When you break Pokemon down to its very essentials, the game is little more than an RPG with a cutesy coat of paint and a neat collecting mechanic. The folks behind the upcoming Dragon Island recognize this and want to deliver a game that’s similar in theory, but strips the cutesiness away, replacing it with different elements than you might expect from a Pokemon style game.

The basics in Dragon Island will certainly sound familiar to anyone who’s ever felt the overwhelming desire to “catch’em all!” Players will collect an army of monsters that they will level up and use to fight in turn-based battles as they explore a massive world.

Dragon Island quickly begins to differ itself from similar games, though, as it treats each monster as expendable. While you’ll only have three monsters in your party at any given time, as soon as one dies, another from your collection will come in to take its place. The next monster in your party is determined by the line-up you create, or “battling order,” so you’ll want to make smart decisions about who to place where.

The game will task you to explore deeper and deeper into randomly generated dungeons, giving Dragon Island something of a roguelike feel. Also, you can expect to do more than simply evolve your monsters – some of them can be combined with others to create new creatures, and there will even be special monsters that can only be hatched from rare magic eggs. And in a twist reminiscent of creatures like Ifrit from Final Fantasy, certain defeated bosses will drop “spirit totems” that let you summon them in battle.

According to their Kickstarter page, Dragon Island is about 75% done. Everything thus far has been funded out of pocket, and they need a little more cash to cross the finish line. They’re aiming to raise $15,000 which will go to making sure the game has as many monsters, dungeons, and items as possible, as well as some great artwork. For your donation, you’ll be able to unlock exclusive in-game content – including monsters – or, if your pockets are deep enough, get to help design a dungeon or even put your company’s brand on one of the monsters.

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Project Name: Dragon Island
Platforms: iPhone, iPad
Funding Needed: $15,000
Funding Acquired (as of this writing): $3.737
Days Left: 15

Kickstarter Picks is a series of features on Gamezebo that will profile Kickstarter projects in the world of video games. We’re doing this in the hopes of calling attention to interesting projects in need of funding, so please, if a game looks like something you’d want to play, don’t hesitate to lend it your support!