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Replace trainers with keepers and Poké Balls for monster traps and you’ve got Monster Legacy, a game that offers a glimpse of what a free-to-play Pokémon could play like if Nintendo ever took its popular franchise mobile. This means fighting alongside a team of monsters, training them to evolve, and even completing missions for rare items. But before you dismiss this game for another creature-catching clone, Monster Legacy mixes in various clever elements and modes that make it more than just another Pokémon wannabe.
Your mission as the prophesied keeper is to catch and tame monsters to help defend the kingdom of Arborea from incoming doom. The story may not be anything special, but it provides a premise for collecting monsters of various elemental types and training them in battle. With more than 100 monsters to find—all boasting creative names and designs—you’ll definitely find favorites and learn to utilize their skills and unique stats to your advantage. Upon reaching a certain level, some even evolve into stronger versions of themselves, offering more reasons to keep on training them.
Each level you explore has three objectives to complete that either involve battling creatures or retrieving something for a person in the world. Accomplishing each task grants you experience, money, and additional items you can use during your adventure. To add to their replayability, levels can always be revisited to train your lower-leveled monsters, or to complete any objectives you couldn’t clear because you lacked a certain item.
Monster traps and potions all come with a price tag, so if you run out of in-game currency, you may need to spend some real money to get more. Of course, you don’t need to buy anything to enjoy the game, but having to restart a level, grind for a few hours, or wait for your team’s health to recover can put a damper on your playtime if you decide not to pay.
In addition to simply questing, the game also includes a building mode that lets you expand your monster ranch and build resource structures, which produce potions or traps over time. The experience you gain from completing main game objectives also opens up new buildings to further maximize your ranch’s profits, adding an enjoyable extra wrinkle to the experience.
The bottom line. Despite some freemium hassles, Monster Legacy is as charming as many of the monsters you’ll meet. Its various aspects all work together to create an inviting adventure you’ll want to keep playing.
iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch running iOS 6.0 or later
Over 100 colorful and creative monsters to catch and train. Objectives are rewarding to complete. Ranch mode adds a creative building element to your adventure.
Freemium elements can put a stop to your adventure if you don’t want to pay. Grinding for experience can get repetitive.