Digimon Universe Appli Monsters first impressions

Digimon Universe Appli Monsters: Cyber Arena hit the Japanese 3DS eShop as a free to download game. The game is a sort of a demo for the battle RPG that will be released later this year on December 1. No news yet about a Western localization though. Ever since my happy acquaintance with the Digimon Universe while playing Cyber Sleuth, I have been interested in all Digimon news.

This demo-game lets you see the early parts of the story from the upcoming full game, and it lets you battle against friends. The demo has unlimited play, and the various items you can amass will be carried over to the full game. As promised, I gave the demo a try.

What are Appli Monsters?

When you check out the Appli monsters online, you can’t help but notice the way these Appli monsters are connected across various media platforms. A television anime, a mobile app, a Appli Drive device toy to go with it. And of course a 3DS game, in which you can read codes that come in the form of little square chips for new Appli monsters. It seems to be the way to go these days. You launch an entire new line to give your brand all the exposure it needsLeviathan, takes control of the Appmon with a virus and begins hacking every system. In this way he is starting to control the human world too. Using your. Pokémon was created this way, Yo-Kai Watch is doing the same. Merchandise aplenty!digimon-universe-appli-monsters

The monsters you encounter here are different from the ones I had gotten used to seeing in Cyber Sleuth. That’s because this game takes place in another universe. It’s a universe of modern day technology where everything is based on Smartphone apps. They are called Appmon, and there are 147 of them to collect. Appmon are lifeforms with the ability to think and act. They exist in the boundary between the human world and digital space.

The story behind the anime series and the game is that the an evil artificial lifeform, called Appli rive you bring Gacchimon to life, a search app monster, and the game is on!

First impression of the demo

Starting the demo I was reminded of any Level 5 RPG. The visuals looked so familiar, just like I was back in Springdale (Yo-Kai Watch) or Raimon Jr. High (Inazuma Eleven). I like that though, it’s very different from the harsh colors in the world of Cyber Sleuth. Once you enter the cyber world the harsh colors are back, and the environment felt much more like I was used to. The AR fields and dungeons had a familiar feeling, and like with Digimon, you have to collect 100 fragments of each Appmon to be able to convert him into a Appmon Chip.digimon-universe-appli-monsters

You battle using your Appli Driver, the device you get at the start of the demo. You add Appmon from your deck to the Appli Driver, your deck can have up to 60 Appmon chips in them. But like in Digimon, you have to extend the memory of the Appli Driver before it can hold so many. When you battle you keep on adding Appmon Chips to your Appli Driver, until the battery of your device (the Driver) runs out. Of course the battle runs along the tried and tested lines of special moves, normal moves and special attributes. This makes for a very strategic way of fighting, which is nice.

Although you are able to combine the Appmon temporarily in battle, there is also a way to combine them permanently using the App Combine. Aside from battling, collecting is very much the goal of the game. Gearing it up daily nets you bonus items and I should imagine that if you know the language, this can get quite addicting. Especially as there are tournaments available in the Cyber Arena to test the strength of your Appmon chips.digimon-universe-appli-monsters

Lets wait for a Western release

This was not an easy demo for me to test. Such a lot of text on the lower screen of the game, lots and lots of shuffling around of the chips.

Not knowing a lot of Japanese made it really difficult for me to play and enjoy the game. On top of that I felt that this demo revolved heavily around the battling, I missed the exploring and story part of the RPG. I guess that will be in the full game though. I am quite sure that it would be the kind of game I’d enjoy if and when it is released in English. For now, I will just wait to see if a Western release is in the charts.


  1. It’s great that you got to try out the demo! I’m a big Digimon fan and the new Digimon Adventure Tri series has done a great job reviving my interest in the franchise. It’s neat to hear that there will be so many new Digimon based on apps. And I like the Level-5 Yo-kai Watch look. I think a mix of Digimon and the Yo-kai Watch big-town style would work well. Excellent job covering this!

    1. Thanks! I liked the overworld style too, somehow it made it feel like it had more of a free roaming feeling about it. Of course we can only hope that the full game expands on that!

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