We take a first look at Abandon Mobile's upcoming pet raising/battling RPG...
Freaky Creatures, Abandon Mobile's next big project, might turn out to be a large technical step toward the future of handset gaming. Existing simultaneously on PC and mobile platforms, one subscription rate will allow players access to both versions of the game. The PC version will feature 3D graphics, a home for your creature, and a full-fledged online community, while the mobile edition's simpler graphical engine will allow you to take your creature battles on the road.
Heavily influenced by the Pokemon / Yu Gi Oh / Digimon genre, Freaky Creatures centers on creating, caring for, and battling with your own personal monster. There are roughly 10 species available (hailing from five different worlds) and approximately 100 additional parts to add, hopefully ensuring a unique look for your creation. Battling is in traditional rock-paper-scissors style (water beats fire, electricity beats water, ground beats electricity), with each of the 100 initially available attacks represented by a card. A victory in battle earns you a random selection from your opponent's deck, although you needn't worry about losing your best card as the winner receives a copy instead of the original.
The Freaky Creates team told Modojo one of the biggest challenges was artistic design. The creature-battling genre has been done quite a few times before, so a distinctive look was essential in separating Freaky Creatures from the rest of the pack. The ultimate decision was to dial down the cuteness factor and create characters that are a little bit more mature and scary-looking.
After seeing the design in action, I'm on the fence as to how successful I believe it might be. A creature I'm going to care for as an owner either needs to be cute or badass, and the creatures I saw were still sitting somewhere between those two looks. Add the fact that these games tend to appeal to a younger audience, and I'm left wondering how successful the more mature design will be in the long run.
With a planned release in February of next year, there's still a lot of time for Freaky Creatures to grow into a powerhouse of a mobile experience, but creature battling has already been done very well in portable form. The folks at Abandon may have their work cut out for them in nabbing a piece of that market, but the game's more mature style might be just the hook this one needs to separate itself from the pack.