- In Palworld, players embark on an adventure to capture and battle adorable creatures called “Pals” who become reliable companions.
- The game introduces a Sanity (SAN) mechanic, requiring players to consider the well-being of their Pals and tend to their needs to maintain their loyalty and productivity.
- Unlike the Pokemon series, Palworld emphasizes the responsibility of caring for Pals like real beings, turning them into friends rather than mere tools for progression.
In the captivating world of Pocketpair’s Palworld, players set off on an adventure to the Palpagos Islands, where charming creatures known as “Pals” await their arrival. These often adorable titular creatures are the central goal of Palworld and can be battled and captured to become reliable companions who are useful in a variety of ways, including assisting in defeating and/or capturing other Pals and even keeping the player’s base operational while they are away in pursuit of even greater discoveries.
Although the thrill of creature-collecting is certainly present in Palworld, an intriguing ethical element also comes into play that forces players into a mode of gameplay that starkly contrasts some of the game’s initial marketing images. Palworld originally appeared as though players would be allowed to order their Pals around with no repercussions. However, the Sanity (SAN) mechanic counters that notion by encouraging players to consider the well-being of their Pals if they hope to see their once loyal, devoted, and hardworking companions remain so throughout the game.
Palworld’s Survival is Like a Next Level Version of One Pokemon Scarlet and Violet Mechanic
While Palworld has drawn criticism for its similarities to the Pokemon series, the game builds upon one mechanic from Scarlet and Violet in a new way.
How Sanity Works in Palworld
Sanity is initially a somewhat hidden mechanic in Palworld, but it quickly becomes noticeable once players begin employing Pals at their base. At a player’s base, Pals can be assigned to almost any task, so long as they have a Work Suitability trait that coincides with what the task requires. However, as a Pal performs any work at the base or becomes hungry, their SAN drops. As the player’s roster grows and more Pals are employed at their base, tending to each Pal’s SAN then becomes even more crucial, as things can get out of hand rather quickly otherwise.
As a Pal’s SAN decreases, they often begin to slack off from their work, and they can even grow ill. Players can prevent this from happening by crafting beds for Palworld‘s Pals to sleep in at night and ensuring each one is well-fed, but there are additional measures that can be taken to ensure Pals don’t become stressed over time. For example, players can build a hot spring at their base that Pals will occasionally use to rest in, thereby increasing their SAN in the process.
What Makes Sanity Such an Important Mechanic in Palworld
A Sanity mechanic is something fans of the Pokemon series that inspired Palworld have never had to deal with. In the games, Pokemon are generally viewed and treated as nothing more than a collectible and a method for progressing through each game’s narrative. However, what the SAN mechanic does for Palworld is it turns its Pokemon-like Pals into real beings with needs, rather than mere tools used to help players advance. Players are thus behooved to balance their ambition with this newfound responsibility of caring for their Pals by whatever means necessary.
Rather than using potions or a Pokemon Center to heal Pokemon, Palworld players are required to feed their Pals, just as any pet owner would feed their animal. As such, Pals become much more than weapons and could arguably be viewed as friends instead. Interestingly enough, this is a viewpoint that the Pokemon TV series has always emphasized, whereas the games have never managed to make it a core concept in their gameplay and narratives. In this way, Palworld‘s Sanity mechanic almost single-handedly sets the game apart from its obvious inspiration.
Despite the controversy surrounding Palworld, it is still very much its own game, and innovative mechanics such as Sanity are proof of that. This can be seen in its rapid, widespread success, although at least some of that success can be undeniably linked to the success of franchises like Pokemon and survival games like ARK: Survival Evolved. Even so, Palworld‘s Sanity mechanic is one of the features that makes it unique and worth exploring.
Pocket Pair’s Palworld is a creature-collection game set in an open-world. Entering early access on January 19, 2024, the project blends survival, building, farming, monster breeding, and shooter elements.
- January 19, 2024
- Pocket Pair, Inc.
- Pocket Pair, Inc.
- Unreal Engine 5
- T For Teen Due To Violence