Being disappointed, as I have been, with Pokémon’s lack of innovation, I have found myself scouring the internet for games which could recapture the old Pokémon magic. I have played Coromon, Nexomon and Temtem, but none of them caught my interest as much as Cassette Beasts, an upcoming game from Bytten studio releasing in 2023. Here is an overview of everything we know about Cassette Beasts so far.
What is Cassette Beasts?
Cassette beasts takes place on the remote island of New Wirral where the most fearsome of creatures can be recorded onto cassette tapes. How you ended up on this island is unclear and it is your job to find a way off. You must form bonds with the other inhabitants, help out in town and perform reconnaissance missions with the ultimate goal of finding a way off the island.
Cassette Beasts; an Overview of the Key Features
It almost feels wrong to compare Cassette Beasts to Pokémon too much. I feel like it really has much more to offer beyond just being “Pokémon-like”, but for the ease of explanation some comparisons are unavoidable.
Hand Drawn and Animated Sprites
The game contains many of my favourite elements from old Pokémon games. The sprites are beautiful and capture the spirit of the old Pokémon sprites that was somewhat lost they moved over to 3D.
A system similar to Pokémon’s double battles are the primary form of combat throughout the game, with the player teaming up with an NPC partner in what seems to be a Persona-like friendship system. You can even fuse with your partner to create a unique and powerful combination, whose strength depends on your bond outside of battle.
The game will be open ended and open world, with multiple possible paths, and no set order for events.
This one speaks for itself, just have a listen to the trailer, I can’t get enough of it.
Why should you be excited about Cassette Beasts?
In case you can’t tell, I am really excited about this game. A lot of the more recent entries into the monster catching genre have tried to go back and capture the magic of the older Pokémon games. Some, like Coromon, are almost a carbon copy of Pokémon. Don’t get me wrong, Coromon is a great game, but it really isn’t anything new. It just represents a return to a time when Pokémon was at what many consider to be its peak.
Cassette Beasts is different. Not only does Cassette Beasts capitalise on the nostalgia for old sprite-based Pokémon games, but it looks to be improving upon them with a whole slew of new features: more detailed sprites, a more open world, and other secondary systems such as building friendships with your fellow islanders and exploring in a non-linear fashion.
Pokémon has made its current and future direction clear. Keep churning out very similar games. While the Pokémon games are usually at least good, they offer very little change from one game to the next beyond a slightly different gimmick and a new skin. The motives for the evil team are becoming more and more generic. Even the narrative structure barely changes from game to game. To be clear, there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with what Game freak is doing. The Pokémon games still sell extremely well. That said, I am very happy to see indie games like Cassette Beasts going back to the mechanics of older Pokémon games as a starting point, and branching off in their own interesting direction. Without games like Cassette Beasts being willing to innovate, the monster taming genre will only continue to stagnate.
When can we play it?
Cassette Beasts will release some time in 2023. If you can’t wait to see more, there have been a few developer livestreams showing off some early parts of the game. Unfortunately there isn’t too much gameplay out there other than that, so you will just have to wait!
How do you feel, have any of you been looking forward to Cassette Beasts? I will definitely be playing this on day one.