As with most monster collection games, we're given a single monster to start, and must collect others using baits that we'll earn along the way. Players make progress by exploring shaded areas of the map, but any real exploration is handled automatically. You'll simply click on a shaded region to start an adventure, and will then watch your character automatically walk from the left to the right side of the screen as a percentage meter tracks your progress.
In each adventure, you'll run into enemies and collect treasure chests, with battles bringing you back into the game. Each battle may see you going up against multiple enemies at once, but as they're completed in a turn-based fashion, they take quite a bit of time to complete, regardless of the number of animals on the screen at once. Until your own monster can level up to the point of easily dominating its enemies, you might find yourself in the unlucky position of doing a single damage point with each attack as you wait for the battle to mercifully end.
At the end of each adventure, the formerly shaded region of the map becomes part of your home base, and it can be upgraded with homes for your new pets, businesses, and more as you work to create a tourist attraction and safe haven for your many monsters that you'll hopefully collect.
The game has an interesting day and night cycle that allows different sets of monsters to appear at different times, and you can freely ignore a monster's willingness to join your party if you already have one or more of the same kind. This is actually a great addition to the game, since you can throw a bait at a weak monster to get it out of your hair, but then won't actually be stuck with all of those duplicate animals when all is said and done.
Unfortunately, the monsters in Beastie Bay are pretty basic, and you can only choose the most basic of moves for it to complete. There aren't separate attacks to choose from here - you simply tap on the attack button and hope for the best, which could leave your monster to perform an incredibly weak attack instead of a strong one, all without your input. This isn't to say that Beastie Bay is a bad game, as its pixelated graphics are cute as usual, and there's something to be said about tapping a button and watching progress happen freely, mostly without a lot of effort from the player. Still, in the world of Pokemon clones, there are games that are more entertaining than this.
Download Beastie Bay for free on iOS >
Have you tried Beastie Bay? How do you think the game compares to titles like the original Pokemon games? Sound off in the comments!