For years people have been talking about the potential of a Poke-port to the iPhone. The social features of iOS devices would bring the monster collecting and battling game into a new era, making it even better with easy access to other players.
A young entrepreneur, 19-year-old Josh Buckley, has stopped waiting for Nintendo to do it and is bringing a similar game to the iPhone, called MinoMonsters. Players will be able to collect monsters, level them up in typical RPG style, and pit them against others in this iOS game.
MinoMonsters is reminiscent of Nintendo-created Pokemon. The game was extremely popular in the '90s on the Game Boy handheld console. It let players explore a fictional universe filled with Pokemon, (Pocket Monsters) which players collected and trained in an effort to become the PokeMaster.
Nintendo has made several iterations of Pokemon since its release and still produces version of the game. Though it would seem like the game would have huge potential on a mobile phone platform, the company has never launched such a version, opting to release the franchise on its own portable gaming devices.
Pokemon players have always been able to battle and trade their stock with friends, but it was always a little clunky; they needed wires to connect Game Boys, and later a Wi-Fi hotspot for their Nintendo DSes. MinoMonsters will feature a single-player game with plenty of social hooks. The game uses Bump Technologies to allow players to connect in real life. That lets them easily trade or battle it out in person.
Nintendo has dropped the ball on these people, Buckley said to All Things D. They've focused on their declining consoles, and the eyeballs are moving to other platforms. We are targeting people in their early to mid-20s, who have a nostalgic feeling for Pokemon.
Buckley has raised $1 million from a list of all-star investors including Y Combinatory, General Catalyst, Ignition Partners, Andreessen Horowitz and Yuri Milner among others. He also has some back-up from TJ Murphy. Murphy served as a co-founder and product manager at Zynga, which produced some of the biggest hits in the social gaming world such as Farmville and Mafia Wars.
Buckley is looking to expand the games into a brand, much how Angry Birds launched itself from the mobile gaming platform into a cross media franchise. MinoMonsters will launch on the iTunes app store on Dec. 6 for $0.99. The game might just have the mojo needed to set off another pocket monster craze.