Biomotor Unitron review for Nintendo Switch

Platform: nintendo switch
Editor: SNK
Developer: SNK
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
On line: Nope
ESRB: E

Biomotor Unitron is the re-release of a monster breeding/collecting game that came out about 25 years ago amid the early Pokemon craze. Somehow this isn’t even the first one I’ve played this year – last January I reviewed Monster Rancher 1 & 2 DX, another one monster breeding/collecting game released about 25 years ago amid the early Pokemon craze.

Clearly, neither Biomotor Unitron nor Monster Rancher captured the popular imagination the way Pokémon did. But even though the two games both occupy the same space, they’re actually quite different – starting with the fact that Biomotor Unitron is a decent game, while Monster Rancher was pretty terrible.

A big part of why Biomotor Unitron is better is that it’s so much less ambitious. Unlike Monster Rancher, which tried to complicate the Pokemon formula with things like aging and morale and long training streaks, Biomotor Unitron keeps it simple. You have a robot, you send it to dungeons to fight monsters and find resources, then you go back to your base and use the resources to upgrade your robot. You can also go to a few places in your city to buy more resources, and if you think your robot is strong enough, you can enter it into tournaments in the arena. It never tries to get too complicated, and it’s best for that.

Biomotor Unitron is also helped by the fact that its 16-bit graphics have aged much, much better than Monster Rancher and its PS1-era polygons. In fact, the whole presentation is much more attractive – Biomotor Unitron was the first RPG to be released on Neo Geo Pocket Color, and to commemorate that, the entire game is displayed on an on-screen Pocket Color on your screen. This makes for much smaller visuals, but adds to the overly fun retro vibe.

Granted, you could fault Biomotor Unitron for not straying too far from its inspiration – and while it borrows from Pokémon, it never comes close to matching it. But just as the ’90s had room for second-tier competitors like Digimon, there’s no reason Biomotor Unitron couldn’t exist as a fun oddity today. It won’t make anyone forget Pokémon or wonder why Biomotor Unitron hasn’t found more of a fanbase, but it’s fun enough for you to enjoy anyway.

SNK provided us with a Biomotor Unitron Switch code for review.

To note: B

About Dorie Castro

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