News Article

Mobile Pokémon Clone Eco Spirits Hatches A Kickstarter Campaign

Posted by Mark Green

No stretch goals set for an “Eco Spirits Rap”, though

Nintendo stated earlier this week that it currently had no plans to make or release any games — be they full size or mini — on mobile devices. This may have pleased some fans of the company, but it may also have disappointed others. If you fit in to the latter category, fear not — just because Nintendo aren't taking part, that doesn't mean others aren't trying to bring you the same experience themselves.

Take DOT studio, for example — a group of humble developers that have a lot of practice working with mobile games. In the past, the individual members of this indie studio have been responsible for transitioning many AAA console titles to the mobile market, and have only recently joined together to make a brand new game of their own: Eco Spirits.

Eco Spirits is a bright and colourful title filled with cute cartoon monsters which the player must catch, train and use in battles. DOT Studio boasts a roster of 250 different kinds of monsters, and promises to deliver a unique and innovative RPG experience to iOS and Android gamers everywhere. Now at first glance, this may look like another popular portable franchise we could mention — but don’t be fooled; DOT Studio insists that this is a completely different game with completely brand new features and mechanics. Honest!

Yes, this “unique” and “innovative” game lets the player trade their monsters with other players as well as battle with other monsters as you explore the vibrant and expansive world. There’s even talk of an online versus mode where different players on different mobile devices can fight against each other using the monsters they have caught. It’s certainly an ambitious project for its chosen platform, and with 250 different creatures it might be hard for the player to keep up. Don’t worry though, there’s a handy device called the "Monster Digital Assistant" within the game that gives information on discovered monsters, lets the player set their 3 monster team, and even buy monsters from friends. Certainly sounds familiar, right?

With DOT Studio being a small indie developer, they need help making this game a reality — hence their new Kickstarter campaign. Now fans can donate funds to the project and get prizes such as merchandise and access to in-game content. Obviously, as is the same with all crowd funding campaigns, the more you donate the better and bigger the prizes are, and DOT Studio is so confident the campaign will succeed that they've pre-emptively set up stretch goals.

The developers aim to hit their $95,000 target before March 11th, but should they continue to receive donations after the target has been met, there’s a chance the game could come to Wii U and 3DS. Of course, the developer would have to receive a whopping $2 million USD first, but who knows, with enough support maybe they can do it.

Check out the Kickstarter campaign for yourselves and tell us what you think. Has this game got your support, or do you think it’s a doomed and derivative project? Let us know in the comments!

[via kickstarter.com]

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User Comments (51)

SpookyMeths

#2

SpookyMeths said:

Lol...

Why is 'Pokemon' tagged in this article? This is clearly a unique and innovative game.

Artwark

#3

Artwark said:

So that's why these idiots want Nintendo to put their games on phones because otherwise some one ELSE will do it! XD

vattodev

#4

vattodev said:

Good luck trying to achieve the balance that Pokemon achieved. It's not very easy for a game series to stay competitive through so many years. Even worse with hundreds of options.
Dragon Warriors Monster was a great game. But never posed a threat to Pokemon. Other clones tried at that time. We'll see more trying in the future. This could be a fun game, but it's a clone. Even though touch controls may work great for this genre.

SpookyMeths

#5

SpookyMeths said:

That video is almost cringe-worthy though, due to the obvious elephant in the room.

"Hey guys, we've got this great new-"
sweats nervously
"Uhh so you capture, battle, trade-"
adjusts shirt collar
"Right, and you gotta snag them all in your net-"
voice breaking

noctowl

#7

noctowl said:

Did anyone else notice the giant pokeball as the "o" in dot in the logo?

It's early in the US but I don't think I'm seeing things.

64supermario

#9

64supermario said:

@CaviarMeths Yeah....that is my only impression of this game so far...not good. However, if someone could show me some gameplay I might change my tune.

GumbyX84

#13

GumbyX84 said:

"The developers aim to hit their $95,000 target before March 11th, but should they continue to receive donations after the target has been met, there’s a chance the game could come to Wii U and 3DS."

Yes. A release of your totally "original" game on Nintendo p
latforms.... Any guess how long it will be until they get a cease and desist?

rjejr

#14

rjejr said:

A kickstarter article about a Pokemon rip-off on iOS? You guys are just looking to start trouble this morning, aren't you?

Maybe Rory can do a voice-over when a gameplay trailer comes out ;-)

XCWarrior

#15

XCWarrior said:

Pokemon rip off aside, the funniest line in the video is -

"AAA Mobile Games"

.....BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! There is no such thing!

Emblem

#16

Emblem said:

@XCWarrior Xcom, Duex Ex, Mass effect and republiqe are certainly AAA quality games. Not sure which ones are tablet only though.

I cant believe they actually have a few backers smh.

CanisWolfred

#17

CanisWolfred said:

I'm gonna come here tomorrow, and I'll bet my hat that it will be halfway to its goal already...

2Sang

#18

2Sang said:

Nothing can ever replace pokemon. Pokemon is now cemented in our culture like Mickey Mouse, Popeye, and Beavis and Butthead.

Kaze_Memaryu

#19

Kaze_Memaryu said:

What many ripoffs fail to do when trying to copy Pokémon is to create a plausible ecosystem for their creatures. This one is a good example: creating a bunch of fantasy-styled cartoony monsters doesn't cut it when their existence and design don't fit anywhere in the game world. It alienates the creatures and also makes them seem like monstrosities instead of being an actual part of the virtual worlds ecosystem.
And then we also have smart design choices. Over time, GameFreak realized that puns and slightly derailed animals/materials won't suffice forever, so they started symbolizing their Pokés. Every Pokémon has a meaning that is reflected by their design, making them seem mystical in a very inspiring way - EcoSpirits doesn't even try. The designs are bland, some border on copyright infringement, and just look unsympathetic overall. They aren't thought out, they were created with one goal in mind: "Make them look like Pokémon, but not too much like Pokémon."

However, they hit a weak spot on mobile gaming, which is the obvious absence of Nintendo as a brand in every regard. And Pokémon is one of the most popular on-the-go-games in gaming history. So it's obviously a good way to cash in on this ongoing demand for people who are too stingy to actually buy a Nintendo console and a Pokémon title, but this makes it all the more pathetic.

Considering the reputation of Nintendo across mobile owners, I can see haters blindly funding this, but that's already about it. Nothing Nintendo could possibly need to worry about.

csad

#20

csad said:

I love this. Not only did they obviously rip off pokemon, but their reward tiers also plagiarize Mighty No. 9's reward tiers. In many cases, it's even word for word.

HarryK

#21

HarryK said:

I already feel sorry for everyone who backs this. To me this just screams SCAM. Not because it's a ripoff, but because I find it quite obvious that this will never get made. Not even started. I think they'll cash in the money, publish some fake screenshots and then "cancel" the project for random reasons.

I mean, they stare at 2 pictures on tablets for half a minute. Nothing moves. Can anyone find proof that "Dot studios" can actually programm games? My Google finds nothing.

ultraraichu

#24

ultraraichu said:

Pretty much any game/anime that stars a human that collects and train monsters/creatures to compete will always be in the shadow of pokemon. Digimon, Monster Ranchers, Monster Racer, Demikids, Robopon, might as well create a genre for those types of games.

Back to a more related note, I find it weird that they include a digital instruction manual if you pledge $40 or more. I would figure knowing how play the game would be included regardless of pledge.

GuSolarFlare

#26

GuSolarFlare said:

@ultraraichu though Digimon stands out from the others by having a somewhat different focus from Pokémon and having a good anime series that actually change(it can't even be called a single series seeing only the two first and maybe the Xros Wars are directly related)

Kit

#27

Kit said:

My favourite PKMN clone for Android is CodeMon which is a unique synthesis of the Barcode Battler and Pokemon but yet is quite different, it doesn't include any RPG element but is a pure battling platform. It's definitely worth checking out tho.

Eco Spirits on the other hand just looks totally lame - I think they should just give it up and play PKMN instead.

WaLzgiStaff

#28

WaLzgi said:

@rjejr Funny enough, I remember an article last year that caused the...uh... creative individual to get in trouble. I can't remember what the article was about though

xj0462

#32

xj0462 said:

oh great... a knockoff game with a kickstarter campaign. let this ripoff die off

lividd3ad

#33

lividd3ad said:

@HarryK I've at least found proof of their existence... http://www.linkedin.com/company/dot-studio

They appear to have four iPhone apps as I'm looking at it on the App Store. They're all free, appear to have low production values, and not one of them has a single review.

I actually would really like to see a well-done Pokémon ripoff, but I don't feel like these are the guys to do it...

BakaKnight

#34

BakaKnight said:

I like to consider "monster training" games a genre and not like Pokemon clones, but come on! DX
They only have have so far some conceptual arts in the planning phase and they look totally like rip off of Pokemon battle screens while the monsters look like many generic iOS monsters already seen in other games... THAT is their planning so far of a project they were dreaming for 3 years? @.@;

With all the possible respect, but this project smell fishier than any water monster they could ever come out with >.>;

Windy

#35

Windy said:

I hope they make it. The more devs the merrier on Nintendo consoles. I'm still totally confused as to how kickstarter works. How can kickstarter be sure that people who donate are basically being ripped off.

TrueGrit

#37

TrueGrit said:

they seem like honest guys enough - questionable actions and plans aside-
it's always cute/sad to see a "new" game developer trying to get ahead.
the have my attention and not just to glut later on. )

Captain_Louie

#38

Captain_Louie said:

Although I do agree that this game's concept makes no use of what made Pokemon great, I do reckon they deserve a chance. I reckon indie companies are bashed way too much because they attempt to build on a popular game genres. Sure this game is similar to Pokemon, sure it will piss of Pokemon fans who look up to the Pokemon series as their god, but that's no reason to be hoping this project crashes and burns. Crystal Monsters is another example. While Crystal Monsters wasn't at all a great game, it's pokemon-like elements kept me interested (and I even finished it), and if anything, made me appreciate Pokemon much more.

Besides, the 3DS could use every new game it can get. I'm open to another Monster Raising game for my handheld, whether it be better or worse than Pokemon. I just reckon that people should stop instantly comparing these sorts of games to Pokemon and saying it's garbage. If you don't like it, don't back it and don't buy it. If your open to it (like I am), then I say this title is welcome to the 3DS and App libraries. Whether you back it or not is up to you though obviously. I don't mind this game being released if it ever does, but I would never support it with my own cash.

WinterIceFox

#41

WinterIceFox said:

They are Mexican, their studio is based in Mexicalli.
They do develop mobile games since 2011, check up their facebook page.
I feel they can be trusted, would be great if the project could be funded.
By the way the project launched yesterday and they have $261 alredy, hope they reach their goal

MadAdam81

#42

MadAdam81 said:

Kairosoft have a much better free to play game on Android and iPhone called "Beasty Bay". It's so much better than this will ever be, and I played it for a really long time and never needed to spend any money.

Squid

#45

Squid said:

Honestly when I saw their logo I thought it said Pot Studio.

Hmmm...

Zombie_Barioth

#46

Zombie_Barioth said:

The problem with a lot of these monster raising games on mobile is the characters all look really generic. Theres nothing that makes them stand out from the crowd, nothing that makes the instantly recognizable.

Look at some of the established series, it doesn't matter how popular they are. Your not going to mistake Mocchi for patamon thats for sure.

CharleSketch

#49

CharleSketch said:

The monster designs aren't even nice to look at. They're as bland as they come. I hope this bombs horribly.

WitchSugoi

#50

WitchSugoi said:

Can't they at least made a GOOD looking Pokemon clone? Sheesh, if you're going to go for it, at least make the game look appealing enough to where you might have some support. That cringe worthy video didn't help any either. I doubt anyone is going to be sorry to see this fail miserably.

efylan

#51

efylan said:

Well, at least this could leave us the experience of WHAT TO NEVER DO when trying to make a videogame.

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