Title: Pocket Mortys
Version Tested: Android
Available On: Android, iOS
Developer: Big Pixel Studios
Publishers: Adult Swim Games
Genre: Pokémonlike/Old School Turn Based “Monster” Collecting RPG
Official Site: Pocket Mortys Official Site
Release Date: January 13th, 2016
Pocket Mortys; that name says it all. Pocket Mortys is of course meant to be a mix of the name of one of the two protagonists of the show this game is based on, Rick and Morty, and the term Pocket Monsters which is the elongated version of Pokémon, the game series that Pocket Mortys attempts to emulate. Pocket Mortys is a great mix of its parent TV show and the winning Pokémon formula but with one rather important caveat; if you like neither of those things there is a high probability that you will not enjoy this game.
This is the major issue that licensed games run into: they are primarily created to cash in on the success of whatever property they are based on and it is, therefore, difficult for them to appeal to anyone who is not already a fan. Pocket Mortys is literally one part Pokémon and one part Rick and Morty and if you are looking for anything else here you are not likely to find it. While keeping all of that in mind one question remains, is the game good?
It turns out that Pocket Mortys is pretty solid. It has all of the classic genre defining characteristics that make actual Pokémon so great, all somewhat simplified. As the Rick from the show, you go around various maps challenging other characters to battle the Mortys that you have caught so that you can level them up and eventually take on the Boss of that world. Once you beat the Boss you get a badge and some loot, and when you get enough Badges you can take on a member of the Council of Ricks, this game’s Elite Four stand in. There are six in total and each time you defeat one it’s back to the grind to get more badges.
There are 82 different types of Mortys that can be acquired in the game, each with a different type, Rock, Paper, or Scissors. The Morty you start the game with actually has no type, making him both immune to extra type based damage as well as unable to deal any. The game also features a number of attacks to increase or decrease the stats of the Mortys but lacks any sort of attacks involving status conditions.
There are a few more things that Pocket Mortys does differently from its namesake. For instance, once you are teleported to a different dimension you can wander around and fight other trainers as well as the Boss but there are no healing centers. The only way to access that is to be at the central hub world, so any healing you need while in the field has to come from items. Luckily the game designers took that into account and made it so that you are able to access the store from your menu, where you can use your hard-won Shmeckles to buy healing items and keep your team in tip top shape.
Being stuck on a map doesn’t seem like much of a difference from the standard Pocket Monster formula, but I found myself quickly running out of Shmeckles and decided to give the freemium side of this game a whirl early on. Step up to a Blips and Chitz machine and you can unlock all kinds of prizes with cash, or one of the Blips and Chitz coupons you find or win in-game. Since Pocket Mortys was free and it was generally enjoyable I did not mind going to this machine occasionally and seeing what type of prizes I would receive. Each coupon gets you four items and one new Morty. (Two of my favorite Mortys came from this contraption). This whole system really isn’t a necessity to beat the game, however, I found that the few dollars I spent were well worth the reward, and actually came with the same excitement one gets when opening any sort of package involving interesting items of unknown worth.
It has been commented on often that much of what Pocket Mortys does is to take the classic Pokémon formula and simplify it and tweak it slightly, to make it easier, more approachable and generally a little friendlier to the freemium and mobile games space. This statement seems somewhat apt as there are many differences that fit right into this category. All wild Mortys are visible on the field which eliminates random battles, and the items that can be found strewn about are visible as well, going so far as to include a chest like collection of them with several goodies in it in every level. Mortys don’t typically evolve with level or circumstance but instead can be combined to get a more powerful version with increased stats. The only thing that is fairly original is the crafting system which allows you to take the trash you find laying around everywhere and turn it into various items to use on the Mortys or items which can be traded to people in the hub world for rewards.
The simplification goes a little too far sometimes. I really would have loved to be able to battle my friends Mortys and trade with them, but there doesn’t seem to be any way to do this, although it is possible that this may be remedied in some future update or expansion. Additionally, the simplicity of the game, combined with the gritty nature of Pokémon can make it a little bit boring after long play sessions; however Pocket Mortys is again saved by its own simplicity. Due to its comparably short length the game last until it is just shy of overstaying its welcome.
When I began to get bored with the game it was usually because I was playing in public. In these situations, I almost always turn off the sound of my game so as not to be rude, but in doing so, I would lose a huge portion of what makes the game amusing: that Rick and Morty atmosphere.
Pocket Mortys brings the art style, music, and all of the dimensions of the show, or several at any rate, into a lovingly tailored mobile gaming whole. It is clear that the developers had great respect for both Rick and Morty and Pokémon and did a fantastic job intertwining them to create something no one had any idea they wanted. The game includes voice acting from the original cast, wonderful 8-bit style covers of some of the shows more popular songs and many wonderful references to many of the small details that the shows dialogue threw around. My only real complaint is that there not being many stories to this game, there was no time to include a ton of the shows signature wonky humor. I can readily forgive that because not only is the game great, free fun but I give a little snicker every time I use one of the stat boosting seeds on one of my Mortys.
How do you feel about Pocket Mortys? Do you wanna let us know? We would love to hear what you have to say, so please leave us a comment below.
- Gameplay: Almost identical to Pokémon with a few minor tweaks. Catch, grind, battle, level up, and combine various versions of Morty in classic RPG fashion. Collect badges and defeat the Council of Ricks.
- Graphics: An almost exact replica of what we see on Rick and Morty but now in game form, it makes for a nice, fluid, and clean looking mobile title.
- Sound: The music features wonderful gamified versions of many of the popular songs from the show, my favorite being the 8-bit Moonman cover. There are some sound effects that I wouldn’t be surprised to hear were ripped from a Pokémon game and great voice performances from the regular cast.
- Presentation: Pocket Mortys is not something that I would have ever suspected I needed in my life but now that it is here I have not been able to play much else. It is a tight little Pokémon/Rick and Morty combo pack and it works splendidly.
- Very different type of Pokémon game based in the Rick and Morty Universes.
- Classic handheld turn-based "monster" battling action.
- It's FREE.
- Does a fantastic job of emulating the style and feel of the game series that it acts as an homage to and the television show that it is based upon.
- By that same token if you do not enjoy Pokémon style games as well as Rick and Morty you may very well find this game to be in the three stars category for you despite all its fun and polish.
- It can be a tad too simple at times.
Trent Katzenberger is a writer, youtuber, gamer, nerd, and just all around a strange sort of guy. He loves trying new stuff and creating odd things.