We’re getting a pair of new Pokémon games for the 3DS later this year, but DeNA is hoping you’ll give its take on that genre a try on your smartphone instead.
The publisher is announcing today that its Monster Builder game is coming to Android devices this month, with an iOS version at a later date. This new series from DeNA and developer Nurijoy will have fans collecting and battling creatures in a role-playing-game setting. Collecting and battling with creatures is a mechanic that has helped Pokémon win an audience for decades and turned Puzzle & Dragons into a billion-dollar success. DeNA is attempting to capture some of that success to help it claim a piece of the $36.9 billion mobile-gaming industry for itself.
In Monster Builder, alien creatures are invading Earth, and the only way to defeat them is to train monsters of your own. This will lead to players finding and training a squad of beasts that look like dragons, evil toads, and tigers. Like with Pokémon, Monster Builder has a rock-paper-scissor mechanic in which each creature falls into one of four elemental types. This introduces strategy and a reason to have a diverse roster of critters.
While the core of Monster Builder sounds similar to Pokémon and other popular mobile apps like Puzzle & Dragons, DeNA is attempting to set its game apart by focusing on a system where players can craft their own monsters from thousands of possible variations.
Games like Monster Builder can make a lot of money because players are always looking to collect the next creature they need to strengthen their team or a certain upgrade to improve their favorite monster. This enables developers to charge for random drops — often referred to as gacha — that may include highly prized items. Games like Puzzle & Dragons and Granblue Fantasy have successfully exploited this and ended up with massive revenues.