Preview video is the sort of thing that only makes sense right now.

Released early this year, video game developer Pocket Pair’s Palworld quickly gained attention for borrowing very heavily from the aesthetics of the Pokémon franchise, while also taking the gameplay away from traditional single-player turn-based combat to a real-time action multiplayer open-world format.

Honestly speaking, gameplay-wise Palworld exists in a totally different genre, cribbing its gameplay ideas more from survival titles like Ark: Survival Evolved than RPGs like the mainline Pokémon games. Still, accurate or not, Palworld developed a reputation as letting players do things that Pokémon won’t, and Pocket Pair leaned into that on Monday with a video for Palworld: We Can’t Be Just Friends Anymore, which the company describes as a school-life romance simulator in which the series’ Pal creatures get sexy and naked.

Pocket Pair describes the premise as:

“You, the main character, are a new transfer student at the private Palpagos Academy. You will enjoy a full student life through the friendship and romance you experience with the uniquely individual friends (Pals) you meet. Whether you stay just friends with your Pals, your relationship develops into romance, or you butcher and eat them is up to you.”

The video showcases a number of Palworld characters adapted to a dating simulator setting, such as Lovander, who “hunts” the heart of new transfer students (and yes, her student ID number is 69).

▼ “Hey there, you, how about doing something naughty with me?”

There’s also Chillet, who’s ordinarily shy but “makes a secret request of you in the classroom after school,” and turns into a drooling mess when you rub the Pal’s body the right way.

Katress is described as “having a cute side” by becoming “a little” jealous when you talk to other students.

▼ “A little” apparently being code for making this terrifying face while calling you a liar (嘘つき) over and over and over again.

And since you can’t have a dating simulator without a childhood friend somewhere in the cast, that role is taken by Zoe Rayne.

In the announcement, Pocket Pair says that you’ll communicate with the Pals using the Pal Language to deepen your relationship. It won’t be all talking, though, because they say that if multiple Pals confess their love to you at the same time, the ones you reject will go violently berserk. And most startlingly, the announcement says:

“The Pals will finally…take off their clothes!?
An R18 [adults-only] version of the game will also go on sale! Please look forward to seeing the sexy Pals after they take off their uniforms ♡”

Pocket Pair’s announcement even includes a release date for Palworld: We Can’t Be Just Pals Anymore, which is…

April 1, 2025. Between that and the announcement coming on April 1, 2024, you can probably guess that this is an April Fool’s joke from Pocket Pair. Still, we’ve seen times in the past when companies have made an April Fool’s joke that doubles as a test to see how people will react to a concept, then made it a reality if enough people seem excited about it, so maybe there’s still a chance for love to bloom between people and Pals.

Source: PR Times
Top image: YouTube/ポケットペア
Insert images: PR Times
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