Palworld is a New Gamer Addiction (That Deserves Our Attention)

Way more than just what’s on the surface

Palworld is a New Gamer Addiction (That Deserves Our Attention)

A great genre mashup, we hope can withstand possible litigation...

Pocketpair has managed to break into the gaming industry in a fantastic and unexpected way. Their game Palworld, which many people referred to as Pokémon with guns, has topped the Steam charts following its January release. As of February 1st, the game has sold a whopping 19 million copies across both Steam and Xbox game pass.

That is an insane accomplishment to pull off in under a month. By comparison, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet have sold around 22 million copies in the year after their release. The big question is, how did a game that looks like a Pokémon rip off become both the highest selling and the most played game of all time on Steam?

The easy answer is that Palworld is way more fun than it has any right to be. The game creates a near perfect gameplay loop of catching new pals, gathering resources, and exploring the interesting world that Pocketpair has created. This is the monster catching game that fans of the genre have been expecting from AAA companies for decades. And it’s finally here, just not in the package that anyone had expected.

Play lots of games, try different genres, and frequently flick through indie libraries to find hidden gems. - Pocketpair community manager Bucky

The more complex answer is that Palworld manages to take the best aspects of a variety of games and genres and blend them perfectly into a unified world. There are clearly elements of some Zelda: Breath Of The Wild mixed in with the games exploration system that lends to the cozy feeling players get and the fly through the landscape.

On top of that, the monster catching system mixes the campiness of Pokémon with the exciting action of Monster Hunter World in a way that I didn’t realize that I needed in my life. Palworld easily switches between an easy farming mode of just trying to catch ten of each pal for that sweet xp boost to adrenaline pumping boss battles that I wandered into underprepared.

But none of this would work nearly as well if it wasn’t for the base building elements. It is easy to abandon the monster hunting element entirely in search of new recourses while trying to perfectly build your base for both the beautiful aesthetics that are offered and superior defense against raiders. It is a genuine joy when you find a new place to build your base and spend the next hour moving everything over and redesigning your camp.

Now, with all of this wild success, it is fair to assume that Pocketpair expected some backlash. Their reign to the top has been noted by the possibility of litigation as well as backlash from fans who feel that their favorite games have been ripped off. And to be honest, it’s hard to miss the resemblance of those games in Palworld. But there is a very fine line between inspiration and copyright theft. And as it stands, no company has taken legal action against Pocketpair over the usage of their copyright. That doesn’t mean that it won’t happen, for now at least, Pocketpair can revel in all the glory that comes with their success.

Regardless of what happens in the future, Palworld has made its mark on the gaming world and will be talked about for some time to come. Whether it will fall apart and disappear in a few months as so many other indie hits before it is unclear. But the one thing that I know for sure is that Palworld is an amazing game that everyone should give a shot.

Cameron McFarland | Contributing Writer

Covering all things sci-fi, horror, gaming, and tech with an old-school, retro twist. Welcome to Sci-Fi 3D. We were geek…before it was cool!

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