The Witcher: Monster Slayer was announced back in August 2020, a free-to-play augmented reality collection game à la Pokémon GO. While we've heard little about the title, it did enter into early access sometime after April. Well, as of today, the game is finally available on the Play Store for pre-registration in preparation for its newly-announced release date, July 21st. That's right, The Witcher: Monster Slayer will be officially released later this month, which means fans don't have much longer to wait.

You can watch the fresh release date announcement trailer above. It's short and doesn't show any gameplay, which is odd since you'd think the developer would want people to know what they are pre-registering for. Not the best look for a game that's soon to be released, that's for sure, though there is a heavily edited video on The Witcher: Monster Slayer YouTube channel that does show some gameplay, but only quick clips of battles, nothing else.

Luckily the new Play Store listing offers a few screenshots, and as you can see, the game looks like a Pokémon GO clone, where you'll explore a real-world map in search of monsters. While I can't say this is a theme I would have ever expected from The Witcher, shallow cash grabs are the norm on the Play Store, so it's rarely surprising to see studios using popular properties to cash in while copying the mechanics of successful casinos titles like Pokémon GO.

Of course, CD Projekt Red's subsidiary Spokko, the developer of this title, has yet to talk about how it will monetize the game outside of the fact it will be free-to-play. In-app purchases are listed on the new Play Store listing, though there are no prices yet. So if you'd like to take a look at The Witcher: Monster Slayer whenever the game lands later this month, just to see for yourself how it stacks up, you can pre-register through the widget below to receive a release announcement the day it arrives.

Pokémon GO with a Witcher skin, and yes, you collect monsters

For some reason, I doubt a single Witcher fan ever asked for Pokémon GO with a Witcher skin, and yet The Witcher: Monster Slayer's servers are set to go live in less than an hour. You can install the title right now, but once you boot it up, you'll be greeted by a banner that says the game is under maintenance. While it's typical to see new releases throw up similar banners on launch day, it almost always results in angry fans and reviews, especially when that maintenance keeps getting pushed back.

Despite the fact the game isn't quite ready, its monetization is finally listed on the Play Store, and yes, this is a free-to-play title that contains in-app purchases that range all the way up to $99.99 per item. So not only has the release been muddied by extended maintenance on launch day, it's clear the game is a cash grab with the presence of these extremely lofty IAPs.

Still, there must be some interest in this AR collection game, or else why would it have been made, and so if you're eager to take a look at the latest Pokémon GO clone to land on the Play Store, you can install The Witcher: Monster Slayer right now, and you should be able to play in less than an hour.

The Witcher: Monster Slayer
The Witcher: Monster Slayer