Disc Creatures is a very impressive tribute to monster-catching RPGs from the Game Boy Color era, most akin to the massively loved original Pokémon titles, adopting their simplistic, retro pixel art style and aesthetic, into a fresh and unique yet still nostalgic package. What makes this faithful homage so much more impressive however is the fact that it has been solely developed by a lone indie developer from Japan, SATTO, and published by Dangen Entertainment, an indie game publisher with a catalogue of other great, retro-inspired titles.
Travel across a beautifully-crafted, yet, quaint and quirky landscape, battling and taming 200 of these unique creatures, all while riding alongside a heartwarming story written by SATTO himself! The 20+ hours of gameplay takes you on a journey of mystery and adventured, aided by a huge cast of charming characters. You can tell SATTO really put a lot of love into crafting this world!
Following an extremely similar premise to the Pokémon franchise, Disc Creatures has humans living alongside cutesy, unique, sprite-art creatures, each with its own personality, abilities, and even moral codes. It’s just like Pokémon, but simply named ‘creatures’ in this rendition of the monster-catching genre.
Many titles in this genre fail to design monsters that aren’t blatant rip-offs of the the Pokémon franchise. Disc Creatures doesn’t. SATTO truly hits the nail on the head, delivering his own unique design flair in his own creations, which numbers over 200 catchable creatures!
For a lone developer, this is very impressive — SATTO has proven to be a highly creative individual that doesn’t fall into the trap of plagiarism or reskinning. He does remind us of another great solo indie developer, ConcernedApe, known for creating the world-loved Stardew Valley. That is one game that faithfully pays homage to old-school farming simulators, such as Harvest Moon.
Upon entering the game, we’re not being entrusted with a Pokédex by the island’s professor and instructed to simply complete it. Instead, Disc Creatures introduces the players to the story. We learn about the invention of the DiscKid that changed the lives of humans all over the world, manipulating mysterious creatures and harnessing their powers to assist humans in their daily lives. But, don’t think for a second that Disc Creatures is a totally different game — it’s still a monster-catching game by heart! The DiscKid still sits patiently on your arm, a la Fallot’s Pipboy personal wearable computer, waiting for you to encounter every single creature known to Man, and then some!
Gameplay-wise, Disc Creatures follows the same beloved RPG and capturing mechanics Pokémon fans are well-versed with. SATTO decided not to implement anything that might feel out of place from your usual monster-catcher, instead choosing to go for a purely nostalgic game experience.
But, of course, a game that has exactly the same functions as Pokémon or another monster-catcher would be just a clone. That’s why SATTO included a unique skill tree that contains moves and progression aspects for each creature. This is not merely giving your creature a Lightning Stone to learn a lightning move — this is you knowing and choosing what your creature will learn. Some moves will require simply leveling up, others may require items just like Pokémon, ensuring you feel familiar and comfortable with everything in this new game!
This implementation of the roleplaying-game-esque skill tree progression is a really interesting take on the genre – after all, it’s an RPG! – and is one we felt added that extra depth and customizability to your creatures. It is, indeed, a very welcome change!
One of our favorite parts of the game was definitely the lovely, nostalgic pixel art style of the game – SATTO really went above and beyond to keep this game feeling just like the original Game Boy Color Pokémon games. Disc Creatures uses a very simple color palette that feels perfectly in place in the Game Boy Color era of 8-bit color schemes, and we felt strongly that the game definitely looked like it belonged on a small handheld portable device. However, playing the game on a modern computer monitor still looked and felt great, and we didn’t feel at all that we missed out on the games beauty by playing it on such a big screen!
However, for those really wanting handheld experience to truly relish in the nostalgic vibes that this beautiful pixel art game delivers, we suggest playing it on a handheld gaming platform that has support for either streaming from a PC via a software such as Steam Link – an Android-based handheld gaming portable would work fine, or even a phone or tablet! – or, if you are lucky enough to own one, a Steam Deck, since Disc Creatures is available via Steam. We believe that on smaller screens and playing in the handheld form-factor would truly deliver the faithful homage that SATTO was definitely trying to create with this title – much like playing the original Pokémon games on the Game Boy Color!
This is a title we would definitely love to see being brought to the Nintendo Switch one day also, as we feel it would feel right at place on the Switch’s screen, with the added benefit of being dock able on a television or monitor.
In conclusion, we absolutely loved our time playing Disc Creatures, from the plethora of cute and adorable 8-bit stylized creatures, the charming cast of characters, and the nostalgic vibes it provides for fans of original monster catching games. We applaud SATTO for creating such a beautifully crafted game on their own.
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