Game Spotlight: Pocket Mortys
Odds are you’ve heard of Rick and Morty at this point, especially if you’re connected in any way to the animation or science fiction scene. If not, get on that because its one of the most innovative, bizarre, and wildly intelligent pieces of television currently out there. The second season just finished up with a brutal cliffhanger earlier in 2015 and they’re slated to return again for a third soon enough. However, fans of the show have gotten a bit of treat in the form of a free mobile game that launched last week: Pocket Mortys, a freemium Pokemon clone where you collect not monsters or digital beasts, but different dimensional versions of your grandson. If that sounds weird, then you should probably watch the show before jumping into this game.
There’s not too much to be said for the gameplay since it literally is re-skinned Pokemon, but there are a few nice touches thrown into the mix. Instead of having free reign of an open world, the player gets tossed into a random dimension where they must defeat the Rick of that dimension in pitched Morty combat. Every Morty can learn up to four moves and can be classed as one of four different “elemental” types: rock, paper, scissors, and basic. It’s a clever way to emulate the elemental system used in Pokemon while keeping the tongue-in-cheek tone that the game immediately sets up. The game also offers a crafting system that players may utilize to create some of the consumables that serve the same functions as poke balls and potions. Most of the systems in the game are very simple and it gets most of it’s mileage from the barrage of in-jokes that it has to offer as well as a healthy sampling of Rick and Morty‘s trademark dark humor as well as references to the Pokemon series and JRPGS as a whole.
This works to it’s strength for the most part but also serves as a disadvantage at times, simply because of how involved or self-referential some of the jokes can be. Were I not familiar with both of the franchises from which the game draws inspiration, I don’t know how invested I would be in it. That being said, the mobile controls are tight, the freemium features are mostly unobtrusive and much of the charm from the show carries over, even without context. It’s being offered for free on both android and IOS right now, so if you’re a fan of either Pokemon or the show, there’s no reason not to pick it up. Wubba lubba dub dub!