POCKET MORTYS Review
Adult Swim Games has released their newest effort to make you forget the unbearably long hiatus between seasons two and three of RICK AND MORTY. Available for iOS and Android devices, BigPixel Studios has brought POCKET MORTYS into the lives of everyone screaming “Wubba lubba dub dub!” at the thought of another year before new episodes of RICK AND MORTY arrive.
At least Matt Stone and Trey Parker are making musicals, you lazy bastards!
POCKET MORTYS puts the player in the lab coat of Rick (specifically the Rick of Dimension C-455) in a not-so-subtle parody of POKÉMON. The game is catered almost exclusively to fans of the show, involving in-jokes and gags that have shown up in episodes past, specifically that in every dimension there is a Rick and every Rick has a Morty. As the game starts Rick has been deemed by the interdimensional Council of Ricks as too irresponsible to own a portal gun because he can’t seem to take care of his Morty. Many other Mortys have been separated from their Ricks as well, which has resulted in an interdimensional collecting craze. The Council then forces Rick to travel to other dimensions in order to collect and train Mortys to fight other Mortys raised by other Morty trainers. Before Rick can leave a dimension he must fight another Rick in order to earn a badge. Once a certain amount of badges are collected, he can challenge a member of the Council of Ricks. Repeat ad victorium.
The game does an excellent job of lampooning both a gaming classic and a popular cartoon, but never uses the source material as too much of a crutch. The joke is simply in how obvious the parody is, from the Morty trainers to battle screen and system. You even control Rick with an on-screen D-pad and A button in the vein of a Game Boy. If you’ve ever played POKÉMON in your life, you already know how the battle system works; turn-based combat that makes use of differing types and attacks as well as various debuffs. Thankfully there are only three types of Mortys: Rock, Paper, and Scissors, leaving combat a bit easier to understand than POKÉMON. Mortys also level up and can be given items to enhance their stats, and there’s even a Morty Daycare for you to place all the Mortys that won’t fit into your party. Wild Mortys can be captured and trained after wearing down their health a bit.
Some might fear that POCKET MORTYS is merely a cash grab aimed at diehard fans, but fortunately the game doesn’t bear many hallmarks of “freemium” games. While there are microtransactions in-game, it’s in no way a Pay-To-Win situation. There are many opportunities for players to pay money in order to receive in-game coupons redeemable for power-ups, items, and powerful Mortys. Players can also pay to receive more in-game currency for more purchases, but refusing to pay real money for fake money in no way makes it unplayable.
Accurately charting the descent into freemium addiction
Again, much of the humor and content of POCKET MORTYS is reserved for fans of the show, but the gameplay is still very accessible if the player accepts the plot. Much of the background music is ripped right from the show, and while only fans will recognize the 8-bit remix of GOODBYE MOONMEN, those less versed in the Rickstaverse can enjoy it as well. (Most of the original songs from RICK AND MORTY show up in the game, but unfortunately DMX does not make an appearance.) In a similar vein, one doesn’t need to know the context of Turbulent Juice and Butter Robots to use and play the game, but it’ll only add to the experience if they do. If for no other reason than to play an offbeat POKÉMON clone, POCKET MORTYS is worth the free download.
Reviewed on iOS, also available on Android