Palworld, Suicide Squad, And More

A trainer rides on top of Grizzbolt as they hold a gattling gun.

Image: Pocketpair

Play it on: Xbox Series X/S, Windows (Steam Deck YMMV)
Current goal: Diminish my empathy for these creatures as I pummel them

It’s my job to keep up with popular games the kids are playing, learn about them, and share what I’ve found and observed with you fine readers. Sometimes these games line up with my own personal interests. Sometimes they don’t. I didn’t think Palworld would…but here we are, with me writing about it in this edition of the weekend guide with the expectation that I’ll be sinking some of my own personal time into this survival animal ensla—err, capturing game.

It’s a surprise for sure. Survival games haven’t really clicked with me in the past. Some are neat, but the level of dedication and repetition they require is the kind of thing I’d prefer to share for my pursuits in music and art (seriously, I’ve got a damn Ornament & Crime in my rack I need to justify owning). But this week, Palworld finally clicked for me.

I started up a new game to drill the basics again and develop a method for moving through the game effectively, and discovered great joy in that process. And also, these damn Pals are so friggin’ cute! Look, attacking them and hearing them cry, and then forcing them to do hard labor…yeah, there’s some stuff going on here that makes me shake my head (and why is Cattiva building weapons on his own while I’m away from base, and what for?? Get back to work!), but once you see these little guys moving about your base, carrying supplies, and heading over to your workbench to craft some stuff, with their soft little footsteps and the pleasant knocking sounds of crafting…there’s a charm and a sense of life here that is really grabbing me. And it all feels more full of character and visual beauty than anything in Pokémon has for me in years.

I do wish that Pocketpair could’ve spent more time thinking of less icky-feeling ways to capture and work with these little creatures. But hey, maybe it’s a reminder that I just need to reread the Marx-Engels Reader and stop putting my vegetarianism on pause just because I’m tempted by some lox spread. — Claire Jackson

Pal ‘em all on Game Pass!

Palworld has been a smash hit with gamers these last few weeks. And if you’re curious and have a Game Pass subscription, you can download it on your Xbox and get to catchin’ those critters in no time.

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By asm3a