Instead of catching Pokemon, Spokko’s new augmented reality game has you hunting down monsters instead.

So get ready to cut and slice your way through popular Witcher monsters instead of throwing balls!

The Witcher: Monster Slayer’s Android Early Access rolled out to Australia a few weeks ago, and here are my first impressions.

Right out of the gate, the game throws you into an engaging combat tutorial – which is really where Monster Slayer shines.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer manages to balance fast pace, “on the go” action whilst still providing depth with the combat system.

The combat is more than just mindless tapping and swiping. It still allows you to play when moving around, you don’t ever need to come to a stop.

I also really enjoyed how the game has you prepare for fights. You can bring along items like potions and bombs to battle with. Certain monsters will also be weak to specific oils.

The game also features a nice questing system, that’ll have you exploring your surrounds to investigate mysteries and battling enemies.

They also feature cutscenes and voice acting. Currently there are only a few quests implemented, but when the game releases there’ll be many more. The writing is great so far, and sets good precedent for the future.

The major thing I’m worried about though, is walking around doesn’t exactly work well with the fact we’re currently in a pandemic.

I’m willing to let Monster Slayer off for this because its in Early Access, but if the developers can’t come up with “Play at Home” solutions I don’t think the game will get far.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer feels like it belongs in a pre-COVID world, and lacks the quality of life that other augmented reality titles like Pokemon GO and Wizards Unite have implemented to adapt.

For example, both Pokemon GO and Wizards Unite offer ways to access different features like raiding at home. They’ve also increased spawns and effectiveness for incense.

Right now augmented reality games are in a hard spot with COVID, with even heavy hitters like Minecraft Earth shutting down.

Anyways, whilst some might think this is just Spokko and CD Projekt Red trying to cash in on the AR train – I think the game is more than that.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer clearly feels like there has been passion put into the game, and it is a strong base to build upon.

Whilst the game is only in the early stages now, it shows great promise. It is also providing a heavy RPG experience which is lacking in the current AR market.

In terms of monetization there is an in-game currency you can buy, or earn through completing quests and slaying monsters to buy items like new equipment. It doesn’t seem greedy so far, but we’ll have to wait and see.

I also didn’t run into any issues or bugs when playing the game. My experience was pretty smooth.

The art direction and models also look great for a mobile AR title too. I love how the overworld map looks.

Whilst Monster Slayer is a bit bare bones right now, I’m excited to see how the game develops and lets us explore the Witcher universe in a new light.

If you want to find out more about the game, you can check out the Official Website or Twitter!