon, Nexomon, Cassette Beasts, and who knows how many others of those games, and apart from slight variations here and there, they’re not all that different from each other.
Turns out that when you actually play Adore, you find out it’s a different breed (pun not intended) of Pokémon clone entirely.
This is because it’d be more accurate to say that Adore is a game that’s closer to what you’d get if you crossed Pokémon with Diablo. While there’s certainly a large element of gathering monsters and using them to fight for you, the action here is completely different than what you’d see in a Pokémon game: it’s top-down and it’s real-time, and you don’t have a chance to take the sort of slower-paced strategic approach that defines your battles. While the goal may be to catch ‘em all (plus stopping some evil curse), this is a far cry from the genre’s usual tropes and trappings.
This is both a positive and a negative. The good news is that, in some ways, you’re much more involved here than you are in your average monster-collecting game. The fact there’s near constant action when you’re out in the field means you’ve always got to be paying close attention – if you don’t send monsters out to fight for you, you’ll get killed by the wild animals that inhabit every level. You may not get quite as in the weeds in terms of training as you do in, say, Monster Rancher or
The downside? It gets awfully repetitive. Unlike most other monster-collecting games, there’s not nearly as much emphasis placed on monster types. That means every new level feels awfully similar: you see enemy monsters, you keep throwing yours out to fight every few seconds until they beat the bad guys, repeat. (On a related note: it doesn’t make a lot of sense why the monsters revert back to your pocket every few seconds. Like, why can’t they just stay fighting until the battle is done?)
Further, not having your human character doing anything makes them feel kind of useless. You can’t really do anything beyond dodging and picking up items, so you spend the levels constantly on the run from enemies, waiting for your monsters to win the fight. It means that Adore gets a little dull after a short while.
But credit where credit is due: while its action kind of drags, Adore also deserves plaudits for taking a well-known genre and formula and trying something completely new. It may not work enough to sustain it for a 10+-hour runtime, but there are enough interesting ideas here that it’s not hard to imagine it evolving into something fun.
QUByte Interactive provided us with an Adore Nintendo Switch code for review purposes.