Little Masters On iPhone Looks A Whole Lot Like Pokémon… And It’s Free

By Ishaan . July 17, 2012 . 11:30am

Since Pokémon games aren’t going to be showing up on the iPhone any time soon, one developer, Riida, decided to take matters into their own hands and develop their own monster game, Little Masters, for iOS platforms… and it looks strikingly similar to Pokémon itself.


“We are trying to bring the beloved Pokemon-style battle to the iPhone!” a Riida staff member posted on the Touch Arcade forums today. “We have been working with some monster designers on the Internet and the game company behind the iPhone game ‘Pocket Summoner’ to create a game on the iPhone.”


Like a lot of other games on phones, Little Masters is a free-to-play title with micro-transactions using paid currency. However, you’ll also be able to earn paid currency by battling with your friends. Riida will update Little Masters in the future with more monsters and skills and abilities.


Little Masters has been submitted to the App Store for review, Riida say, and should be available soon. Here are a couple more screenshots:


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  • Looks awesome. Any word of an Android release?

  • Vampiric

    not only does it look like a rip off. f2p means, it probably wont have anything deep in it

  • I wish this was available for Droid.

  • This… This doesn’t only “look” like Pokemon. It’s straight up Pokemon from its GUI to its visual design

  • I recognize some of the sprites. Pretty sure they’re stolen.

    •  Not just the sprites, but the monsters themselves are just a mish-mash of a few different Pokemon :p

      Pyreft = Croagunk’s head, Charmander’s body, and… Torkoal’s colours
      Worcel = Spinarak’s head, Caterpie’s body, Flaafy’s neck fluff?

      Just for an example. The ones’s on the other screen are just as bad, with the Altaria/Kricketune hybrid, and so on…


      lol whooops that’s a bad thing to do :v

  • MrSirFeatherFang

    Well, at least they admitted it lol

  • Valkenhayn

    Any chance that whiscat will evolve into Big the cat from Sonic?

  • dragoon_slayer12

    man I wish I had an Iphone for its exclusive games…. why doesn’t android get love?

  • SirRichard

    “Strikingly similar” is putting it nicely, frankly. “Almost exactly the same” is much closer to the mark.

    Like, they’re not even trying with the types and I doubt the moves are much better. The interface also looks exactly like Pokémon. There’s “taking inspiration” and then “ripping off wholesale”, guys.

  • MrOrpheus

    I wonder what the difference between “Claw” and “Scratch” is.

    • Clifford Pierre Louis

       I feel like every man who’s ever been attacked by a woman knows the answer to that question lol :P

    • sd28

      claw is just poison claw with out the poison 

  • Saraneth

    Those monster designs are just not appealing and the viewing angle is weird just because they didn’t want to make two different sprites for the different views. I never realized how important small things like that were to Pokemon until just now.

  • Anime10121

    Waiting for the cease and desist from Nintendo (either that or Apple refuses the thing flat out for the store).  This is a blatant and complete rip of Pokemon from the graphic style, to the battle interface, and even placement of icons on screen.  I’m usually not one to rip on anyone else’s creative material but COME ON!  This is almost a palette swap of Pokemon, just changing the main character design and the “Pokemon” designs. 

    For SHAME :(

  • Tales_of_Master

    Yeah….I’ll just wait for Pokemon B/W2

  • Nitraion

    Who’s that pokemon? XD

  • It’s cool that someone thought to do this, but since Pokemon games are for portable systems anyway, it’s kind of pointless. People who like Pokemon already have a handheld for it, and people who don’t, well, don’t like Pokemon!

    • Guest

      Phones are more convenient and there’s a whole untapped casual audience. The reality is Nintendo wants to keep their games on their respective platforms

      • What is wrong with that for their long owned IPs?

        • Guest

          what is wrong with your question because I never said there was anything wrong with what they do. It’s business 101

      • Tom_Phoenix

        “…and there’s a whole untapped casual audience.”

        Em….who exactly do you think represents Pokémon’s primary audience?

        • Guest

          Hardcore Pokemon fans consisting of kids and adults

          • Tom_Phoenix

            …which came from that very “untapped” non-core audience that you mentioned. Meaning that Pokémon has and always has been tapping into the non-core audience, turning people who didn’t normally play games into dedicated Pokémon fans.

            Which brings us back to Dominic’s point. Anyone who wanted to play Pokémon already has a handheld for it. There is almost nobody who is waiting for Pokémon on phones, especially since almost nobody (ESPECIALLY the “casual” audience that you mention) buys phones for gaming.

          • Guest

            Mobile phone games are huge boom this gen so it isn’t as black and white as you make it out to be (no pun intended). There are a slew of potential customers out there that have bought mobile phone games that aren’t even ‘dedicated gamers’ simply because of the convenience as I mentioned and the lower initial costs. So the potential will always be there. If you told me Angry Birds would be one of the most successful games this gen I’d have called you crazy but look how that series turned out. I doubt it would have hit that same success on the DS or 3DS if it came to them exclusively from the start.

          • Tom_Phoenix

            You’re right, a lot of people who aren’t even “dedicated gamers” have bought mobile phone games. A lot of those same people also bought the Wii and DS, beacuse they had games that appealed to them, unlike other gaming systems…OH, SNAP! THERE ARE POKÉMON GAMES ON THE DS, AREN’T THERE?!

            On a serious note, my whole point was that Pokémon already appealed to people who aren’t “dedicated gamers”. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t have built up the enormous audience it has and people wouldn’t be buying systems just to be able to play it. Those “hardcore” Pokémon fans didn’t come out of nowhere.

            Also, the success of mobile phone/smartphone games and Angry Birds in particular tends to be very exaggerated. If you actually look at the figures, you realise that the smartphone market isn’t as hot as they make it out to be. For example, there is this:


            Mario Kart DS has generated almost one fifth of the revenue that the App Store has in a period of three years. Let me repeat that so you can fully grasp the significance of this. A SINGLE DS game has generated almost one fifth of the revenue that the ENTIRE App Store (which includes non-game apps) has generated almost in its entire lifetime.

            As for Angry Birds…well, let us look at the amount of revenue it has generated:


            So it is $100 million in total and 30% of that comes from merchandising and licensing. So the games themselves generated about $70 million. Certainly not a bad result. But consider the example from the link above; Mario Kart DS itself generated about $621 million in revenue.

            Or let’s take a better example; Pokémon Black & White. Not only is it more recent and more relevant to our discussion, it was released after this so-called “boom” in mobile phone gaming. So how much did it sell?


            So 14.71 million copies. Considering the $35 price point (Pokémon games tend to maintain their value; infact both versions are still $35 on Amazon), that is almost $515 million in revenue. And note that both the Mario Kart DS and this figure should be HIGHER, beacuse prices outside North America are higher (sometimes MUCH higher).

            Not only that, Pokémon also provides Nintendo with an even greater benefit in the fact that it is a killer app; people buy systems just to be able to play these games (speaking of which, Black & White had a DSi hardware bundle). Does Angry Birds sell systems? No, it doesn’t; beacuse, as mentioned before, most people DO NOT buy mobile phones for gaming. The fact that Angry Birds is available on every modern platform doesn’t help either.

            Basically, what I’m saying is that you shouldn’t blindly believe the hype from the technophile crowd. Angry Birds IS a success, but it’s not the phenomenon it’s often parroted (no pun intended) to be.

  • AnimeRemix

    I swear that Wiscat looks like a fusion of Skitty from Pokemon and Big The Cat from Sonic…

  • Paradox me

    Unless this company is run by Gary MF Oak himself, I don’t think they stand a chance.

  • sd28

    my fire red/leaf green rom hack reject senses are tingling  

  • Guest

    The micro transactions is whats going to kill it’s potential

  • Palmer Nyako

    I hope these guys become highly successful since Nintendo doesn’t want to try moving  Pokemon to iOS. seriously, the iphone could run it, use wifi for online battles etc, pay for new region pokemon updates(around$9.99 each region pokemon update, idk it would be cool.

    • Doctor Nebula

      Then there would be no point of buying Nintendo handhelds.
      Plus, that sounds like a terrible idea for a Pokemon game.
      Rather just pay $40 with all included content then pay for a game then have updates costing 1/4 of the game already.

      • Palmer Nyako

        Yes, maybe $40- for a b/w2 game. then add pokemon from red,blue, Sapphire, etc if you want those pokemon.
        Ye, there’s a chance it would stop sales from nintendo consoles, but this depends on the amount of games available from nintendo to ios.
        There would be a huge difference, between the selection of games from ios to the DS. So i doubt it would be that bad.
        Then again… pokemon makes up a huge percent of why people buy the Nintendo DS.

        • The idea of Pokémon taking on micros to expand the game in certain ways shouldn’t be enough to scorn fanboys who are willing to shell out 40 bucks as it is for remakes and what half the time feels like basic expansions.

          Honestly, you charge someone a buck for a Master Ball and I bet there are people out there who’d get 50 of the things just to sidestep some BS legendary capture.  Charge a few bucks for a decent-sized cave or dungeon or whatever and even I would be down with that.  Heck, keep the game engine consistent enough to allow it and you could release the islands the older games took place on as premium expansions.  I would’ve been cool with that in the G/S days just on the merit that having the whole original game’s landmass present as a post-Elite Four bonus was at the time about the coolest thing ever.

          Pokémon, just by how the games are made and released now, could crap money with DLC if Nintendo could wrap their heads around something supporting it.  As is, though, I can’t see that happening.  They’re still too hung up on friend codes and outdated online models, and even an MMO like DQX requires you to get a 16 gig flash drive so it has a place to store its installs, updates and save data.  I think someone else taking a crack at it is entirely positive, just like I think Okami and Darksiders stepping up to the plate and giving Zelda a run for its money was a good thing.  Sometimes innovation is simply the result of trying to outdo your competition, and frankly when it comes to Pokémon Nintendo doesn’t have much against them right now.

    • Guest

      It most likely wont happen though and no historically as we can see, Nintendo hasn’t tried to work too much with other companies. First it was Sony until they nixed Ken Kuturagi’s contract because they didn’t like the propietory clauses on it for the games, then they went with Panasonic instead which went nowhere. So after that, they just decided to do everything themselves and have been enormously successful so they probably figure why bother since it might (doubt it but this is where business paranoia sets in) slightly cross into their own handheld potential sales…

      • Palmer Nyako

        Yep, i realize this. just it would be pretty damn nice,if they did.
        especially if one was looking for just pokemon, not all DS games.

  • I don’t like how the players “Pokemon” don’t face the opponent during battle.

    • Guest

      maybe they are shy….

  • Rocket D

    Nintendo wants to battle.
    Nintendo sends out Lawyer.
    Riida sends out Little Masters.
    Lawyer uses copyright infringement.
    Little Masters is paralyzed and unable to move.
    Lawyer uses lawsuit. Super effective.
    Little Masters fainted.
    Riida is out of usable rip offs. Riida blacks out.

    (To add, instead of ripping from Pokemon and literally modifying/hacking Fire Red and Leaf Green they might have spoken to Nintendo about a collab or some sort to make this work. It’s a lot safer even if the chances of Nintendo letting anything of theirs on the iSO/phones is slim to none. A nice concept with poor delivery. Not to be crass but they should leave Pokemon concepts to Pokemon so…they won’t get sued. )

    •  Pokemon Concepts can be done really differently without ripping one off. Just look at Digimon and Monster Rancher for such examples!

      • Rocket D

         Oh yes, I know, it’s not always about using the idea that’s already done but how it’s actually used. I am well aware and ideas they are reused in a different way just works sometimes (another example to add: Tales of Symphonia taking it’s basic plot concept from FFX yet both become different plots in the end and are good games) but this is blatant ripping graphic wise. Other than what we see we know nothing of this game except it’s graphics and concept of monsters battling. I agree with you 100% though, it’s about tactic and careful planning to make an idea work but in Riida’s case he took a Pokemon game and hacked the mess out of it then slapped it on the phone.

        • KyokoSasegawa

          You keep saying that, Roeket D, but I don’t think you know how programming works. it would be so much more of a PITA to “hack Pokemon into the iPhone” then it would to rather make a emulator and put a modded Pokemon ROM in it (very unlikely, since there are pay transactions.) or rip the pokemon graphics and use them with his own source code (And writing the code for a online pokemon in Obj C is a accomplishment all on it’s own.), but what you’re saying is he took a Gameboy Advance rom, modified the ASM to not only run on iPhone, but to allow payment transactions.

          Do you know how hard it is to code, or modify ASM? It’s a real PITA. Anyway, his sprites are his own, his code is clearly his own, and it’s free. The only thing Nintendo has on him is infringement on the “look and feel” or Pokemon, which would be extremely hard to get the courts to side with.

          Also Whiscat is best Little Monster ™. :3

          • Rocket D

            To respond, it’s a joke when I say that and it basically shows just how similar his programming, sprites, ect. are to Pokemon’s older gen remake (based on these screenshots and limited information of the game). You indicated my comment speaks of this comment of comparison multiple times but you left out the part I mentioned I am basing my opinion on what I see, nothing more. I didn’t comment on the plot, goal of the game’s protagonist or anything I know nothing about. I an mot disregarding your comment or your point but I will say it’s irrelevant to what I was trying to say. I’m not claiming I can do better in terms of programming either or have any pompous attitude of such difficult tasks. However, all this has nothing to do with actual capabilities, skills, ect. on Riida’s or his company’s part. Does the difficulty of programming and game creation justify such blatant “inspiration”? I don’t buy that as a valid excuse at all. I’m not saying you’re wrong about it being s subject to consider but seriously. If this was a more unique concept I’d probably have nothing to say about it at all but it’s not.

            Difficulty to produce a game has nothing to do with his ability to try to stem away from the basis of his inspiration (which to all can see is Pokemon) from design down to the concept. By concept you and a few may misunderstand what I mean. (no, not saying anyone is dumb but I didn’t exactly explain in any of my comments). No, I don’t mean monsters being collected to fight. That’s not exactly something to copyright because it’s a base for a game. Like other revolutionary games they create a new genre of gaming (ex: Super Smash Bros just recently, Professor Layton, and of course Pokemon) but the overall design of the game (as you mentioned, the general appeal and aestetics of the game) is a different story. We know little to nothing but based on what I see Nintendo/Gamefreak has quite a bit to go by if his inspirations will not end there. We’ll all see if his game gets approved but I stand to say this is too much of a rip off by its appeal alone. This game may end up another Lautrec to Layton (same concepts and such but different take on gameplay) but we’ll see.

            To add, I said nothing of the sort in terms of Riida actually modifying and hacking literally. Again, it’s a joke because it could honestly pass as a rip from FR/LG even with it’s slight alterations.

      • Clifford Michael

        The Digimon World games as well as the Monster Rancher games are vastly different from the Pokemon formula.

        This Little Masters game however is blatantly ‘inspired’ by Pokemon. I don’t see any other way they can make this a reality unless they make it a COMPLETELY free to play game.

        • Renaldi Saputra

          blatantly, yes.. but i’m not sure about how they catch monsters and heal it.. so they’re having little balls and little center?? LOL

      • Renaldi Saputra

        don’t forget about Yugi-Oh, Persona and Devil Children..

        unfortunately, some of poke-fags seems can’t accept the fact and very unhappy that pokemon isn’t just the only about monsters.. there’re a lot of things about monsters beside pokemon and did better than pokemon.. so the poke-fags just called them (persona, digimon, yugi-oh, etc outside pokemon) rip-offs, making sarcasms about those..

        they just didn’t know that pokemon wasn’t the first generation of monsters.. megami tensei was..

    • If you could sue just because someone made a clone of your game, the 8 and 16 bit era consoles would’ve had much smaller libraries.  Nintendo owns Pokemon itself – the characters, music, artwork and actual game code, for example – but you can’t copyright a concept, or even a visual style, just a specific work.

      In less words, I don’t see what’s wrong with this that Nintendo could actually sue over unless they can prove certain art elements are stolen.

    • LynxAmali

      ~Someone never played Robopon! ~

      The company that made that never got sued and they were pretty fun games to boot. Much more enjoyable then the original Pokemon games IMO. Well, Sun Version to Red and Blue. Cross and Ring, not so much.

      Devil Children. Albeit DC never had “capturing”. It was all negotation as per SMT tradition.

  • FFmax

    Wow this is blatant copying, Nintendo should sue!

  • Kefkiroth

    No back sprites? 
    It is F2P after all…. ._.

  • Nicolas Vasquez

    i dont know, people who really want to play pokemon on their iphones probably already have an emulator.

  • AlteisenX

    Hmm…. Whiscat = Big the Cat? Oh dear… MUST HAVE!

    • Christopher Nunes

      Good to know I’m not the only one who sees it! XD

  • I’m a little bummed out reading this now. I think something similar in nature to Pokemon is a game that iOS/Android have needed for quite some time now. Adoption rates would be rather high, and I think a lot of peeps would enjoy such a game. The problem is that said game needs to actually be original / built from scratch, not something that just ends up looking like such a blatant ripoff.

  • Arrei

    Somehow that game reminds me of that Ditto in that old episode of the anime that tried to copy Pokemon but could only come out as a weird version of the target.

  • This is hilariously awesome. lol

  • miyamoto

    Android prease!

  • This looks way too rip-off-ey to me so… I dunno. I know that the idea
    was meant to be something similar to Pokemon a bit but perhaps if they would’ve
    added something a little more original to the formula I would feel okay with this.
    Derp, no battle backsprites?

  • Nozomi

    Copy or not, I’d probably DL it and play it.

  • Solomon_Kano

    It would be better if they did their own take on Pokemon rather than copying it almost to a T, that would be a hell of a lot more interesting. I can’t even see the appeal in something so close, at this point I’d just rather play the real deal.

    Still, it boggles the mind that people don’t understand why Nintendo doesn’t put Pokemon on phones.

    • Christopher Nunes

      I thought it was a new Pokemon game for a minute there with the monsters! Though I have to say the monster designs are interesting, it’s basically a Pokemon game clone… heck, Digimon was consider to be like Pokemon because of the monster partner theme but it was different enough to be interesting and cool and I’m not getting the same vibe from this game.

      And I don’t have a phone that plays game like these, as I don’t like playing console or handheld-like games on my phones. Games like “Snake” and puzzle solving are OK by me.

      Also am I the only one who sees a baby version of “Big the Cat” from Sonic Adventures in Whiscat? The color scheme is mind-boggling!

      I want to make my own monster raising game, kinda like Digimon and Monster Rancher (mixing the two a bit) but also have the human partner actually fight along side their monster partner like an RPG. Actually it was a project I was working on with a team in College for Game Development and they pointed me as team leader because my idea for a game was used (I was never a leader for anything, and given my social awkwardness, it was a little strange but rewarding).

      I can see Wii U really bring my game idea to life if I can find a job in the Game Business and someone is willingly to give my game idea a try.

      • Solomon_Kano

        I always thought a game like Pokemon/Digimon where the player also fought alongside the monster would be cool, so I hope you get to make that happen.

        I’m also with you on not liking console-like games on phones. I’ll do handheld games (GBA emulator + Android phone = yes), but playing console-like games is a no. I use my phone for other stuff and only play games on it when I’m waiting on something for a few minutes.

        And, yea, it does look like Big the Cat lol.

        • Renaldi Saputra

           do you mean like in the digimon frontier and savers?

          • Solomon_Kano

            Didn’t watch Savers, so Frontier. I liked how there were the normal Digimon in the world but then the kids fought with them as well instead of just standing around.

          • Renaldi Saputra

            if you watch’em, then they did it as what u said

      • Check out the Ouya then, a free-source Console which is coming out soon?

      • Renaldi Saputra

        this game is 90% similar to pokemon.. only the monsters aren’t pokemon.. attribute are all same if I see it.. maybe just without pokemon center and pokeballs

      • Gideon de Groodt

        You should look at the Monster Partner business from Dragon Quest 5 and onward.

        Though I only of Dragon Quest 5 and 6 really having the Monster Partner stuff.

        They also had a GBA game called DQ: Caravan Heart.
        You were a young caravan leader there who, surprisingly, lead a caravan with 4 human party members and a monster.
        The Monster was the only character with stats and increasing levels, and the 4 human characters could not be attacked and therefore they supported the monster during battle.

    • Ever heard of a Nintendo game on a non-Nintendo Console/Portable? It’s obviously out of the question.

      • Solomon_Kano

        Which… was the point of my comment. I don’t see how people don’t understand why Nintendo doesn’t put Pokemon on phones.

        I get it, otherwise my comment would’ve been “why doesn’t Nintendo put Pokemon on phones?” and not the opposite.

    • Renaldi Saputra

      this game is 90% similar to pokemon.. only the monsters aren’t pokemon.. attribute are all same if I see it.. maybe just without pokemon center and pokeballs

      • Solomon_Kano

        Hm, now I wonder how you catch monsters in this game. Pokemon has Pokeballs, so Little Masters would have… little balls? lol

        • Renaldi Saputra

          that’s the problem.. and then, are those monsters talkable like in digimon?

  • dahuuuundge

    Nintendo uses Copy Right Infringement Lawsuit! It’s super effective!

  • Kitestwinblades

    I’d be sold if this was a more mature version of pokemon lol
    But those sprites just look waaaay to familiar. Locrubat is the most disturbing level 7 “pokemon” I’ve seen since a low level hacked MissingNo. XD

  • Hinataharem

    Lol they even have 4 moves and types.

  • Ferofax

    Oh wow, they are just literally asking for a lawsuit here. the similarities are undeniable, but then again, they did say that they were aiming for Pokemon so… no surprise here.

    One thing though: earn real currency through battling? imagine your kids racking thousands of dollars in bills, because they lost to some no-life who keeps owning them and farming them.
    Oh yes, I definitely smell a lawsuit. Class-action even.

    • Jordan K.

      Nobody loses the currency when you lose. You just get it when you win. It’s a digital product. The currency doesn’t have to come from anywhere.

  • The main character can talk? BLASPHEMY!

    • Renaldi Saputra

      do u mean like in digimon and devil children?

  • Arrei

    I keep coming back here to stare at that Locrubat thing.

    Just… what the hell IS that?!

    • Tylor Boreas Makimoto

      Um….. The product of a grasshopper doing the horizontal mambo with a bat, who is also the love child of a bat and owl, dipped in a can of green paint? I really can’t tell.

  • umm. . . lawsuit~?

  • Renaldi Saputra

    honestly the monsters are, well, they make me laugh.. idk why, maybe the design looks hillarious.
    But im sure it’s not 100% like pokemon. Just like what you see in the screenshot, the MC didn’t get his starter from the professor.. He just found an egg outside his home.. it’s surely different than pokemon.. but I’m not sure of the ‘pokemon center’ and ‘pokeball’ things.. also the monsters might be talkable like in Digimon and maybe there will be no gyms or league..

    anyhow, if they didn’t get permission from nintendo, they’re absolutely looking for lawsuit.. if they had it, maybe it will be ok.. but i consider some of pokeboy-fags will rage uncontrolled of seeing this..

    Brace yourself Riida, sarcasms are coming..

  • AHAHAH the monster designs made me laugh so hard, what the hell is that? :D

    • Renaldi Saputra

       me too. LOL

  • Z3

    For some reason, it reminds me of the bootleg Pokemon Diamond 

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Well being inspired is one thing but, does they really need to make the HP and level screen almost the same as Pok fire red and Leaf green?

    Not to mention the moves choice there really shows that they take it directly from Pokemon lol.

  • I think they create the monsters with monster generator which uses random body parts from Poke’mon. Just when I thought Game Loft was really good with copying stuffs.

  • Still better designs than 5th generation pokemon.

    • DemonKingAsura

       Oh, stop being a Nostalgia Fanboy.

      The first generation is so uninspired in hindsight it’s ridiculous.

      Still better than this blatant rip-off, anyhow.

      • Yaminess

        Not a nostalgia fanboy, but I love gen one…there are a lot of similarities between gens 1 and 5.

    • Chris Kuykendall

      You must be high if you think THOSE designs are better than the 5th Gen’s designs.

  • ToshiChan

    Idc I want it to play people on the go

  • Henry Chi

    Check out the new Little Masters forum:

  • This game is terrible. No “adventure” and no actual “fun.” 

  • JFW

    Guys i don’t see why everyone is getting so aggro over it being a pokemon clone… Nintendo won’t allow pokemon onto ipods/iphones/android, and to get it you need emulators… Personally i would live a game like this, give you something different with the same feel of pokemon, honestly, its what people want

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