A new game revealed during this weekend’s Indie Live Expo left some players scratching their heads. Palworld is a Pokémon-like game slated for release in 2022 filled with cute monsters…and lots of guns.
Developed by Pocketpair, Palworld Described as a multiplayer open world game with survival crafting elements. At first glance, it looks a bit like a normal Pokémon game. The trailer showcases a lively world filled with creatures that look live based on specific Pokémon. There’s even a sheep that looks suspiciously like Wooloo.
After about 35 seconds, the trailer spins weirdly. It cuts through the human characters shooting monsters with assault rifles and shotguns. At one point, one character used the adorable sheep I mentioned above as a shield to deflect bullets.
In another puzzling moment, the camera cuts to a factory where crying monsters are mass-producing assault rifles. Game Steam page includes an entire section on factory automation mechanics, even darker: “It is essential to automation that Pals do the manual work. Build a factory and put Pals in it. They will stay active forever as long as they are fed for the rest of their lives.”
Pocketpair has garnered a lot of social media engagement, with the trailer alone receiving over 33,000 likes on Twitter. While some seemed to fit perfectly with the “WTF” nature of the trailer, others were disgusted.
“I’m terrified of this game legally and how many people are excited about the blatant gun wars-Pokémon-ripoff-creatures-design and slave labor,” the user tweeted. Screaming Possum to respond.
It’s not clear what Pocketpair’s intentions are here, but Palworld reads as a deliberate social satire. The game’s Steam page lists all the normal features you’d see in a monster-collecting game alongside cheeky ones that depict poaching and illegal hunting mechanics. This seems to be a sharp commentary that delves into the dark sides of games like Pokémon about catching and turning them into battle.
Whatever the purpose, Palworld slated to release in 2022. For a healthier monster-collecting experience, you can use New Pokémon Snap.