Palworld, the indie sensation that’s taken the gaming community by storm, has surged past 3 million players within just 40 hours of its early access launch, solidifying its place as the most played non-free-to-play game on Steam. While comparisons to Pokemon are inevitable, players are finding its gameplay more reminiscent of other beloved titles like Ark: Survival Evolved, Digimon, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Palworld’s Unprecedented Success

Since its debut on Xbox consoles and PC on January 19, Palworld has broken records, boasting over 1.1 million active players at its peak, dethroning the previous champion, Elden Ring. Despite its undeniable similarities to Pokemon, especially the recent open-world release Pokemon Legends: Arceus, players are steering the conversation away from the cute monster empire, claiming that Palworld offers a unique gaming experience that transcends mere monster-catching.

Beyond Pokemon: Diverse Inspirations

The comparisons don’t end with Pokemon. Many players draw parallels to Ark: Survival Evolved, a 2017 game known for its base building and taming of diverse prehistoric creatures. With over 100 recruitable monsters known as “Pals,” Palworld echoes the mechanics of Ark in more ways than one.

Digimon, Breath of the Wild, and More

Some players argue that Palworld finds a truer kinship with Digimon, pointing to similarities like Gundramon, a dragon Digimon made entirely of guns. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild also comes into play, with shared elements such as gliders for traversing great distances and crafting mechanics. Surprisingly, even the Grand Theft Auto series makes an appearance in discussions, thanks to both games’ use of a wanted level system.

Pokemon Controversy: Art Theft or Accountability?

While comparisons to other games run rampant, Pokemon remains a focal point of discussion. Allegations of “art theft” have surfaced, with claims that some Pals closely resemble existing Pokemon. This debate has sparked a lively conversation within the gaming community, with some holding Pokemon accountable for lackluster releases in recent years.

In the end, Palworld is making waves in the gaming world, setting records and emerging as a strong contender for the title of 2024’s most popular game. Whether it’s a Pokemon successor or something entirely unique, players are embracing the diversity of inspirations that make Palworld a standout in the gaming landscape.