If you've ever wanted to kill and eat Pokémon, great news: this critter-collecting survival shooter arrives in January

There's just something about a cute, fluffy sheep operating a machine gun, an adorable cartoon dinosaur raining down missiles, and dozens of sad Pokémon-ish critters forced into labor camps to build weapons, all set to bright and cheery music. It always makes me wonder: Is this game okay?

This game is Palworld, an open world creature collecting game that's also a third-person shooter. And humans aren't the only ones with guns: the creatures themselves can spray the world with red-hot lead, too. As you can see in the new Palworld trailer above, it's all pretty unhinged! But at the same time, I dunno, it also looks kinda fun.

We'll find out if it's fun in January of 2024, when Palworld enters early access. "Craft a cozy homestead, build a mighty base and a Pal-powered factory, or dive into dungeons with the assistance of Pals’ weapon-wielding special abilities," says developer Pocketpair. "Embark on legendary monster hunts solo or invite friends for a multiplayer adventure."

But that's not all you can do with your Pal collection. "Capturing them, raising them, fighting with them, forcing them to work, selling them off, slaughtering them for food; you can do many activities with Pals in the vast world of Palworld," says Pocketpair. 

So after you catch 'em all... eat 'em all? I'm not sure I've ever thought about eating a critter that looks like Pikachu, but then again, maybe if there's a nice, robust recipe book in Palworld I'll give it a try. To whet your appetite, here's the game's page on Steam.


Best Pals: What to catch early
Palworld roadmap: The early access plan
Palworld mods: Best tweaks to install
Palworld multiplayer: How to co-op
Palworld dedicated server: Full-time Pals
Palworld breeding guide: Get started with cake and eggs

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.