Pokémon has become a true cultural phenomenon, and in Japan, culture is already mixing with pocket monsters: cities have ambassador Pokémon, and the creatures are even present at weddings. Nevertheless, there is comparatively little competition in monster collecting games. But it is there nonetheless.
Pokémon for the PC does not officially exist. But there are numerous alternatives! How many similarities the individual titles still have with Pokémon can be found in the respective description. And that is exactly what we present to you in this list. The most important aspect of this overview is: You must be able to collect monsters.
On the other hand, if you are interested in some of the background to the Pokémon series itself, we will tell you how localization errors significantly shaped the series in an article.
In Bugsnax, you mainly catch the 100 types of monsters to eat them! Catching itself is the most crucial gameplay element. You have to set up classic traps because you don’t just throw a ball.
But the gameplay doesn’t stand alone. You can take the Bugsnax into battle against larger opponents. Alternatively, give them to the various NPCs and see how they change depending on the snack! Because at the same time, you still have to find out what happened to researcher Elizabeth Megafig.
It’s time for cosmetics when you’ve just had enough of the hunt! Not only can you decorate your shelter, but you can also put hats on the numerous snack animals!
Pokémon Reborn is an entirely free Pokémon fan game developed in RPG Maker and combines Pokémon of all generations in one game and incorporates new ideas and features such as area effects. There is also a fully functional online mode where you can fight and trade.
Otherwise, everything you would expect from a Pokémon game awaits you here. Catch monsters, train them, and finally compete against each other in battles. There are also arena fights and a separate story that will be continued with regular updates.
However, the world is an entirely separate one. So you won’t hike the exact areas you know from the originals. The game also doesn’t shy away from getting a little dark.
Tuxemon wants to be the enormous open-source Pokémon alternative, but it’s still in the very early stages of development. The game principle and graphic design have been taken over almost 1:1 from Pokémon, but they have also created their world and the associated monsters.
Due to its current pre-alpha status, you can’t play it very far just yet. This makes it most suitable for enthusiasts who want to follow the project’s development in the future or who might want to work on it themselves. As you can see from the release date, the development of such free projects likes to drag on a bit.
Because currently, the first city and a handful of fights are integrated. Accordingly, you can find out the story’s premise and test the turn-based combat system. A long journey through the world, on the other hand, is still a long way off.
Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster
While the series Persona was born from has long lived on consoles, it’s returned to PC with the Shin Megami Tensei 3 Nocturne HD Remaster! This list should be called Best Megami Tensei Alternatives for PC because the series had monster-collecting gameplay before Pokémon. And they weren’t even the first to do so.
Enter a post-apocalyptic Tokyo as you follow the story of a Japanese high school student who became a half-demon. A core element of the gameplay is negotiating with enemy demons. You don’t throw balls at them, and you have to bribe them instead or answer philosophical questions.
Finally, the battles themselves play out in typical turn-based JRPG battles, in which you have to consider the various strengths and weaknesses of the opponents. Especially when fighting stronger monsters, it is essential to exploit their weaknesses.
Digital Tamers Reborn
Digital Tamers Reborn is an entirely free Digimon fan game, combining Tamagotchi gameplay with monster battles. Finally, the challenge of the game comes through challenges like boss fights.
The development is also fascinating. You must first take care of the needs of your Digimon and train them. Then you send them into battles against other monsters. They act almost entirely independently. Only later in the game can you influence the fights with objects or commands. Finding the requirements for each is an essential aspect of the game.
Finally, you catch new monsters in a kind of open world. However, you don’t travel them directly yourself. Instead, you see the monsters on a map and then command your own to fight them. If it is successful, you will get a new Digimon egg.
Monster Crown is very similar in design to the first generation of Pokémon but offers a much more serious setting. The story’s darker aspects are correspondingly more in the foreground than in the original.
You don’t make friends with the monsters here. Instead, you make a pact with them. The beings protect you, and you help them to become stronger. As in the first Pokémon, the battles themselves are fought in a one vs. one format and are turn-based.
The breeding system is another unique feature because you can cross the 200 standard monsters with each other as you wish and thus create entirely new species! They finally get into other players’ worlds thanks to an online exchange function.
Nexomon is another monster-collecting game that’s more Pokemon-centric. The graphic style is reminiscent of the older parts of Nintendo’s series before they leaped at the third dimension. You can catch more than 300 creatures here.
You take on the role of a child of two scientists and are also accompanied by a robot named Atlas. Your goal is to stop the evil Nexolord. The gameplay couldn’t be more similar to Pokémon. You will randomly encounter monsters that you can fight or catch in turn-based battles in the long grass. There are other trainers that you duel with. The usual elementary strengths and weaknesses are also included. However, catching the monsters is entirely random: if you defeat one, the game decides whether you get it or not.
Nexomon was initially released for Android and iOS. Only at the end of 2019 did it leap to the PC with a graphics update. In addition to Nexomon, there is also Nexomon: Extinction. In addition, the successor Nexomon 2 should also appear on Steam.
World of Final Fantasy
Final Fantasy consists not only of well-known role-playing games but also spawned some offshoots. One of them is World of Final Fantasy, all about collecting monsters.
You explore the land of Grymoire, and here, you can collect, customize and develop a wide variety of creatures. The creatures themselves call themselves Mirage, and as a player, you take on the role of a Mirage keeper. This happens as in Pokémon itself: If you have weakened the monsters enough in battle, you can make friends with them.
The battles use the Active Time Battle system known from the other Final Fantasy games, which are turn-based and have a real-time component. Depending on which Mirage you have in battle, you will also receive additional bonuses.
Persona 4 Golden
You also collect monsters in Persona 4 Golden. However, this works a little differently than in Pokémon. The creatures here are called Persona, and you get them randomly after completing battles. You can always carry a limited number with you and use their abilities in battle.
Although the Personas also level up and learn new skills, they don’t have any developments like Pokémon. Instead, you can fuse them with other demonic monsters to create unique and more robust Personas. Away from the battles, you will also explore a rural Japanese town, attend school and expand your circle of friends, making your Personas stronger.
The game was initially released in 2008 for the Playstation 2. However, an extended version for the Vita followed in 2012, making it to the PC again in 2020. Barely a year later, the offshoot Persona 5 Strikers followed.
Slime Rancher is a sandbox game. Here you catch the slime balls with your vacuum cleaner and then keep them on your farm. However, slime is not just slime and can take different forms. Slime in the shape of a cat? No problem! Likewise, they can have their properties, such as being radioactive or simply exploding spontaneously.
Pokémon meets Stardew Valley: The farm itself is also essential in addition to the catching aspect. Because you not only have to catch the slimy creatures but also lock them in enclosures and then take care of them. After all, if they’re in a bad mood, they’ll have little interest in staying on your farm. And depending on the species, they have other preferences that you have to consider when keeping and caring for them.
Even though the game was released in 2017, it still gets content updates. In December 2019, there was an event with new musical instruments that you could unlock.
What happens when you mix Pokemon with Metroid? The German developer Moi Rai Games probably asked the same question and developed Monster Sanctuary. Your journey begins by choosing one of four starter monsters. Then you move through a 2D pixel world in which many paths are closed at first. Only the unique abilities of some monsters open up different ways.
The fights are similar to those of Pokémon, and you take turns choosing attacks. Here, too, the monsters’ specific elemental strengths and weaknesses are essential. There is also a combo counter that boosts all of your attacks. You don’t get new companions by catching, but good ratings in the fights. Because that’s the only way, you have a higher chance of better loot, including the rare monster eggs.
Monster Sanctuary previously only appeared in an Early Access version and received its third major content update in December 2019, which added online PvP to the title. The full release is scheduled for 2020. If you want to try the title for a short time, you can download a demo.
Ni No Kuni
Ni No Kuni is a JRPG made in collaboration with Studio Ghibli. Here young Oliver tries to save his mother in a parallel world. It’s populated by many monsters that you can catch and then use in battle. However, the parallels to Pokémon stop when collecting the 444 creatures.
The combat system is a mixture of real-time and turn-based. In the battle arenas, you can move completely freely. There are cooldowns for your skills, and your monsters are subject to a stamina system. In addition, your creatures take part in the fight and you with magic and melee weapons.
The Japan role-playing game was initially released for the Nintendo DS and later received an expanded version for the PS3. It was only released as a remaster for the PC and the Nintendo Switch in addition to the PS4 in 2019.