There have been a lot of spin offs to the Pokemon games, including virtual card games, a game where you conquer feudal Japan with Pokemon, and even games where you are Pokemon. Now a fan made version of Pokemon has taken a darker turn then many of the older games. The more recent Pokemon games have brought up questions on the morality of capturing Pokemon and making them fight along with showing the corruption and destruction that can come when using the life force of Pokemon as an energy source in war and science; and trying to show that mankind needs to take care of the environment not just use it. Pokemon Uranium follows these themes, especially about the environment.
Pokemon Uranium is a fan made parody six years in the making. According to the game’s website it is being created in RPGmaker XP and is in its fourth public beta. The game also has a fresh look at the reason for the character leaving home. In the game the main character is 13 years old, their mother passed away in a nuclear plant accident, and their father left to be a Pokemon Ranger. Their elderly aunt had taken care of them, but is no longer able to do so. Professor Ernest Bamb’o offers them a job doing research and helping complete the Pokedex.
Pokemon Uranium takes place in the tropical Tandor region –which is likened to tropical paradises like Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles, and Venice-, has over one hundred new species of Pokemon, and now “includes 12 hours of game-play, 5 gyms, and over 80 Pokemon” according to the game’s website. They have even added an entire new type to the game, the Nuclear type. These irradiated Pokemon are “feral, corrupt versions of ordinary Pokemon, who won’t listen to a trainer but will attack anything in sight with destructive force.” This new type is super effective against every other Pokemon type, but is also weak to every other type.
Another feature brought into Pokemon Uranium is a speech translator that lets Pokemon communicate directly with trainers. The device is still in its prototype stage, and once it is obtained by the main character, several people would do anything to get such a rare item for themselves.
The developers of Pokémon Uranium are also working on implementing an official Nuzlocke challenge built into the game. You can add a list of things to make the game harder like, only catching the first Pokemon on each route, once a Pokemon faints it cannot be revived, raised enemy Pokemon levels that still give out the same experience, no held items can be used, PokeMarts can’t be used, and more. Nuzlocke challenges have been a staple of many Pokemon players to help keep the games fresh, and having it implemented in-game makes it less of an honor system. There is no real-time online battling system in the game, but rather you create your team and upload it to the database to be controlled by an AI when fighting other players. Pokemon X and Y introduced the world to Wonder Trade, and Pokemon Uranium caught on to the fever that is Pokemon gambling. Wonder Trade, and a Global Trade Station are being worked on now, and “will be available in the next game release, v.4.0.” according to the game’s info page on the website.
There have been several fan made parody Pokemon games, and Pokemon Uranium steps apart by introducing new Pokemon, a new region, a new type, and an integrated Nuzlocke option. The major theme of the game seems to be human negligence and pollution –which has been a strong theme through many Pokemon games- which has caused the death of your mother and corruption of Pokemon into a new type. It is free to download as a public beta, and with 5 gyms down in six years it should only take a couple more for the last three.