Review – Adore

If you’ve been looking for a new catch ‘em all semi-Pokémon style game, you might want to consider Adore. While that’s essentially the extent of where the similarities lie, it’s one of the closest comparisons there is to make. Adore is cute, full of vicious creatures, and quite a fast-paced adventure game where you catch monsters and make them battle for you. Unlike Pokémon though, it’s not turn-based; time continues to flow and things continue to move while in combat, especially hostile monsters.

Adore Lukha

Yeah! Get him! I’m gonna hide behind this pillar.

The main concept behind Adore is to head off to an area and clear it out of monsters, and find everything there is to collect. When you catch monsters, you can send them out to attack and battle. In fact, you have to send them out to attack, because your character, Lukha, is the definition of defenseless. You and your monsters have a certain level of health; now obviously if your character drops to zero health, the run is over and you get booted back to the main hub. If your monster hits zero health, they are out for the rest of the run in the area and need to be revived at the hub. The way to do this isn’t as simple as going back or just talking to someone, they need to be left out of the next run.

Across your runs there are things to collect, such as food items and money. Each area is on a time limit to be able to access all of them as well. You’ll be given a “turn” timer, and after a certain amount of runs, an area will expire. It creates an almost roguelite feel to the main concept of the game. Food is a consumable, used to heal during a run and give small buffs, like additional damage. Other things you can obtain are artifacts that can either boost healing or damage from your creatures. Creatures essentially have a type, which can be used for different synergies that can boost attack power, attack speed, etc. Instead of being able to level, you’re able to add essence to the creature to boost their synergies, and select what kind of stuff they can do.

Adore Essences

Your creatures, have them your way.

Out in the world, you summon your creatures to attack for you and avoid damage yourself. You can’t fight back, but you can dodge through enemies and their attacks, full Dark Souls style. When summoning creatures, they will attack with a full chain of attacks and then reset to you. Summoning takes away from a stamina bar that recharges fairly quickly, but limits you from being able to spam summons. The max amount of creatures you can take on a run is four, but you are generally limited to summoning two at a time without boosting from food or artifacts.

Need to remember the five Ds: dodge, duck, dip, dive, and dodge.

There are less than forty creatures in Adore, making it much easier than something like Pokémon. Especially when remembering what kind of attacks they have, and planning your summons to not have yourself, or your summons, take too much damage. Each creature is designed competently, but there are a few that look quite similar, and it can make it a bit difficult to kind of anticipate their attacks when you’re trying to react quickly. That’s mainly an issue because your creatures summon in the direction you’re facing, so when trying to dodge away from enemies, it’s quite easy to waste some stamina summoning something that just runs away from the enemy.

Adore Ixer

Ixer, the dragon-ish-thing.

Two of my biggest gripes are; first, why is there a teleport option? None of the areas are very big, taking at most five seconds to walk through after clearing enemies, but for some reason there’s a teleport option to go back. Even some of the later areas aren’t overly convoluted and you always have a map handy so it just feels pointless. The second issue is the hub is significantly bigger than it needs to be. There’s a lot of wasted space that could have been either condensed down or rid of entirely so it doesn’t take so much extra time to pick your summons, buy artifacts, check your creatures synergies, get any food made, and then leave. Every single one of these is done on a separate side of the hub from one another.

A legendary (mini-boss) creature has entered the battlefield

Adore itself looks okay; it’s quite basic and some of the text is quite blurry, especially playing in handheld. The areas look like a lot has been copied and pasted over and over again. On the other hand, the sound is pretty good. Adore has some good ambiance, but much like the actual areas, it gets repetitive quickly. Creatures don’t make much of a sound outside of the boss creatures either, so it’s hard to find any real mental connection between this noise means this creature.

Adore is a cute little game that might scratch the monster collection itch, but at the same time there are so many games like Temtem that just do it so much better. If you’re looking for a budget game, Adore might be just what you’re looking for with plenty of replay-ability and the rogue-like concept. Outside of that though, this game is most likely a skip for most people who have the option of other games.

Graphics: 5.0

Adore as a whole looks okay, but there’s an incredible amount of repetitive textures that breaks the illusion of this world being alive. Some creatures looking quite similar is also a little issue, since there are less than forty creatures in the game.

Gameplay: 5.5

The idea of the gameplay is quite simple. Send creature, creature attacks, creature returns, don’t get punched in the face by evil creature. With the limitation to gameplay, it can very quickly become repetitive. Adore is more a game to play for thirty to sixty minutes, rather than something to binge.

Sound: 3.5

The sound in Adore does start to hit the right ambiance, but much like a lot of this game, it quickly becomes repetitive.

Fun Factor: 4.0

Adore is a good sit down and play for twenty minutes game, but it’s not a good binge game. It will very quickly get repetitive and start to become grating to play.

Final Verdict: 4.5

Adore is available now on Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S.

Reviewed on Nintendo Switch.

A copy of Adore was provided by the publisher.