Let's be honest - a true game like Pokémon will never happen. There are still many great games that focus on monster-collecting though, so make sure to check them out!
Our hopes of getting an actual Pokemon PC game from Nintendo, get thinner with every year that passes, and not even a single mention pops up. There’s like 3 new Pokemon games coming out yearly for mobile devices, but PC? Who cares, only just a few million people have been asking for it for two decades…
We won’t dwell deeper into the reasons Nintendo is avoiding it like the plague, but instead, we’re going to focus on a few Pokemon-like games that are currently available on PC, and can (almost) make up for the original’s absence on our preferred gaming machine.
Some of them are actual “Pokemon-clones-done-right”, while others I’m sure are going to be greatly enjoyed by Pokemon fans, as they use a lot of similar mechanics, but also follow their own gameplay path.
Let’s catch them all!
Table of Contents
Release Date: January 21, 2020
Publisher: Humble Games
Platforms: Windows, PS5, Xbox Series X, Nintendo Switch
TemTem is undoubtedly the best “Pokemon clone” that’s available on PC. We really couldn’t ask for more, since the gameplay and the polish level is absurd on this one! It’s still on early access – therefore missing a lot of core features – but even that is not enough to take away the unique charm of this game.
I’ve never felt such a huge dose of Poke-stalgia, than the day TemTem came out and I played it for the first time! The aesthetics and controls are flawless, and every tiny NPC has a big story to share with you!
The battle system is deeper than Pokemon games, therefore working on your team composition, and using the right Buffs / Debuffs will make a huge difference to your progress – unlike Pokemon where you could always just “carry” everything with your starter Pokemon and never look back.
What’s best, is that TemTem is an online multiplayer game! That means you will meet a flock of other trainers during your journey, and it’s up to you to make friends, battle it out, or just plainly ignore them! And of course, you can team up with them, and have Co-Op battles with other players or NPCs. Sweet! 😁
Release Date: May 25, 2018
Developer: Thylacine Studios
Publisher: Thylacine Studios
Platforms: Windows / Mac / Linux, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS
Siralim is a low-budget franchise from a single developer, but that doesn’t mean it’s lacking in quality. Sure, you won’t get any memorable characters and stories here (or even monsters for that matter), but think of it as a “JRPG take” on the Pokemon games (well Pokemon is a JRPG game too, you know what I’m trying to say here 😁).
You will need a hell-lot of strategy to progress through Siralim, as it’s a roguelike game at its core. If you’re not too familiar with roguelike games, I definitely suggest taking a look at the best ones out there, as it’s hard for an RPG-fan to dismiss them.
There’s a ton of procedurally generated stuff, so RNG & grinding will be by your side, and the same goes for stat-madness and team optimization. The possibilities are literally endless here, so if you enjoy empowering a bunch of different monsters, and taking the best advantage of them – you definitely won’t be disappointed with Siralim.
This is the most “Pokemon-like” game in this list, that is not like Pokemon! It’s obvious that it’s been inspired heavily, and definitely feels that void, but while being a unique game of its own, with a ton of innovation and surprises, through all of the 3 games in the franchise.
Release Date: August 28, 2020
Developer: VEWO Interactive Inc.
Publisher: VEWO Interactive Inc.
Platforms: Windows / Mac, PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Nexomon is one of the Pokemon spin-offs that doesn’t try to hard to hide it, and it doesn’t need too! Originally a mobile game (with zero microtransactions😮), it was recently ported to PC, and trust me, you wouldn’t know if I didn’t just tell you!
The interface, gameplay and graphics are awesome, and it really feels like a unique take on the Pokemon games. The game focuses less on grinding, and more on exploring the world and upgrading your collection, which is a great thing actually.
If you’re not Pokemon, no one is going to spend hundreds of hours on your game, so realizing this, and offering a different experience is an A from me!
If you pick this up with low expectations, you will surely be amazed by the ratio of money cost / fun you can get out of it! And with a sequel on the horizon, it can only get better (I hope).
Release Date: March 12, 2015
Developer: H.A.N.D., Inc.
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc.
Platforms: Windows, PS4 / PS Vita
Digimon never picked up like Pokemon, and for many good reasons. The good thing is that Bandai was never shy of trying new things, and releasing a wealth of different Digimon games in a variety of platforms.
Cyber Sleuth is the best Digimon game you can play on PC, and it actually includes two games in one (Cyber Sleuth and Hacker’s Memory), that also “work” together, so you can use Digimon you get from one game to the other.
I feel that the grind is “too real” on this one, so approach with caution! Digimon fans will feel right at home, while if you’ve never played a Digimon game before, I heavily suggest you start with this one!
Many people compare its gameplay to Persona – and for good reason – so if you’re a Persona fan, you got an additional reason to check this game out! It’s a big “what if” for the Pokemon franchise!
Release Date: January 14, 2016
Developer: Monomi Park
Publisher: Monomi Park
Platforms: Windows / Mac / Linux, PS4, Xbox One
Slime Rancher has very few similarities with Pokemon games to be honest, but for some reason I feel that Pokemon fans are going to enjoy a hell lot of this game! Now that I think of it, the reason is that it just fits so well with the Pokemon world!
It would make total sense if what you do in Slime Rancher, is one of the “normal” jobs and lifestyles for NPCs in Pokemon. You are the owner of a “futuristic” farm, where you have to collect, grow and evolve a big variety of “slimes” that roam around the area.
It’s super relaxing – while still offering a wealth of “oh-s**t” moments – and there’s too much to explore and discover in this weird & cute place!
You should also expect a lot of features from farming games too, which makes progression feel meaningful with every day that passes, knowing that everything you did that day, was solely up to you!
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Publisher: FourThirtyThree Inc.
Platforms: Android, iOS
I know… I know! This is a mobile game, but hear me out on this one! My unlimited urge of finding the best Pokemon alternative throughout the years, has led me to discover Monster Super League a few years ago, and it’s just hard to skip this game if you’re after a Pokemon look-alike, that you can also carry with you – like the old days. 😁
MSL is a gacha game, which is a gaming genre that “rents” a lot from the Pokemon games. Collecting different monsters, leveling and evolving them, is at the core of these games, so if you’ve been a Pokemon fan since the days of Red & Blue, I definitely suggest you take a look at the best gacha games out there – trust me, you won’t regret it (keep your wallet away though)!
The battles are more focused on team composition, elemental strategies and counters, than on-the-spot thinking. Most of the fighting you will do is AFK actually, so some people will hate this, other will love it. You definitely have the option to fight manually of course, it’s just not the optimal way, or what the game was intended for.
With so many game modes to take part in – both PvE & PvP – you will have countless ways to put your hundreds of monsters to the test, and it’s pretty much impossible to run out of things to do. Definitely check it out – and don’t forget that you can play any mobile game you want on your PC easily!