Bored of Pokémon GO or just searching for new geolocation augmented reality games to play between community days? We’ve got you covered! Our Witcher Monster Slayer review will get you ready to hunt beasts in your backyard.

Check out the game’s official launcher trailer!

In light of all the news regarding Niantic cancelling projects left and right, we thought it might be good to showcase some active augmented reality games. If you’re happy moving away from the Niantic ecosystem—we have a title for you.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer is the (relatively) new kid on the block when it comes to location-based games. It’s based on the titular fantasy franchise—yes, the one with Geralt of Rivia.

This title has plenty to offer for both, Witcher fans and most importantly—augmented reality gamers. It delves heavily into the RPG side of things, with an engaging, intuitive combat system, and full-fledged questing.

Monster Slayer is free-to-play and is available to download on both, the Android and iOS app stores. The game was originally released back in July 2021, but is still getting plenty of content updates and support now.

Whilst an augmented reality, location-based RPG isn’t an entirely fresh idea—who could forget the charming retro-styled Orna? Monster Slayer offers a full 3D, high-fidelity, fantasy experience with action-combat battles that sets itself apart.

This is also the first (and currently only) Witcher game where you can create your own character! Whilst the customization options aren’t deep, it’s serviceable and a nice novelty.

Whilst there’s no monster catching here, this game absolutely nails the monster slaying. Content in Witcher Monster Slayer is challenging, and the action combat is reminiscent of the earlier mobile era RPG, Infinity Blade.

You control a sword by swiping your finger across the screen—comboing attacks, weaving in heavy hits—and you can even cast signs! Battles are extremely fluid and fast-paced.

Most importantly, it’s also skill-based. The game also rewards preparation and strategy. Planning out your potions and elixirs, and bringing any extra gear like bombs.

Monster knowledge is also a must! The depth of the combat systems as well as respect paid to The Witcher universe’s lore with the enemies during battles is praiseworthy.

There are over a hundred different enemies to slay, all with their own weaknesses and strengths. Maybe a silver sword would be best? Or you might need a special type of oil? The care to detail from the developers turns the game (almost) into a Witcher simulator.

This Monster Slayer review probably sounds like a broken record, but the combat system is that good. The controls are so well-designed, it’s easy to pick up, and it nails what’s so important for location-based titles…

You can play it on the go! There’s no need to stop and sit there for a minute (or more) taking down an enemy. It’s quick, fast, and responsive with depth. It’s a welcome change from Pokémon GO’s mindless tapping and swiping.

The questing in Monster Slayer also goes above and beyond what any other title in the genre offers. It’s well fleshed out, with full cutscenes and even voice acting! The developers are also always adding in more content and events.

The visuals and art direction are also admirable. The developers have faithfully recreated the world of The Witcher (and specifically the games) so well in Monster Slayer. The monster designs are fantastic, and all the weapon and characters look incredible.

It also extends to the game’s map. Anyone that’s played a location-based title knows how important nailing the map aesthetic is. It’s also what you’ll be staring at 90% of the time! Especially compared to Pokémon GO, the passion and effort from Monster Slayer’s developers are immediately noticeable.

The world in Monster Slayer looks like something right out of the Witcher 3. It gives you the sense that you’ve been sent back in time, exploring the Middle Ages. With the bleak colors, dirt-and-gravel paths, the game transforms our world.

Where Monster Slayer really shines is with its progression. It has proper skill trees with three different options to specialize in. You can earn these by levelling, filling out your Bestiary (Witcher Pokédex), or by hunting a set number of each monster breed.

Image from the Monster Slayer Google Play Listing

This allows for some flexibility with builds and playstyles. Want to focus on magic? Go for it! Or maybe you really want to delve into the alchemy strategy side? You can even just be an all-out brawler!

Unfortunately, for fans of raiding in Pokémon GO, or the social elements in Pikmin Bloom—you won’t find multiplayer options in Monster Slayer. Aside from sending gifts to friends, it’s a single-player adventure.

Before putting away the keyboard for this Monster Slayer review: there’s one point in particular that needs to be highlighted. Unlike other titles in the genre, Monster Slayer actually utilizes the potential of augmented reality.

It incorporates AR into the gameplay. It’ll have you looking around your neighborhood for quest clues, and actually uses the camera to create an interactive experience—instead of just having it to take cute pictures with your PokéBuddies.

Whilst The Witcher: Monster Slayer is far from the perfect game, it’s an amazing addition to the growing AR location-based community. The combat is satisfying and just plain fun—there’s also plenty of deep RPG content to keep you coming back.

It came out during the height of the pandemic back in 2021, so the release feels like it was definitely overlooked. The game deserves more attention and love, especially when the talented developers—Spokko Games put so much care and effort into the design.

The game was developed and published by Spokko, which is now an official member of the CD PROJEKT family! If you want to learn more about the game, you can head over to the official website.

By Camellia Hao Ren

Camellia Hao Ren is an Australian journalist and editor. When they aren't writing, they are usually playing games or reading.

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