Insomniac Games can count the early Spyro the Dragon titles, and Ratchet and Clank among its creations.
And that experience shines through in Outernauts: Monster Battle. This is a cool little beast collecting and battling game that drives you to visit, breed, and groom your monster menagerie day after day.Monster hospital
The game takes place in a weird space-bound world filled with exotic alien beasts. You lord over a floating island and populate it with monsters
These beasts fall under different elemental categories, giving them different strengths and weaknesses in battle.
There's a single-player campaign to work through, as well as a PvP option.
There are dozens of monsters of different rarity to collect and scrap with, and each of them comes with its own amusing "Beast Journal" entry.Clash of Dragonvale
You've also got to defend yourself against upstart Outernauts that want a piece of your fame.
The gameplay here isn't quite as intense as the games that obviously inspired it though. The difficulty climbs steadily, so you've got plenty of time to whip your monsters into shape.
Fighting in Outernauts: Monster Battle is likewise an uncomplicated process, with all the critters wailing on each other as soon as their speed gauges are full.
There's an auto-battle option that comes highly recommended. It makes the fights pass by at a snappier speed, and the computer generally knows what it's doing.
You can sit back and watch the fur fly, which, even though the animation isn't exactly detailed, is a sight to behold.Wait for it
Being a free-to-play game, Outernauts: Monster Battle does require you to do some waiting around.
You can fiddle with your monster habitats all you like, but fights require energy, and higher-level fights cost more than early skirmishes.
PvP fights are particularly costly, but you earn a boatload of currency if you come out on top.
Thankfully, it doesn't take too long for your energy meter to refill. After about half an hour you're allowed back into the fray, which is just about manageable.
The App Store and Google Play aren't lacking Pokémon-inspired games, but Outernauts: Monster Battle is among the better titles out there.
Its combination of animal grooming and battling meshes well, its monster designs are slick, colourful, and fun, and its free-to-play mechanics are fair.
It's also got a sense of humour, which is nice, because you don't want a game about technicolour space monsters to take itself too seriously.
Fans of monster collecting and battling alike will enjoy Outernauts: Monster Battle. It might not be as sharp as its inspirations, but there's still a lot here to like.