I’ve been playing Pokémon since I was able to crawl. I love the whole structure of the game: being able to collect pets, train them and fight in duels is a great experience which I still love today. I’ve always followed the notion that a strong game will last forever, whatever age it is. Codemon proves this, while adding a couple of nice twists to the game we all love.
Codemon combines the concepts of Pokémon, Barcode Battler and Pet Collection into a single fun and free game. When I first saw this I was excited – and you should be too!
What Is Codemon?
As I mentioned, Codemon combines the elements of a few different games into one exciting mobile app. The basic concept is to find and collect virtual pets by scanning the barcode of any products in the world. (You do need a back facing camera for this application, I became aware of this when trying to download onto my Nexus 7.) Each barcode will give you spells, items or pets.
After a few failed attempts at reading specific barcodes I finally grasped the method – during these attempts I was zooming too much, meaning the app was unable to actually scan. Zooming out a bit more and aligning the code in the middle of the screen allowed me to quickly pick it up.
However, you can’t just keep scanning the same code over and over – as I attempted when trying to trick the app. Instead of gaining more items the app appeared with the message “Not so fast! You can scan each barcode once per day. Try again in 23 hours.” (You may think I appear stupid, but I was really amazed that the app had actually picked up on this.)
During my experience with the app I noticed an unusual phenomenon: when I scanned items such as water bottles or napkins I always got rubbish spells and items. However, it seemed that when I scanned something bigger such as a Coca-Cola multi pack gained pets and reaped much better rewards.
The Codemon developers have since let us know that bigger items don’t correspond to better prizes.
What’s on the Home Screen?
Loading the app brings up a simple screen containing eight different options. Some of these are pretty self explanatory, but others can be more confusing and hard to use. I’ll go through them briefly, so it’ll be easier for you to navigate if you download in the future!
- Scan: Clicking this brings up a camera layout which allows you to read barcodes.
- Codiseum: This becomes active once you complete your first achievements to gain a pet. This is where you pit your creatures against others (see below for more).
- Quests: These are challenges within the game which, when completed, give you rewards.
- Profile: A stat-based layout which allows you to see a range of different values, including: achievements, friends, number of scans, and battle statistics.
- Codebook: Records information about Codemon races, showing everything you’ve collected and stats about each one too
- Help: A guide to everything and how it should work – a lot like this section, just in more detail.
- Market: A store to purchase potions, T-shirts, credits, auras, spells and pets. Coins can be purchased with real money, but this is not necessary to being successful – it just speeds up the process
- Inventory: As the name suggests, this is a way to view everything you’ve collected in a simple layout
Once you get the hand of the navigation, the app is very easy to use.
The Codiseum is the main base of all happenings on the app. This is the place where you can pit your creatures against others. You can set off up to five at a time – so once you build up a nice collection you can always have monsters fighting and earning you rewards.
You don’t actually play the battles, though. Upon selecting your desired monster you can then add a spell or aura to them, which makes them more powerful and improves their chances of victory. Then you click “Go” and… you’re done!
After waiting a few minutes the battle will be over and a “Done” banner will appear. Clicking on this will show the highlights of the battle and show you who won. An interesting feature is that you’re actually battling other people using the app, so it’s not just you vs. a computer. This social element is quite refreshing.
Codemon is a wonderful game. It brings me back to my Pokémon days, without being a straight clone – the combination with other games actually works. I was quite reserved when I first saw the app, but it amazed me; its simple approach allowed me to quickly join in with the fun.
Personally, my favourite feature is the scanning: this encourages me to actually use the app in everyday life while I’m on the go.