Fan-Made Pokémon Game Designed for Adults

/ 4 years ago

pokemon apex

Pokémon – like Doctor Who, LEGO, and blanket forts – is not just for kids, though it has to be acknowledged that it does not explicitly cater to its current adult audience, either. A fan, though, is creating a new Pokémon game aimed at appealing specifically to the grown-ups. Pokémon Apex is an unauthorised fan game – made in RPG Maker XP and in the works since 2014 – developed by Nathan Gunzenhauser, better known by his pseudonym iamvishnu, “developed with an adult Pokémon fan in mind,” according to the official website.

This adult iteration of Pokémon is not an excuse for titillation, though, but will include “some adult dialogue (some swearing) and themes (death, abandonment), and some minor horror elements,” as well as a greater difficulty curve compared to the official Pokémon games.

In his description of the game, iamvishnu outlines the issues he has with the previous Pokémon games that he intends to solve:

  • Low Difficulty: Most Pokémon games are geared towards younger audiences, meaning they are typically very easy to finish. Personally, I think Pokémon could benefit from a steeper difficulty curve. Apex will not be brutally difficult, but it will require players to make conscientious choices about their team and play style.
  • Poor balance: Core Pokémon games may seem well-balanced on the surface, but once you start digging into stats and movesets, it is clear that some Pokémon are way better than others. It is my belief that every Pokémon is entitled to a moveset that complements its stats and vice-versa. I intend to solve this problem by raising the base stat totals off all fully-evolved Pokémon to at least 400, as well as refining movesets to better reflect the play style of each Pokémon.
  • Characters are bland: Pokémon games always tend to follow the same tropes, and characters are very seldom interesting. I intend to solve this problem by giving the protagonist a voice and personality, as well as making characters seem as much like real people as possible instead of forcing each one into a character archetype. This includes the protagonist, rival, antagonists, and supporting characters. Characters will also experience development, showing their growth (or decline) over the course of the game.
  • Game structure is formulaic: Start in a small town, meet a tree-themed professor, get a fire/water/grass starter, get a PokéDex, defeat the eight gyms, defeat the bad guys, defeat the Elite Four, etc. You’ve done all this before. The same tired game structure is used in every core Pokémon game. I intend to solve this issue by introducing starters that do not fit the standard type wheel. Furthermore, progression through the game will revolve around opening up new areas. There will be no Gyms, nor Elite Four. Furthermore, instead of one singular storyline, there will be many sidequests and secret storylines to discover.

The game is far from finished, but an alpha build is available to try here.

Are you interested in an adult-themed Pokémon? Or does stripping away its adolescent qualities strip away the magic?

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