January 17, 2016 11:00am
It’s rare a video game is actually funny. The interactive nature of the medium makes it extremely difficult for developers to craft meaningfully amusing moments within the frantic and often disjointed world of most titles.
In my time writing about games, I’ve only found one — Obsidian Entertainment’s South Park: The Stick of Truth — that was guffaw-inducing. And the second? Pocket Mortys.
Pocket Mortys is a copy of Pokemon in the best way possible. It takes the game’s core mechanics — catching Pocket Monsters and training them for battle — and twists everything around in patented Rick and Morty style, pulling insane ideas directly from the minds of Justin Roiland and Dan Harmon, who are behind the television show on which Pocket Mortys is based.
Players travel the game world, collecting and levelling their team of Mortys, while engaging in turn-based rock-paper-scissors-style RPG combat, against various foes from the show’s diverse universe. When a Morty runs out of HP, instead of “fainting” like in Pokemon, he becomes “dazed” and is no longer able to fight. Also, just like Pokemon, Mortys gain XP after every battle (if you win) and are able to learn new attacks, and eventually even evolve.
While it’s still unclear, speculation on the internet indicates there are 82 different Mortys in the game, ranging from Cronenberg Morty, to Wizard Morty, to the rare Scruffy Morty. There’s also Unkempt Morty, Hobo Morty, and my personal favourite, Hipster Morty.
Why the game works so well comes down to its subtlety. For example, Morty trainers stand around waiting you to fight them while turning at random, just like their counterparts in the Pokemon universe. The game also features the same badge system the Pokemon series is known for, this time called the Council of Ricks, which fans of the show will instantly recognize from Rick and Morty’s “Close Rick-counters of the Rick Kind” episode in season one.
Just like The Stick of Truth, Pocket Mortys doesn’t take itself seriously, making fun of the fact that it’s actually just an amusing rip-off of Nintendo’s Pokemon series, while also poking fun at popular video game tropes in general.
Like all free-to-play applications, Pocket Mortys features microtransactions. Thankfully they aren’t very obtrusive, and completely optional. Blitz and Chitz tickets, which cost $0.99 a ticket, can be purchased from in-game machines, giving players access to extra coins, items and Mortys.
Old-school Pokemon fans, who are also Rick and Morty fans, will find a lot amount to like about this game. Everyone else: watch the show and come back here.