Palworld vs. Pokemon: Imitator or Unique?

Palworld sells millions of copies but continues to be a controversial topic in the gaming community regarding the plagiarism claims from the Pokemon Company.  

Palworld is a survival monster catching game spanning a series of more than 100 ‘Pals’ or monsters to catch. The game was made by Pocket Pair Games and has sold over 15 million copies making it the second highest best-seller for PC games. 

Despite its popularity, many gamers, mostly fans of the Pokemon community, have been criticizing the game for stealing designs and ideas from Pokemon. Nintendo and Pokemon themselves have been trying to sue Pocket Pair Games for these allegations; however, since the game has become so popular, it has been more difficult for Nintendo to do so. 

As a Pokemon fan myself, I decided to look into these allegations. I wanted to see if Palworld is truly an imitator or if it is in fact a unique game that deserves its popularity. 

Looking at Palworld’s gameplay, it plays like your typical survival game. You start with nothing, and you work your way to the top. You gather materials to craft supplies, build a base, grow or forage for food and eventually survive your way to the end of the game, or if there is no end, survive and thrive. 

Overall, survival games aren’t new, and survival games aren’t typically Pokemon’s style. If anything, Palworld has some pretty fun game mechanics; for example, by using your Pals, you can make automated farms to help you gather materials and make the game easier. You can also craft material with anything in your storage if it is in your base area. Many gamers of Palworld praise these mechanics as when playing survival games this can be a pain when trying to see if you have a certain material you need in the aubance of chests that you have likely stored all your materials in. 

Although the gameplay style is different from Pokemon’s, many still criticize it for certain mechanics such as being able to ride pals like how you’re able to have Pokemon mounts or being able to fight bosses to progress the game further, with gamers comparing it to Pokemon gym leaders. I find these points to be a bit of a stretch. Having mounts in games isn’t just unique to Pokemon, and neither are video game bosses.

So Palworld is a unique gaming experience then, right? The Pokemon Company and its fans are just blowing this out of proportion and trying to shut Palworld down for no reason. Not exactly. Often the biggest talking points when talking about the Pokemon vs. Palworld debate are the designs and the capturing mechanic of the Pals themselves.

The designs of Pals are so achingly similar to Pokemon designs, it’s not even funny. They are so hard to tell apart that people have been challenging casual Pokemon fans to try and tell the difference between a Pal and a Pokemon, and they have trouble doing so. It’s not just some of the designs either. For a majority of the designs many hardcore Pokemon fans can name a Pokemon that it looks similar to. Just by looking up Palworld vs Pokemon designs, it will result in many comparisons of Pals vs Pokemon and how similar the designs are. 

The catching mechanic is also eerily similar to Pokemon. You throw Pal Spheres at the Pals when they become weak from battle just like how you throw pokeballs at Pokemon. It’s no wonder why people have become so mad at Palworld. It’s very hard to see how this is not just a coincidence.

Even if the rumors are true and Palworld stole designs from Pokemon, I’m still a little sad. This game seems really fun and has proven through its boom of popularity that it is. However, if the designs were truly stolen from Pokemon, something should be done about it. If Nintendo and Pokemon do end up suing Palworld, I hope the designs will change and people will finally be able to enjoy the game without all the controversy.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.