This year's inevitable flood of April Fools Day joke visual novels begins with Palworld

Palworld, everyone's favorite Nintendo lawsuit waiting to happen, got in on the April Fools Day action early by releasing a trailer for an imaginary visual novel called Pal♡world! ~More Than Just Pals~, which is set in a high school full of Pals and their trainers who want to go on dates with you. There are a few nods to anime clichés, with the Black Marketeer cast in the role of the "devious head of the student council" and Kattress going yandere, as well as references to videogames like Doki Doki Literature Club. It's all pretty par for the course.

While a handful of studios have followed through on similar gags, resulting in visual novels based on games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Endless Space 2, this does seem to be more in the vein of the gag announcements of dating sims for Valorant or Smite—an obvious joke slapped together to fulfill the obligation to participate in April Fools Day every brand feels this time of year.

The YouTube description teases a full Rule 34 version, saying, "Pals take off their clothes⁉️ An adult version will also be released". And who knows? Since Palworld itself started with a trailer released on April Fools Day, maybe if the reaction to this is positive enough it'll become a real thing just like The Murder of Sonic the Hedgehog.

The part that is apparently real is a footnote that says, "Update for Palworld is coming soon!" Though whether it contains a version of Chillet you can pat like you're playing Nintendogs remains to be seen.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.