I love that the Monster Taming genre has grown so much. Previously, such titles were simply dismissed as ‘Pokémon Clones’; however, now it has developed to such a point where it has become a genre in its own right. There are games such as Coromon and Monster Crown that bear more than a passing resemblance to the Game Boy entries, but then titles such as Beasties and Bugsnax play like something else entirely despite retaining that same goal of ‘Gotta Catch ’em All’.

And now we have yet another game that aims to do try something completely new. Acting as a fusion of Diablo and Pokémon, complete with some (thankfully minimal) roguelite elements and you have something that will hopefully be a breath of fresh air for monster taming enthusiasts.

But does it succeed?

Many thanks to QUByte Interactive for the review code.

Lukha, the young protagonist of Adore, doesn’t seem to be having the best of luck. He’s an apprentice Adorer, which is basically a monster tamer who still worships the long dead God of Creatures known as Draknar, but is abruptly killed during during his training by a massive creature known as Ixer. Probably not the best start for his chosen career, but it could have been worse.

Rather than finding himself completely dead, he finds himself in an unknown place seemingly alive only due to the small remnant of Draknar that inhabits his body. In return for his life, Lukha must work with Draknar to defeat Ixer and free his Divine Essence in order to free the land of Gaterdrik. 

The high stakes and fun writing makes it a surprisingly compelling tale, especially as the two of them share quite a charming relationship as the naiive Lukha tries to work with the grumpy Draknar. Other NPCs you meet along the way also offer some pleasant, if forgettable, interactions as the plot moves along at a reasonably steady pace. 

What makes the world of Gaterdrik so appealing is not the small cast of characters and beasts (more on those later) that inhabit it, but rather the surprisingly solid overall presentation. In addition to the solid writing, the visuals look really nice and sharp with very few moments of slowdown. There’s something almost toylike about the aesthetic design too that I found really compelling, and reminded me a little bit of Oceanhorn or Link’s Awakening, especially when combined with the top-down approach to gameplay. Sound design isn’t nearly as strong, unfortunately, as the few musical tracks are essentially on constant repeat. They’re nice, don’t get me wrong, but as the hours pass by you’ll start resenting the main guitar riff that plays during every single level.


As someone who’s not a huge fan of top-down dungeon crawlers, I was a little wary of Adore going in. That feeling soon went away within minutes after learning what the game was all about.  Despite being a roguelite game, there is still a questline on offer that you’ll find yourself pursuing in your journey to free Gaterdrik and revive Draknar.

The town you woke up in serves as a central hub for you and the other NPCs, and serves as a place where you can manage your team and mess around with artifacts and other team-building items. Main quests are done by entering the portal at the centre of the town and choosing the area and mission you wish to choose. These missions may involve running errands for townsfolk, dealing with the next step of Draknar’s plan, or just doing some plain old grinding, but they all end up essentially playing out in a very similar way. Selecting a mission will dump you into a randomly generated stage and you’ll need to clear out all the creatures along with any other minor tasks that ned to be done The lack of variety does result in diminishing enjoyment as the game goes on, but they’re reasonably short too thus allowing you to take a break whenever you feel the need to. 

Where the true enjoyment lies is in the combat, as Lukha is unable to attack the creatures that are clearly trying to kill him. Instead he must utilise his tamed monsters to do the fighting for him. There are only a paltry 39 creatures in the game, unfortunately, but each one feels quite distinctive with their own fighting style and typing. Given that the game gives you very little guidance on how the typing system works, I felt that the low number stopped such issues from becoming much of a problem as I knew that at least one of my team of four would be able to deal with any threat.

Creatures can be defeated for experience, or they can be captured and potentially added to your team. Weakened creatures are easier to catch, but as you have little control over the monsters you release, I found that I’d often kill enemies after trying to weaken them a little more than I should have. Your team can be recalled with ease at the touch of a button, but it won’t do you much good if your attacker has higher dexterity than you do. Capturing isn’t any easier either, as doing so requires that you maintain within a set capture-cone until the moving line hit the critical point. It’s an unusual capture system, but also feels satisfying too. You won’t be capturing very often, as the Pokéba-sorry-Particles of Gaterdrik required to capture creatures are scarce; but, given the small roster, this also means that you’ll be doing it pretty much for the duration of the story. 


Once you obtain a creature, you can alter your roster as you see fit in order to build your team. Adding a new member may necessitate grinding their level a bit, but I found the tradeoff worth it if I found one I particularly liked. Whilst you can’t necessarily tell creatures how to attack, some influence can be made by creating synergies by applying elemental essences that activate certain special attacks should a creature of that typing be on your team. When combined with artifacts that grant further boons to your group, it adds a certain extra degree of depth that makes up for you limited involvement.

It’s just a shame that there wasn’t a little bit more to it. The repetitive music when combined with the similar objectives / gameplay loop can start to grate as you find yourself grinding the creatures to a high enough level to take on the opposition. Whilst a more adjustable difficulty level would have aided this, I think adding more variety to both missions and the music would have been the far better solution. It’s not a dealbreaker, as the short mission length allows you to take a break whenever you’re starting to feel tired of grinding, but it certainly does affect the overall enjoyment slightly.

Whilst there is an element of repetition that stops Adore from being as fantastic as it could have been, it’s still a uniquely different monster tamer that has you crawling through isometric dungeons as you seek out the small roster of creatures. It’s not a revolutionary game by any means, but it’s a refreshing take on the monster taming genre that I’m happy to have in my library. I just hope future updates can add a little bit more to the game down the line.