News: Cross-Platform Diamonst AR RPG Is Pokémon Go on Steroids

Cross-Platform Diamonst AR RPG Is Pokémon Go on Steroids

Zenko Games makes no apologies for its influences. In fact, they cite them explicitly in their own promotional materials for Diamonst AR.

The forthcoming mobile game is reminiscent of turn-based role playing games like Magic, Hearthstone, and Yu-Gi-Oh, with missions and quests like of Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger and the location-based augmented reality features popularized by Pokémon GO.

The developer recently released a teaser trailer for the app that demonstrates the gameplay.

Battles follow a turn-based format familiar to RPG fans. Image by Zenko Games/YouTube

Diamonst AR features a cast of creatures that favor the bestiary of Pokémon GO. Compared to the tap-and-swipe gym battles of Pokémon GO, battles in Diamonst AR follow the traditional turn-based mechanics of an RPG.

(1) Diamonst AR's bestiary: Bulkrab, (2) Kitzu, (3) Kurokage, (4) Magmageddon, (5) Sephlor, (6) Thourus. Image by Zenko Games/Sketchfab

Players have several game modes from which to chose. The single player campaign follows a "geolocalized narrative arc," with missions and quests taking place in the player's local environment. Multiplayer mode offers duels and tournaments in online or face-to-face environments. Lastly, a virtual pet mode provides mini-games and free play, that latter of which facilitates the type of AR imagery that helped propel Pokémon GO's popularity.

In addition to a “geolocalized narrative arc,” players can duel others either online or in person. Image by Zenko Games/YouTube

With location-based gaming, fantastic beast battles, and AR photo opportunities, the similarities to Pokémon GO are difficult to ignore. However, based on the demos and descriptions, Diamonst AR's campaign mode and battle mechanics promise to fill the gaps that are often voiced regarding Pokémon GO's gameplay. Whether they can lure players without the draw of a recognizable brand (like Pokémon) remains to be seen.

Virtual pet mode enables moments like this. Image by Zenko Games/YouTube

Cross-platform compatibility could be the carrot that lures players. Built with Unity and Vuforia, the game will be compatible not only with ARKit for iOS, but also Android, Tango, and HoloLens. (A post on Reddit promises Magic Leap compatibility as well.)

The company states that they plan to release a demo of the game later this month, with a Kickstarter campaign slated for the end of September. Zenko also plans to sell merchandise based on the game's characters.

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Cover image via Zenko Games

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