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Palworld Reviews – Much Better than Pokemon with firearms.

Palworld, a peculiar and seemingly cruel game, displays evident effort and thoughtful design in its core mechanics. However, the overall result, at least in its current state, is a hybrid of established gaming formulas that creates a tonal clash.

The game’s unexpected surge in popularity, breaking records on Steam, adds to the perplexity. While survival-crafting open-world games gaining traction on Steam is nothing new, Palworld’s massive success is noteworthy, partly due to its striking resemblance to a certain popular monster-catching game—Ark: Survival Evolved.

If you were thinking of a different comparison, think again. Palworld fully embraces the conventions of the prevalent survival-crafting genre. Players find themselves stranded in an unfamiliar world where everything, whether animal, vegetable, or mineral, can be dismantled for raw materials to craft weapons, build bases, and establish facilities.

The unique twist? Instead of traditional creatures, the game features wild anime companions that can be both exploited and subjected to brutality. Furthermore, the game’s weapon progression diverges from the usual stone-to-diamond evolution, opting for a journey from simple tools to pump-action shotguns and ground-to-air artillery. Despite the tonal dissonance, Palworld seems to defy expectations and achieve success.

Palworld: A Unique Blend of Survival and Pal-catching

In the realm of Palworld, my custom characters found themselves thrust into a strangely familiar landscape—an island adorned with ancient glowing towers every few miles. Eagerly anticipating the prominently advertised firepower, I scoured the surroundings for the promised machine gun, only to realize that the emphasis on weaponry might have been a tad overstated.

In hindsight, the focus on firepower was overshadowed by the classic survival-crafting routine. Stranded in the wilderness with nothing but underpants, the initial task was the familiar drill of punching trees and rocks to gather materials for the essential base, miner’s pick, woodcutter’s axe, campfire, and crafting bench. Although this tune echoed many other survival games, I couldn’t help but yearn for an upgrade from my rudimentary stick to something more advanced, complete with an extended magazine and laser sights.


However, a quick look at the tech tree revealed that crafting even a basic sidearm wasn’t an option until reaching level 25, and considering my progress only reached level 6 after a substantial afternoon effort, the allure of an assault rifle seemed distant. On the contrary, capturing and taming “Pals” proved to be a more immediate process, involving weakening them with a baseball bat and using Pal Spheres to swiftly capture and tame these creatures.

The game seamlessly intertwines a recognizable survival/crafting system with a real-time Pokémon element, albeit with varying degrees of success. Armed with Pal Spheres and a mix of supplies and weaponry reminiscent of Hitman, players embark on excursions to uncover the map, engaging in dogfights and using ammunition strategically to catch new Pals and combat hostile humans. Along the journey, encounters with powerful trainers, settlements, and boss Pals add depth, although the narrative context remains relatively thin.

While the setup may not deviate significantly from other survival-crafters, the incorporation of the Pokémon factor adds a unique twist. Yet, post-capture automation of Pal’s behavior proves both a boon and a hindrance. Free to act independently, Pals often make questionable decisions, jeopardizing your goals by inadvertently interfering with captures or stumbling into peril.

In combat, tactical thinking is limited, with the player often resorting to slinging out a Pal and observing the ensuing chaos from a safe distance. Engaging directly offers simplistic gun and melee combat, involving swinging a stick or unleashing gunfire interspersed with stamina-draining maneuvers like roly-polys.

On the positive side, the automated approach shines when managing captured Pals in the base. The extensive system allows them to work on tasks such as tilling fields, chopping wood, and even cooking their freshly laid eggs. With a well-organized community of Pals, the base becomes self-sufficient, minimizing the need for micromanagement and allowing players the freedom to explore without constant upkeep concerns.

Palworld: Tonal Whiplash and Bizarre Harmony

In the realm of Palworld, a peculiar and captivating dynamic unfolds—one that’s challenging to encapsulate in conventional terms. Palworld, comprised of seemingly standard elements, manages to collide in surreal ways, juxtaposing the cheery tone and aesthetics reminiscent of child-friendly monster-catching games with the ruthless, blood-stained pragmatism expected in titles like The Forest. The anime mascots adorned with visually conflicting military hardware merely scratch the surface of this tonal conundrum.

To delve deeper, Palworld gives off the vibe that its creators initially believed they were crafting a game about ferocious xenomorphs, unaware that the inhabitants would be endearing creatures akin to Tamagotchi. Encountering NPC humans in the open world adds another layer to the dissonance, as they describe Pals as slathering monstrosities, despite their obvious innocence.

These characters hoarsely whisper about hundreds of innocents meeting their demise beneath oversized cartoon paws. The inclusion of sanity mechanics for overworked Pals, an in-game glossary detailing their supposed atrocities, and the ability to roast their carcasses over an open flame for consumption all unfold without a hint of commentary or criticism from Palworld. While I’m no vegetarian, the notion of feeding a lamb to another lamb gives even me pause.

Contrary to games like Bugsnax or Lollipop Chainsaw, Palworld lacks self-aware absurdity. Instead, it exudes an obliviousness to its disconcertingly strange nature, rendering it even more unsettling. While technically sound in its design, the juxtaposition of brutal, amoral survivalism with innocent Saturday morning cartoons maintains a ghastly fascination that persists, for better or for worse.

Palworld: Quirky Charm and Unintentional Humor

In the realm of Palworld, its peculiar eccentricities stand out as perhaps the most memorable aspect of the gaming experience. While one might argue that its oddness is a flaw, it undeniably adds a unique flavor to the overall encounter. Even if I find myself laughing at Palworld rather than with it, the essence of laughter remains intact.


Regrettably, the charm of Palworld’s eccentricity couldn’t sustain my interest indefinitely. Over time, the unintentional humor began to lose its appeal, and frustration set in due to the increasing demand for specific resources in seemingly insurmountable quantities. Additionally, the initially picturesque world failed to offer sufficient motivation or context to drive my exploration.

Granted, these issues may undergo correction as Palworld navigates through the developmental phase of Early Access. I acknowledge that the current state presents a fairly robust package, rooted in mechanics that, while mildly sociopathic, seem somewhat static. However, considering the explosive success of Palworld in its cutthroat gaming realm, it’s reasonable to expect that players won’t have to wait long for further developments.

Palworld: More than Just ‘Pokemon with Guns’

Despite the common nickname of ‘Pokemon with guns,’ Palworld defies such a simplistic description. In reality, it leans more towards being ‘Ark with Pokemon,’ drawing considerable inspiration from Studio Wildcard’s renowned survival game.

At its essence, Palworld operates as a survival crafting game, adhering to the established norms of the genre. The gameplay involves resource gathering, base expansion, and gear improvement, following an Ark-inspired technology tree where higher-tier crafting recipes demand more challenging-to-obtain resources.

The distinctive element arises from the introduction of Pals, wild creatures that can be captured and directed to either engage in combat or contribute to your base’s operations. While sharing similarities with Pokemon, Palworld adds a satirical twist, featuring giant bears equipped with miniguns and adorable squirrels wielding SMGs while perched on your head, courtesy of Partner Skills.

Palworld diverges from being a serious game, and that’s a strength. Instead of attempting to create a better version of Pokemon, as seen with games like Temtem, Palworld offers an entirely different premise. The incorporation of shock humor and a refusal to take itself too seriously contribute to its unique identity. This distinctiveness is likely to prevent Palworld from fading into obscurity, setting it apart from numerous other Pokemon contenders.

Palworld’s Expansive Landscape: Discovering the Galapagos Islands

In Palworld, players find themselves immersed in the breathtaking Galapagos Islands, a fictional paradise showcasing diverse environments, from lush tropical forests to barren deserts. This vibrant world, bursting with color and teeming with life, offers a delightful exploration experience, especially once you gain a Pal capable of flight.

The Galapagos Islands boast a plethora of discoveries, ranging from thrilling dungeons to enigmatic sanctuaries and elusive legendary Pals. Navigating this expansive world takes time, and with Pal spawns strategically placed in specific areas, players are naturally encouraged to explore every facet without a sense of coercion.

The open world of Palworld also benefits significantly from the utilization of Unreal Engine 5. Despite adopting a relatively simplistic art style, Pocketpair skillfully harnesses the engine’s strengths, evident in the stunning water reflections and lively landscapes.


While Palworld may not redefine video game visuals, it remains visually appealing and easy on the eyes, showcasing the beauty of the Galapagos Islands through the lens of its well-crafted open world.

Palworld’s Communication Breakdown: AI Frustrations in Combat

While traversing the Palpagos Islands in Palworld, encountering and engaging with various Pals is a core aspect of the adventure. However, the game’s most glaring flaw comes to the forefront in its infuriating AI, particularly during combat. When the combat functions as intended, it’s passable, albeit lacking inspiration. Yet, when issues arise, frustration quickly sets in.

It’s not uncommon for your Pal to be thrown into a fight only to mindlessly wander around, indifferent to your commands. Equally frustrating is the occurrence of them ceasing to attack without any apparent reason. This becomes particularly vexing during boss fights, where the focus should be on dealing with damage and dodging attacks, not on micromanaging dysfunctional team members.

Palworld’s combat, in general, suffers from poor implementation. Telegraphed attacks from enemies are highly inconsistent, often leading to unavoidable hits. There were instances where an opposing Pal took me out while it was being caught, as it would somehow attack me in the Pal Sphere or immediately strike out the moment it escaped.

On higher difficulties, these issues can prove fatal, forcing players to repeatedly repair their gear and deplete valuable resources. It’s unfortunate because the Pal’s unique Partner Skills add an enjoyable dimension to combat, but overall, there’s a lack of depth. This currently stands as the area requiring the most attention if Palworld aims to sustain its success.

Palworld: Expanding Operations Through Base Building

In Palworld, when you’re not exploring the Galapagos Islands, a significant portion of your time is likely devoted to working on your base. The base building plays a crucial role in Palworld’s gameplay, with upgrading your base being essential for acquiring the best gear and maximizing the potential of your Pals.


The foundation for the base building is laid after placing the Palbox, prompting you to undertake various challenges to elevate your base’s level. Higher-level bases can accommodate more active Pals, allowing you to expand your operation and automate key processes using their unique powers.

These powers, termed Work Suitabilities, dictate how a Pal contributes to your base. With a total of 12 abilities, examples include Kindling for igniting furnaces and cooking food, Mining for gathering ore and stone, and Handiwork for crafting items at a workbench or later on a production line.

This forms the core gameplay loop that Palworld revolves around. Acquire resources, use them to upgrade your base, enhance your technology by leveling up, and then repeat the process. It’s a simple yet effective loop that proves to be quite addictive, especially when the ultimate reward is the ability to craft guns and literal artillery weapons for hunting.

While Palworld’s gameplay is enjoyable, a few areas still require attention. Commanding Pals to perform specific tasks is overly challenging, often leading them to prioritize tasks they are not proficient in, significantly slowing down base operations.

Additionally, the building mechanics themselves are rather basic, making it challenging to create intricate structures. Furthermore, the current leveling-up process heavily relies on mass-catching Pals, which can become monotonous over time. While customizable difficulty sliders provide a workaround, more viable methods to grind experience would be a welcomed improvement.

Palworld: Navigating the Balance Between Uniqueness and Familiarity

Palworld, the indie sensation, has sparked discussions about its alleged plagiarism in specific Pal designs, prompting a closer examination of its creative landscape. While some comparisons, like those between Lamball and Wooloo, may be stretched given their shared inspiration from sheep, other Pals exhibit similarities that go beyond mere coincidence.

A glance at Pals such as Cremis, Dumud, or Azurobe reveals unmistakable resemblances, raising questions about the line between inspiration and imitation. However, these instances appear to be exceptions rather than the rule, as they still largely stand as highly inspired designs. It’s essential to acknowledge that the majority of Pal designs either introduce unique creatures or offer a fresh perspective on elements previously explored by Pokemon.

Among the standout original designs are Eikthyrdeer, Cawgnito, and Relaxaurus. However, the true gem among them is Chillet, a massive frosty weasel whose irresistible cuteness has become a hallmark of Palworld. Capturing a Chillet is not just a suggestion; it’s a recommendation, as the charm it brings to the game is unforgettable.


The existence of Palworld itself serves as a testament to its legitimacy, even in the face of concerns about potential copyright issues. Understanding Japan’s stringent copyright laws, those familiar with the industry recognize the risks associated with creative endeavors that may infringe on established franchises. If Nintendo or The Pokemon Company had a strong case against Palworld, its existence would likely have been short-lived, given the history of these companies taking swift action against copyright infringement.

However, Palworld persists, suggesting a delicate balance between drawing inspiration from existing designs and creating something novel. The game’s diverse roster of Pals, including both unique creations and those reminiscent of familiar concepts, contributes to its identity. While debates about plagiarism may persist, Palworld’s continued existence implies that it navigates the fine line of creativity within legal boundaries.

As players embark on their Palworld journey, encountering both familiar and novel creatures, it becomes clear that the game invites a nuanced perspective on originality in the gaming industry. Rather than a clear-cut case of plagiarism, Palworld prompts discussions about the gray areas in creative expression, particularly when drawing inspiration from established franchises.

Palworld stands as a testament to the complexity of creative endeavors in the gaming world. Its blend of unique and familiar Pal designs sparks conversation, and the game’s continued existence suggests a careful consideration of legal and creative boundaries. As players engage with the diverse array of Pals within Palworld, they embark on a journey that challenges conventional notions of inspiration and originality in the ever-evolving landscape of game development.

Palworld: A Solid 4/5 Rating

For an indie game crafted on a modest budget, Palworld stands out as remarkably impressive. Its expansive world and addictive gameplay loop beckon players back repeatedly. The endearing Pals and captivating exploration contribute significantly to its well-deserved success.

However, the frustrating AI and lackluster combat cannot be overlooked. Given the central role of combat in the gameplay, this poses a significant challenge, preventing Palworld from achieving true excellence. Nevertheless, at its best, Palworld remains a highly enjoyable experience, especially considering its reasonable price point.


The Xbox and Microsoft Store versions of Palworld may not match the polish of the Steam version, with evident performance issues, glaring audio problems, restrictions on nicknaming Pals, and limitations on multiplayer friends. Despite these drawbacks, the underlying survival game remains engaging. While the Xbox-specific issues are apparent, it’s anticipated that they will be addressed as Palworld continues to evolve in its Early Access phase. Until then, Xbox players still have a solid gaming experience at their fingertips.

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