If you’re anything like me, you love strategy RPGs and love-to-hate season finale cliffhangers. Meet Pocket Mortys, the love-child of old school Pokemon games and Adult Swim’s Rick and Morty.
You play the game as Rick Sanchez, the uni-browed, nonsensical old scientist from Dimension C-137, who is the cause of many of the show’s mishap adventures. Constantly at your side is Rick’s good-natured yet easily exploited teenage grandson Morty Smith. Together, you are sucked into a journey through the multiverse, exploring weird dimensions while fighting off aliens and other Ricks through the multiverse’s newest craze: Morty battles. Through catching and training other Mortys from various dimensions, the end-all goal of the game is to collect enough badges from other Ricks to ultimately fight the Council of Ricks, reobtain your portal gun and demonstrate that you are worthy to battle with the Mortys.
Staying true to the show’s unconventional humor and exploitation of Morty, Morty battles are literal forced fights between the kind-hearted teenager against zany versions of himself from other dimensions. Administering these battles are, of course, the Ricks from other dimensions, as well as various aliens who are seemingly obsessed over Morty battles. If you are familiar with Pokemon battles, then Morty battles need no further explanation. Battles run turn-based RPG style, with each Morty learning four moves. As in Pokemon, each move can correspond to an attack of varying power and type, or a status change either buffing your Morty or debuffing the opponent Morty. However, instead of elemental types in Pokemon, Pocket Mortys has a simpler rock-paper-scissors system of checks and balances, where rock is super effective to scissors but not very effective to paper and paper is super effective to rock but not very effective to scissors.
While Pocket Mortys starts with a clever premise, the gameplay falls short of its Pokemon hype. When you are placed in the Citadel of Ricks, the only town in the game, you will be excited to find the Healing Center, Salesman Rick Store and Day Care. When you explore your first dimension, you will enjoy catching new Mortys and fighting alien trainers. But when you get sent back to town after each dungeon, only to heal and go back to another, you might find that your enthusiasm may have been short-lived.
Pocket Mortys becomes very tedious very quickly. In Pokemon, there are dynamic, multifaceted storylines that cause the player to be genuinely excited for what will happen next, a feature that is severely lacking in the routine of Pocket Mortys. The Mortys, despite belonging to rock-paper-scissor types, play all the same, all with the same attack animation that’s as impressive as Pokemon’s most basic move, “Tackle.” Though Justin Roiland, the voice of both Rick and Morty, provides a voice-over for the battle scenes, it becomes so repetitive to hear the same grunts and cries from Morty that you might end up turning your sound off.
Despite these setbacks, there is little else that deserves complaint in this free mobile game. While you would expect such a game to be riddled with advertisements and in-app purchases, you will find that watching advertisements earns you Schmeckles, the in-game currency. You can, with real money, purchase Blips and Chitz coupons, which gives you a chance to win special items and rare Mortys. However, purchasing these with real money is completely unnecessary; these valuable coupons can be found randomly in game, as can the items and rare Mortys. By the end of your play through, you’ll likely have enough coupons for an entire afternoon of Blips and Chitz.
Pocket Mortys does what any good RPG is supposed to do: the game immerses you in the world of Rick and Morty. For once, you can collect Schmeckles, craft the Butter Robot (what’s his purpose?), call for help from Mr. Meeseeks and help Jerry deal with his petty problems. The Mortys have quirky dimensional forms such as Robot, Buff or Greaser. Each can sport a wizard’s robe, a hippie getup or even nothing at all, and you can entertain yourself by collecting them and getting a laugh out of their suffering. Although it lacks the finesse of the games it takes inspiration from, Pocket Mortys has its own inane charm that has made Rick and Morty such a success. If you’re a fan of the show, you might find that Pocket Mortys will entertain you for a long time, or hopefully at least until Season 3.