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New Palworld video game is a Pokemon look-alike


The game Palworld was released in early January. In just under two weeks it hit 19 million total players and became the number one most-played game on Steam. This accomplishment is substantial since Palworld was made by an independent game company and released in the same week as Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League and The Finals. Both of which were very anticipated games with a ton of advertising. But is Palworld any good?

I set off to play the game to find out.

One of the first things I noticed about Palworld was that it looked and sounded a lot like Pokemon. Both games have similar aesthetics and goals. Many Pals look very similar to Pokemon, and both games use roughly the same element system. 

Pals are called Pokemon and specifically their most similar Pokemon counterparts (I’m looking at you Eevee and Cremis). Pal Spheres get called Pokeballs and tower bosses get called gym leaders.

This matters because Nintendo, the company behind Pokemon, has a history of using copyright laws in distasteful ways. Famously they give many fans cease-and-desist orders for fan projects. They tried to sue Blockbuster to stop video game rentals and they shut down professional tournaments that don’t get a license directly from Nintendo. 

Palworld looks very inspired by Pokemon. Also possibly even worse for it massively outperforming Pokemon right now. Pokemon’s last big innovation was making a mobile game spinoff almost a decade ago and the most recent game sold only a little more than half the copies of its predecessor. I imagine that Pocketpair is in for a wicked legal battle in the upcoming months, and the future of the game is uncertain.

I hope that they win though. Palworld is extremely fun and the type of game that I have wanted from Pokemon for a long time. The base building has a lot of depth. Playing with Pals in live time instead of turn-based gameplay feels great and gives each one way more personality than they would otherwise have. The weapons feel great to use. The world feels large and diverse with unique Pals, boss Pals and beautiful landscapes everywhere. Character and crafting progression is slow, but it feels natural and is a fun grind. 

The game is very buggy though. A lot of the AI gets confused easily. Larger Pals can’t handle complex environments well. Clipping through walls and floors is very common. Many pals have weird hitboxes and aim assist attached to them. Also, many icons in the menus and cutscenes have a low pixel rate and menus are extremely laggy.

 I am happy to excuse the bugs though. Palworld is in early access and the developers have been releasing pretty common and extensive game patches. They have also done well to communicate what they do and don’t know about with players and what they are working on for the future.

I would highly recommend Palworld to anyone who is even mildly curious about it and has a PC or Xbox. I rate Palworld five out of five lopes.

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Lucas Ratliff
Lucas Ratliff, Reporter
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    aidenFeb 14, 2024 at 4:09 pm

    Please email me back if you have any advise for me.

  • A

    AidenFeb 14, 2024 at 4:07 pm

    thank you for the thoughts I have only played it once for an hour and my favorite pal is a purple reindeer.