The 5 Best Pokemon Clones for Android

Don't feel like going out to play Pokemon GO? These games are for you.

Playing Pokemon Go
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

With Pokemon GO on mobile, Pokemon fans catch and battle the famous monsters on their phones and tablets. The catch is that you have to actually physically travel to locations to play the game, and that's problematic for some people — particularly those in rural areas with few PokeStops, the disabled, and perhaps even introverts. For these people, the Google Play Store offers Pokemon-like apps that don't require physical excursions.

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Pocket Mortys

Pocket Mortys Overworld
Adult Swim

What We Like

  • Very close to the "Pokemon Go" experience.

  • Fun twist on a proven premise.

What We Don't Like

  • Ad-supported.

  • If you haven't watched the series, you may not get the humor.

If you're looking for something as close to Pokemon as possible, this is what you'll want. Adult Swim Games and Big Pixel Studios have very closely replicated the Pokemon formula, but putting it inside the Rick and Morty world. The concept is that you're a Rick collecting and fighting Mortys from across the multiverse of the show — and the artists have gone all-in creating all sorts of goofy Morty variations that grow ever more absurd. The whole thing is kind of cruel, but Pokemon is basically virtual cockfighting, so is it any different?

The game itself isn't much different from Pokemon, and that's what makes it perhaps the top Pokemon game. It's very much based on the combat and feel of Pokemon games, just with more of a mobile-friendly structure with randomized levels and a gacha system to get new Mortys and items, along with a whole crafting system. But overall, it's the closest thing to a standard Pokemon game that you can get on Android without emulating one of the classics.

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Teeny Titans

Teeny Titans Screenshot
Screenshot of figure-battling game Teeny Titans for Android. Cartoon Network Studios

What We Like

  • No in-app purchases.

  • Adds a level of strategy to the Pokemon model.

What We Don't Like

  • Runs a bit short.

  • Master the game by repeating certain strategies.

A few months after "Pocket Mortys," Cartoon Network turned one of their shows into a Pokemon-style game. Enlisting Grumpyface, who has done the fantastic Steven Universe: Attack the Light, Adventure Time Game Wizard, and Castle Doombad, this game offers an obvious Pokemon analog. But it uses a different battle system, using a real-time system where players have to charge up a meter to use various abilities. Players swap among three characters at will, bringing in a factor where an elemental advantage can be capitalized upon in a moment's notice.

You buy figures and can occasionally earn them, with duplicate figures going toward upgrading figures if you so choose. The game is also full of the goofy self-referential humor that the Teen Titans cartoon has become known for. But even if you think the original series was much better — and the show has mocked you for it — this game stands on its own as a really fun monster battler with a lot to do. Also, it's a paid game without in-app purchases, something that might appeal to parents wanting a fun game for their kids, or for core gamers who object to in-app purchases.

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Screenshot of monster-battling game EvoCreo for Android. Ilmfinity

What We Like

  • Saves play for use on other platforms.

  • Improves upon the Pokemon model while sticking close to it.

What We Don't Like

  • Movement is quirky in some places.

  • Gauging sprite size can be difficult when trying to fit through tight spots.

This game has a cool origin — it was founded by a developer who decided he wanted a great Pokemon-style game for mobile, but was annoyed by various features in other games and wanted to apply his own changes. So, he funded the game with Kickstarter and brought this game to life. 

One such change is to make certain moves rechargeable so that it's not possible for a certain character to blast off several overpowered moves in a row. As well, the addition of traits, abilities, and boons helps alter the strategy that you have to use in order to win.

Otherwise, this game hews quite close to the familiar classic Pokemon formula. Not that there's anything wrong with that. EvoCreo also comes with a solid list of features including cross-platform multiplayer and saving, so you can start the game on Android and play with a copy of the game on another platform, along with battling friends on other systems.

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Screenshot of the monster building in MonsterCrafter. Naquatic

What We Like

  • Allows creativity to come into play.

  • Players train and care for their monsters.

What We Don't Like

  • Less challenging combat than "Pokemon."

  • Limited number of monsters per player.

Sure, discovering new and exciting monsters to collect is fun, but what about creating monsters of your own? That's the hook of "MonsterCrafter," where you can use a Minecraft-esque interface to build your own monster or warrior, with their build affecting their stats, to take into battle.

The combat is a bit simplified compared to other Pokemon-style games, with one main attack and several special attacks that charge up over time. Still, if you want a bit more of a hands-on experience when it comes to raising and creating your monster, while still getting to partake in battles and even online multiplayer, this is your game.

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Neo Monsters

Neo Monsters
Screenshot of Neo Monsters for Android. NTT Resonant, Inc.

What We Like

  • Fun monster training.

  • Requires strategic use of chaser abilities.

What We Don't Like

  • Difficult to progress without purchases.

  • Turn-based battles aren’t very engaging.

This monster battler is the third in a series of games published by NTT Resonant Inc., developed by ZigZaGame, which makes its first appearance on Android here. There's plenty of elements of free-to-play and social RPGs despite the $0.99 up-front price. But as far as monster battlers go, there are cute and ferocious monsters to collect and battle, and a timed battle system that plays a lot differently than most Pokemon games. It's a solid title to check out if you need a Pokemon-style game in your life.