A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
The game reminds you to be kind and patient with your giant monsters, paying attention to their needs, both emotional and physical, as one should learn with any pet. There's not much to the story itself with overarching themes, but there are small moments modeling good behavior, such as competition being approached as an instructive and friendly experience, rather than a mere chance to beat and shame others.
Positive Role Models
Many non-playable characters are kind and helpful since they tell you how to play the game, providing hints about how to play strategically, what your monsters may need, and more. Beyond polite guidance and encouragement, characters don't have much to offer in the way of memorable personalities or life lessons.
There are an equal amount of male and female characters in differing roles. Your character is referred to with gender-neutral pronouns and never seen, but you can choose your own name.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Ease of Play
This game throws a lot at players with its systems for leveling up and caring for kaiju monsters, but it's spread out evenly enough to not be too overwhelming, always well explained through extensive tutorials. The game's a simulator, so most of the combat and mini-games are automated, even skippable, with simple button clicks to confirm actions. The game's challenge comes in optimizing the stats and abilities of your kaiju on a timeline. There are no accessibility options.
Violence & Scariness
A core part of raising monsters is having them fight each other to raise their stats. Monsters will use anything from fists to rockets to magic against each other, causing them to dramatically stagger or fall over, but there's no blood or gore of any kind.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
One character says "piss" in dialogue.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Players can purchase a downloadable pack for $4.99 from the Nintendo eShop that grants them some in-game items and monsters with special skins. Beyond the purely cosmetic differences in the monsters, all of these items offer nothing you can't quickly earn through gameplay.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher is a downloadable role-playing simulator game available for Nintendo Switch. As a monster breeder-in-training on an island where people pit each other's kaiju against one another, your goal is to foster your own by feeding and training them until you make it to the very top. This is a game focused on numbers and systems, rather than action and reflexes. Kids can learn some basic yet good principles to raising pets, as well as characters modeling a healthy approach to competition as a friendly experience. Monsters make each other stagger and fall down with blows from rockets or punches, but there's no blood or gore. One character says "piss."
Is It Any Good?
This game has everything going for it based on the concept alone, but it fails in repetitive gameplay. . Based on the Ultraman series, Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher gives you giant monsters as pets to play with and care for. Even though you fight wild ones and other monsters in competition, the goal is to tame these animals, with fighting as a form of exercise and play. You acquire your own kaiju in a city through some peculiar mechanics, which include using a keyword generator, premade codes, and NFC device scans (using items like a smart phone or credit card, which aren't used to record information or enable transactions). There are dozens and dozens of kaiju, so once you obtain one you like, you put them on a weekly schedule of training and rest. You decide what food to give them for the month, which affects their anger and fatigue levels, training their stats like Life, Power, or Intelligence to play into their strengths for battles. These routines can succeed or fail depending on whether or not you're attending your kaiju's needs and wants, and since you only have a couple years before retiring kaiju from competitions, figuring out how to optimize routines and stat growth is the key to winning.
But the quantity of features disguises the lack of gameplay quality. Ultra Kaiju Monster Rancher feels like it has a shell of a story. Half-backed mechanics and systems offer senseless variety to combat that's too simplistic and repetitive. The training involves all sorts of activities that could be mini-games, but consist of cutscenes you can skip -- an option that's even applied to battles, making combat a waste of time. Even distinct abilities, strengths, and weaknesses feel optional to consider. Diehard fans of the Monster Rancher and Ultraman franchises may find some fun out of the rhythm of raising monsters, especially more challenge with other players online. But most players will find the core experience too automated and repetitive.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.