Love monster collecting turn-based RPGs? You’re in luck because there are quite a few games like Pokemon on the Nintendo Switch.
A few of them feel close to playing a Pokemon game, while others feel different to play. If you want to get started with the best game like Pokemon, head to the bottom of the list.
All of the games were chosen because they feature some type of monster-collecting mechanic. Some of them are more like Pokemon than others, but all are worth your attention.
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10. Octopath Traveler
Octopath Traveler doesn’t have any monster collection per se, but one of the characters does. Collecting all eight characters and building a party to complete the story is a bit like defeating each gym, too.
If you want the authentic Pokemon experience while playing Octopath Traveler, make sure H’aanit is in your party. H’aanit is the hunter class character who can control pets and summon them to fight for her. She has the most amount of starting abilities in the game – attacking with bows and axes.
9. Monster Crown
Monster Crown has no official release date, but it is slated to head to Nintendo Switch. The developers describe it as a “dark monster-catching game with true crossbreeds.”
Players will be able to offer contracts to dangerous beasts and breed them to create new species. The mechanic sounds a lot like the Shin Megami Tensei series of games, which influenced other games like Pokemon on this list.
Monster Crown will feature over 200 monsters to collect with endless breeding possibilities. The art style resembles early Pokemon games like Pokemon Red and Blue.
The developers are running a closed beta right now on Steam. A trailer for the Switch version released in 2018 and the game is yet to be released, however.
8. Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a traditional JRPG with action-based combat. The game has a great story and is fun to play, but there is a collect-’em’-all mechanic with weapons. Weapons are called Blades in the game and are driven by specific personalities.
The game feels like it draws inspiration from both Pokemon and the Shin Megami Tensei games. There are hundreds of Blades to collect, and you can combine two Blades to make another.
Each weapon influences the skills you have available, meaning they bring unique skills and traits to the battle. Blades have strengths and weaknesses against other types – so it’s essential to pay attention.
7. Darkest Dungeon
Darkest Dungeon is a turn-based dungeon crawler where you recruit teams of adventurers. Each adventurer is a specific class and comes with randomized abilities. The many horrors your adventurers face makes you feel close to them – especially when they overcome dark odds.
There are no animals to collect or catch them all – instead, you’re creating adventurer teams. Managing your adventurers means taking care of their stress levels and any negative traits they may develop.
It’s a unique approach to caring about your team, and one older Pokemon players might find engaging.
6. Pokemon Quest
Pokemon Quest is the only game on this list that is free-to-play. It is also the only game that features actual characters from Pokemon. If you’re looking for a bite-sized Pokemon roguelike, give it a try.
It’s fast-paced and might scratch the itch for a game like Pokemon on Switch. You can even play the game on your iOS or Android device while you are away from your Switch.
The game is also unique in that it is not a freemium cash-grab. You can pay $30 to unlock the game to remove most limitations. If you spend piecemeal until you get to $30, the game will auto-unlock.
Tangledeep is a tactical roguelike with a complex monster breeding system. You can tame creatures you find in dungeons and breed them to have unique skills not found in the wild. The game’s roguelike roots make it not as story-based as Pokemon, but the monster taming mechanic is fun.
There are more than ten classes to master and lots of loot to find, making Tangledeep an excellent experience. It is a bit more structured than most roguelikes and even features boss battles.
One unique aspect of the game is leveling up your equipment by defeating a randomly generated dungeon. The art-style reminds me of the Secret of Mana series on SNES, which the developer says is a definite influence.
4. Siralim 3
Siralim 3 is another monster taming roguelike, but the mechanics are much more involved than Tangledeep. While monster keeping is a side activity in Tangledeep, it is the main focus in Siralim 3.
Siralim 3 draws many comparisons to Pokemon and the Shin Megami Tensei series – for a good reason. The game features over 700 different creatures to tame and fight. It has randomly generated dungeons with fifteen tilesets, with artifacts, and spell gems to augment your creatures.
Players can acquire new creatures by finding them in the wild or breeding two tamed creatures together for an egg. This mechanic is similar to Shin Megami Tensei’s demon breeding – you even collect recipes for new monsters to breed as you explore the dungeons.
Each monster has its lore and background, making Siralim 3 one of the best games like Pokemon.
3. World of Final Fantasy Maxima
Have you ever wanted a game like Pokemon set in the Final Fantasy universe? World of Final Fantasy Maxima is just that – with a unique stacking mechanic borrowed from the Disgaea series. Players take control of siblings Reynn and Lann to explore the world of Grymoire.
Gamers who have played all of the Final Fantasy games will enjoy all the references to past games. The game has its own unique story and monsters to catch, inspired from all Final Fantasy games in the series. The chibi art style may be off-putting to some, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
One unique aspect to the monster-catching mechanic in World of Final Fantasy is catching requirements. You can’t go out catching all the monsters you want, willy nilly.
No, there are specific requirements for getting a monster into your party. Maybe you have to deal damage of a particular element or cause one specific status effect. Evolution in World of Final Fantasy works more like Digimon, allowing you to change between unlocked forms freely.
2. Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth is an excellent combination of monster collecting and relationship-focused RPGs. There are over 300 different Digimon to collect, raise, and digivolve – making Digimon Story one of the best games like Pokemon on Switch.
One key difference between Digimon and Pokemon is that training your monsters isn’t left up to RNG. In Pokemon, players catch hundreds of Pokemon to get the traits they want.
In Digimon, you have granular control over training your monsters, similar to Shin Megami Tensei. Players can have up to eleven Digimon in their party, with three participating in turn-based battles.
The best part of this release is that it is two games. Cyber Sleuth is the first, and Hacker’s Memory is the second. Both games are in the same timeline but feature a different main character and story. The only real downside to this collection is the lack of an autosave feature, and cutscenes are unskippable.
The Switch port runs well, and both games look fantastic in handheld mode or docked.
1. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch feels like playing a Pokemon game animated by Studio Ghibli. The game follows the story of a boy named Oliver, who discovers he has magical talent. As High Lord of the Fairies, Oliver must help save the world.
The story is pretty cliche and made to be accessible, but the real meat of the game is how many monsters you can catch. There are four party members you control, and each party member gets three unique skill sets.
Ni No Kuni features over 400 familiars to tame and collect – making it one of the best games like Pokemon. The familiar rock, paper, scissors battle between status effects are present here, too. Some familiars have no associated sign and no additional bonuses or weaknesses, much like normal Pokemon.
Familiars can be leveled up by feeding them their favorite foods. Their stats can be raised by a max of 50 and which stats are raised depends on the food type given. Familiars can also ‘morph’ and develop more potent forms, but unlike Pokemon, you don’t want to morph them too soon. The final evolution of each familiar has two main branches to pick.
One key difference between Ni No Kuni and Pokemon is that battles in NNK are free action. You can move your characters around to avoid damage or collect glims to replenish health and mana. It also features a summons component like Final Fantasy, though it is a skill you unlock.
My only negative complaint about this game is how slow it is to play it. Exploring is very slow, talking to people is slow, and tutorials don’t stop even after 30 hours. The game holds your hand along the way, but it’s downright adorable, so it is somewhat forgiven.
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