Announced earlier today, Palworld is a new upcoming indie title that marries automatic weapons and Pokemon. Combat, house-building, and collecting cute creatures. Oh, and shooting them, too.
There is always more room for creature-collecting games, especially if they have guns. Temtem has seen a lot of success this year – but that game doesn’t have guns in. Pokemon’s Diamond and Pearl remakes are set for release later this year, but they don’t have guns in either.
This isn’t serious, of course, because guns can be pretty bad. I just think it’s interesting that someone has decided to make a game where instead of trapping poor creatures inside tiny balls, the developers have just gone all out on wackiness and have you firing off rounds and rounds at mystical animals.
Bizarre is the word I’d use. Palworld is certainly a different take on the Creature-Collecting genre.
We just announced the new game Palworld!
You can collect and raise mysterious creatures “Pal” in this next-generation open-world survival crafting game!
— Pocketpair – Craftopia (@PocketpairGames) June 5, 2021
Palworld is developed by Pockeptair. If you haven’t heard of them before, they released the early access Craftopia in 2020. Craftopia is a hugely ambitious crafting game, with multiplayer features and a massive world, that somehow isn’t completely disappointing. In fact, it’s a pretty good game, even if the poorly Google-translated store page is a bit wacky (“Be the best Gamer on this beautifull Game.”)
To call Palworld a blatant Pokemon ripoff does the game a disservice. Temtem, on the other hand, is probably closer to Pokemon in terms of gameplay mechanics. There are clearly some companion designs in Palworld that look very familiar to some well-known Pokemon, but the angle Pocketpair is taking with the game (based entirely on the short trailer) presents a much darker world than Pokemon.
Creatures are forced to cut crops, build houses, and take part in what looks like basically hunting with automatic weapons. As I said, it’s dark, and quite frankly a bit bizarre, but if Craftopia has proven anything in its saturated survival and crafting genre, sometimes weird works.
That’s not to say Pokemon doesn’t have its dark side. Pokemon ghosts and that Lavender Town music will forever reside in one of the darkest corners of my brain. But it’s been a while since a Creature-Collecting game pushed the boat out like this. It’s genuinely exciting to see a fresh take on the genre, even if parts of the game might feel problematic to some.
Turns out that there were guns in the Pokemon anime, anyway.
It’s not really a surprise that Pocketpair has done something a bit different for the genre, as Craftopia is one hell of a weird game. The sheer diversity of craftable objects and massive game systems in Craftopia make it pretty clear that Pocketpair isn’t messing around with the ambition of their games. Palworld might follow.
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