Capcom's adorable Monster Hunter spin-off Monster Hunter Stories is now available on iOS and Android devices.
Monster Hunter Stories originally released on 3DS in 2016, and saw the long-running series' familiar creature-battling formula given a bit of a turn-based RPG twist. In fact, that's a lot of ideas at play beneath its cheery exterior, with the game mixing classic questing, crafting, Pokemon-esque monster collecting, and a hypnotically odd combat system - but it all comes together admirably well.
Best of all, as jarring as its art style might seem to series fans, there's a lot of the classic Monster Hunter soul in Stories. Not just in the various mechanics it pilfers from the main games - the harvesting, scavenging, questing, crafting, and item combining - but in the spirited adventure, humour, and camaraderie. It even utilises a somewhat expansive "field", a blend of habitats, each with its own ecosystems, that opens out as its infectiously enthusiastic yarn unfolds.
Additionally, there are multiplayer options, and you can even raise cute little cartoon version of Monster Hunter's iconic menagerie, riding them around on your travels. Certainly, Stories' deviations from the core series and more family friendly outlook likely won't be to everyone's tastes, but it'd be fair to say that I was pretty smitten by the whole thing on 3DS.
Capcom is offering two versions of Monster Hunter Stories to iOS and Android users. There's a free demo version, known as The Adventure Begins, and the full experience for £19.99/$19.99 USD. If you start on the free version, it's possible to import your save into the full game later.