Some may know Pokémon from the popular, long-running anime series, while others might have first encountered the Pocket Monsters by playing one of the wildly popular Nintendo video games. In either case, Pokémon remains a highly recognizable franchise that encompasses anime series, movies, manga comics, and various forms of merchandise but no matter how anyone might look at it – everything started from video games.
Unfortunately for PC players, Pokémon titles are exclusive to Nintendo consoles and we can’t expect to see any official Pokémon releases on personal computers in foreseeable future. Then again, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any good alternative games like Pokémon on PC. In fact, most of the time, these alternate monster collector games heavily expand upon the ideas explored in the original Pokémon titles and offer a fresh interpretation of the genre.
The first and most obvious example of a Pokémon-like PC game is Temtem, a title developed by Crema and published by Humble Games. Temtem doesn’t hide the fact that it’s taking inspiration from the aforementioned Pokémon. The collectible creatures in this game are called Temtem and their owners – Temtem tamers. Popular Pokémon are also present: you receive a starter Temtem from a professor, complete with a relentless rival, and try to stop an evil organization but what makes Temtem different from other games like Pokémon is its unique gameplay mechanics and MMO features.
Unlike Pokémon games, Temtem is an online-only experience. The in-game environment is filled with players that are accompanied by their very own Temtem. The game offers plenty of PvP opportunities and the battles play out in an exceptionally intense manner. For instance, Temtem introduces a stamina meter. Special attacks consume more stamina, making the entire game feel more balanced and strategic as there are far less one-hit victories. Another unique gameplay feature – Temtem battles are always 2 vs. 2 and this opens up possibilities to experiment with different Temtem combinations and a variety of synergy strategies.
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered
Next on our lineup of games like Pokémon for PC is Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered. Originally the game started out as an acclaimed PlayStation 3 exclusive, first released on the platform back in 2011. In September of 2019, game’s publisher Bandai Namco Entertainment finally brought the remastered version of this JRPG to personal computers. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered excels in multiple areas: story-telling, renowned Studio Ghibli animation art style, refined JRPG gameplay, and of course – combat based on taming collectible creatures known as familiars.
The campaign follows a story of a kindhearted boy Oliver who travels an alternate world looking for ways to revive his mother. How is Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch related to monster collecting games? Like Pokémon, the title features a wide array of tamable creatures that are first encountered as enemies. Once defeated, these magical monsters can be captured and used in future battles. Every party member can be associated with up to three familiars and each of the creatures can be leveled up or undergo transformations throughout the course of the game. Unlike in mainline Pokémon series’ games, familiars are controlled manually and can be directly aided by their human counterparts during combat.
Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition
Not long after the release of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered publisher Bandai Namco surprised PC players with yet another JRPG creature collector port. Among the games like Pokémon on PC, we’re lucky to have Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition. The title released on the platform in October of 2019 and its content includes two separate games: Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth and its sequel Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – Hacker’s Memory. Each title offers more than 50 hours of content and plays very much like a traditional Pokémon game with the main difference being in the fictional universe.
It’s important to point out that Digimon Story Cyber Sleuth: Complete Edition is not merely a game bundle. Both titles are interconnected through additional features such as shared save slots. At the same time, the selection of Digital Monsters in the first game is expanded with options that were originally introduced only after the release of its sequel. Overall, the package serves as one of the best alternatives to games like Pokémon on PC. It’s a fully-fledged third-person JRPG rich with content and spectacular turn-based Digimon battles enhanced with neat 3D models of each iconic Digital Monster.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution
Moving further into the realm of anime we encounter Yu-Gi-Oh! The franchise always stood as one of the alternatives to both Pokémon and Digimon. While Yu-Gi-Oh! is a trading card game, it nevertheless involves a Pokémon-style collection of monsters, “evolutions” through different summoning systems and of course – turn-based combat. The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game was realized in a digital format multiple times, with its most recent and complete iteration being this year’s Yu-Gi-Oh! Legacy of the Duelist: Link Evolution PC release.
Games like Pokémon are very often based on anime and Legacy of the Duelist stands as a prime example of that. The game features six different campaigns, each of which is a retelling six Yu-Gi-Oh! anime series starting from the original Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters and moving all the way to the latest Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS storyline. Appropriately, the game offers a massive amount of content with over 10 000 unique cards, newest summoning systems, customizable decks, all of the DLC released for the original Legacy of the Duelist, and in-depth tutorials for newcomers.
Our fifth example of PC games like Pokémon is Monster Sanctuary – an indie title developed by Moi Rai Games and published by Team17. The latter company is known for such acclaimed titles as Overcooked, My time at Portia, and the legendary Worms series. When it comes to Monster Sanctuary, it could be described as a mix between the monster collector genre and Metroidvania. The features charming pixel art graphics and a 2D open-world that looks akin to the setting of Terraria.
Like all of the previously discussed creature collector games, Monster Sanctuary presents a turn-based combat system in terms of gameplay, the sequence of these battles play out in a way that is much more akin to Temtem than any of the other games like Pokémon. For example, the game has its own version of the stamina meter which measures the amount of mana needed for special abilities. Another interesting feature – game’s monsters can be used outside of combat to eliminate or overcome environmental obstacles, just like Ash Ketchum and his friends did multiple times in Pokémon anime!
Our “final” honorable mention
All of the games mentioned above could be described as pure monster collectors but it’s important to remember that there’s always a possibility to find unconventional, alternate games like Pokémon in places one usually wouldn’t look. For example, one such place could be the Final Fantasy series, specifically the Final Fantasy XIII-2 game. Unlike its predecessor, FF XIII-2 features only two human characters with the third empty slot in the team always remaining open for various collectible monsters. Offers on Eneba marketplace include the Final Fantasy XIII-2 stand-alone game, FF XIII & FF XIII-2 bundle together with all of the creature collector games mentioned on our list. Visit our website to buy PC games like Pokémon cheaper and discover even more great deals!