Monster Hunter Now starts so well that it can stay on mobile phones for now

The makers of Pokémon GO have released Monster Hunter Now, a new game for iOS and Android that is intended to lure players outside. And this time it works surprisingly well, says MeinMMO author Max Handwerk.

I like playing Pokémon GO and am actually a fan of the principle of connecting a mobile game with the real world. Taking a walk here and there and playing at the same time is wonderful!

But Niantic’s last attempts to implement a similar formula in other games worked rather poorly for me personally. Some examples:

  • Harry Potter: Wizards Unite died in 2021 after two and a half years and did not become a long-term success like Pokémon GO. I never even got around to trying it out here.
  • I installed the game NBA All-World, but the basketball Pokémon GO couldn’t pick me up at all. I deleted it again shortly afterwards, and this game was also recently discontinued by Niantic.
  • I found Peridot exciting in concept, but when I started it my phone heated up extremely and the game stalled. This also fell off the phone relatively quickly after there was no real fun to play.
  • Pikmin Bloom, on the other hand, seems to have its fans, but never particularly appealed to me personally.
  • Overall, Niantic has never achieved the success of Pokémon GO with any other game.
  • That’s why I assumed that I would probably stick with Pokémon GO forever when it came to AR games on my phone. I only installed Monster Hunter Now once out of interest to see how it was implemented – actually in the belief that it would also quickly be removed from my phone.

    But: The first steps in the game seem surprisingly promising. And if you like Pokémon GO but get a little bored with the game every now and then, you could find a really exciting alternative here.

    I didn’t realize how much I missed speed in Pokémon GO

    If you start Monster Hunter Now, you will be taken directly into a short story that explains that there are now monsters running around in our world and you have to fight them as a hunter. A little Palico companion will then introduce you to the first steps of the game. And that’s where it gets straight to the point.

    Because what I immediately noticed when I clicked on the first monster in front of my front door: There’s no hesitation here. The game jumps into combat smoothly and quickly.

    Here you face the different monsters, which, by the way, look really good. Small monsters can be dismantled quite quickly with a few quick swipes of the sword, while the larger ones are more resilient. Skillful dodging and going around the opponent is then required to prevent you from becoming an afternoon snack.

    Strong battles and a map reminiscent of Pokémon GO

    I really liked that. Because when you start wanting to catch a monster in Pokémon GO, it takes a while. Spinning the ball, throwing it, catching animation, bonus screen and so on – it all takes a while. In Monster Hunter, on the other hand, you rush from one battle to the next, which fits in with the action-packed fights that flow smoothly.

    What’s noticeable is that new monsters take a lot of time to appear nearby once you’ve grazed everything – even more so than is the case with Pokémon GO. If you want to complete more fights, you have to run and find new monsters, which in turn encourages you to explore and wander.

    During the first steps in the game you learn more and more. One can:

  • Use monster parts to forge new equipment.
  • Upgrade equipment and learn special attacks.
  • Craft equipment with elements that fit specific monsters.
  • Collect items that give you an advantage in battle.
  • Complete quests for rewards.
  • It is also possible to fight the monsters with friends if you have fellow players.

    A first conclusion: Pokémon GO is the king of walking mobile games and will probably stay that way in the long run. But Monster Hunter Now shows a lot of potential – a lot more, honestly, than I initially expected.

    With its fluid, action-packed battles, it sets itself apart from Pokémon GO to some extent and could fill gaps exactly when you feel like you don’t find anything new in Pokémon GO. I always have this problem when there are no new Pokémon around and you get the feeling you’re always seeing the same thing.

    Monster Hunter Now brings a welcome change. The developers say on their website that more monsters and weapons will be added in the future. The start is definitely convincing. I for one am very excited to see what will happen to the game.