The last few years have been pretty sensational for those of us who enjoy capturing and battling adorable monsters, but so many of these monster collecting games are turn-based RPGs. I personally can’t get enough of these games, but if you’re looking for a bit more action in your critter battles there aren’t a whole options for you. Well don’t despair, Adore is here to bring some faster action combat to the genre.
In the world of Adore, dangerous creatures roam the lands and those who can tame them are called Adorers. When one of these Adorers accidentally gets involved in a conflict between the god of creation and the god of the end (who are basically just two massive monsters) they end up teleporting to a place they don’t recognise and given a quest to save the day. That Adorer is Lukha, who (you guessed it) you’re going to be playing as. I wouldn’t expect too much from the story in this game, but it doesn’t outstay its welcome and that’s all you can really ask for.
Being a heroic monster tamer isn’t easy, but it doesn’t take you long to get your first little squirrel ally. Catching monsters is simple in theory, all you need to do is hold down the shoulder button and stand in the area in front of them until they become yours. Obviously most critters aren’t just going to stand there and be caught though, so expect to have to dodge some offence and take some hits if you want to bag that cool magic frog you like the look of.
Once you’ve amassed a small army of animals, you’ll probably want to use them to fight off enemies. You can equip four of the creatures you’ve tamed to each of your face buttons, and by pressing that button you’ll summon them to do an attack. As you’d expect all of these magical animals are different, from beasts that charge in and attack in the direction summoned to lava spewing amphibians who shoot flames in all directions. You can’t just summon your pals willy nilly though, because they all have individual health bars that once emptied will divert any damage these monsters take to you.
It doesn’t take too long for this to become a problem, because each creature you collect has a mind of its own. When the action gets a bit more tense then unleashing the wrong monster will end up causing more harm than good, and the game never really helps you figure out the best way to take on tough foes and bosses.
There are plenty of ways to power up and improve your army of minions though, and sometimes grinding is the way forward. Each creature levels up individually, and alongside that you can use essences to give extra abilities to them if your party is made up of specific types of creature. Gathering the right selection of Beast, Arcane and Mystic monsters will really improve your chances out in the wilderness, so make sure you work smart and not hard.
To get all the bits and pieces you need to make your army and Lukha himself stronger, you’ll need to go out and get yourself some materials. Each expedition you go on will list specific items you’ll find as you explore, with each of these missions involving going into different “rooms” full of monsters and killing them all until all signs of life are extinguished. It’s a fairly repetitive loop, and I found it got old pretty fast.
This isn’t helped by the fact that every time you head out on an animal murder adventure you’ll hear the same loop of music over and over based on the area you’re exploring. It will take months for the guitar loop from this soundtrack to finally get out of my head, and in this case that isn’t a good thing.
Adore also has some performance issues on Switch, which aren’t the most egregious I’ve come across but still make the experience less enjoyable. These issues mainly come in the form of framerate dips and an overall low FPS. It won’t bother everyone but in a more action oriented game it’s not ideal.
The biggest issue of all for Adore though is that it just isn’t fun to play. Summoning creatures and hoping they do what you want them to just doesn’t feel particularly satisfying, and I really think a bit of extra guidance early on would’ve gone a long way. I love the idea of a more action oriented monster collecting game, but in practice it’s just a bit disappointing.
The concept of Adore is great and would really fill a gap in the monster collecting market, but the actual game just isn’t much fun to play. Alongside some performance issues on Switch and a repetitive soundtrack, there’s just not a whole lot to recommend here, and it’s a real shame because I really wanted to fall in love with Adore.
A refreshing take on monster collecting
Meddling with synergies to power up your party is satisfying
Your creatures are unpredictable and frustrating
Expeditions are really repetitive
Soundtrack needs variety