I was probably already too old to be playing virtual trading card games (TCG) like Pokemon by the time the Game Boy title came out. (I was already out of high school if that puts it into perspective for you.) I may have stopped playing the “Catch ’em All” game a few years ago, but my love for collecting and battling unusual creatures is still burning strong in my heart. Zuko quells that fire by letting players battle creatures, collect new monsters, and explore the lands, in search of opponents to beat and pets to find.
Players begin the game by helping out a Zuko battler who is fighting against a wicked opponent. You step in to help win the battle and your new friend gives you some credits and your first pet. He asks for your help tracking down the dastardly Deckard. You take your pet and your credits and head out on an adventure like no other.
Players search for new monsters to battle against or try to capture. To look for a monster, tap on one of the magnifying glasses. If there is a monster hiding in the bushes, you’ll begin a battle. Depending on which monsters you have available, you can try to knock the enemy out or capture him. To knock him out, simply fight to the end. To attack with a special power, tap the power button at the bottom of the screen. You’ll then have to tap the enemy at very specific points at a very fast speed. If your taps are successful, you’ll do more damage. Otherwise, the attack will still hit, but not for as much damage.
If you don’t already have the monster you are battling, try to capture it. When it’s health is in the red, tap the capture button instead of attacking. Capturing a monster costs “Capture Bolts.” You’ll get 10 to start with and can buy more with credits. Some monsters are fairly inexpensive and can be captured for one or two Bolts. However, many of them are expensive and you’ll run out of Bolts very quickly. They regenerate, but only one every two-and-a-half hours.
This is the worst part of the game. I want to collect monsters, but I was only able to get four of them before I ran out of Capture Bolts. Because the game is free, they will definitely make their money from convincing players to buy more Bolts in order to capture monsters.
You can compete against others in a multiplayer arena. Battle a friend in the same room through local Wi-Fi or via Game Center. I was never able to join a battle. Every time I started a round, the other player would leave the battle. I don’t think it was that my opponent was scared to play me. I think there is a problem with the multiplayer mode.
Other than the ridiculously long waiting period for Capture Bolt regeneration and the unusable Multiplayer mode, the game is plenty of fun. You don’t have to capture monsters in order to play. You could just fight them to earn experience points and level up your pets. You’ll get a full refresh of Bolts in about a day, so just play until you’re out and wait until the next day to play again.
What I Liked: I love collecting new monsters. It is a lot like Pokemon in that way. Players collect different types of pets, like water, fire, and wind based monsters.
What I Didn’t Like: The Capture Bolts take too long to regenerate and multiplayer mode doesn’t work properly.
To Buy or Not to Buy: It is free to download, so if you are a fan of Pokemon, or any TCG Battle type game, give this one a try. Don’t be frustrated at how long things take. Just be patient. It will pay off in the end.
- Name: Zuko Monsters
- Version Reviewed: 1.5
- Category: Games
- Developer: GoodBeans
- Price: Free