Adult Swim.
Adult Swim.

By Tyler Spinosa

Everyone’s favorite portal-jumping, alcoholic super scientist Rick and his lovable grandson Morty are back in full force with the recent release of “Pocket Mortys” from Adult Swim Games for Android and iOS. With fans looking for a satisfying distraction until the third season of “Rick and Morty” arrives, “Pocket Mortys” does just that by combining the nostalgic fun of the old “Pokémon” games for the Gameboy with the wonderful aesthetics of the “Rick and Morty” universe.

The story of “Pocket Mortys” opens with Rick finishing his newest invention inside his garage, a device called the Mortypad. The Mortypad is designed to function like an electronic catalogue of all of the different Mortys that can be encountered in different dimensions. Right off the bat fans of the “Pokémon” franchise will also be familiar with the Mortypad in its similarity to the Pokédex, which serves a similar purpose. Each little aspect that goes into the story of “Pocket Mortys” playfully pays homage to the story and structure of the classic handheld “Pokémon” games. The game begins when Rick and Morty are confronted by a Rick from another dimension named Mysterious Rick who wants to take away the Morty from this dimension. When Rick refuses to give up his Morty, Mysterious Rick insists they battle to settle the score.

After some hilarious yet subtle protests from Morty, you engage in your first Morty battle. Fittingly, the gaming mechanics operate exactly the same as “Pokémon.” It’s a turn-based strategy game based on HP (health points) and AP (action points). Your Morty of choice can attack with moves like “Outburst” and “Flail” to lower your opponent’s Morty’s HP and win the battle. You can also lower your opponent’s Morty’s attack, speed, and accuracy with moves like “Belch” and “Cry.” Additionally, each Morty is classified as either a rock, paper or scissors type. Each Morty type also has a corresponding icon over special attacks that help deal a specific type of damage to the opposite Morty type.

After defeating Mysterious Rick, you follow him back through his portal and battle him once again in his respective dimension. He appears to lose humbly and graciously offers to send you home through one of his portals, but once you head through, you discover you have been tricked and sent to the Citadel of Ricks. The council members order that your portal gun be taken and you are forbidden from returning home until you can successfully win enough badges from the Ricks in approved Morty-battling dimensions.  As you travel through different portals and move from dimension to dimension, you encounter Morty trainers of all different species, looking to challenge you and battle their Mortys.

If you are a fan of both the old “Pokémon” games and “Rick and Morty,” then most of your time playing this game will be spent joyfully recognizing little references and practical adaptations of elements from both series. All of the music that is used throughout “Pocket Mortys” is eight-bit versions of songs from “Rick and Morty.” Diehard fans will recognize songs like “Goodbye Moonmen,” which is sung by Morty’s telepathic friend Fart in season two, or the infamous song “Do You Feel It?” by Chaos Chaos, which dramatically closes the third episode of the second season.

“Pocket Mortys” is essentially everything you could hope for in a free-to-play mobile game. The game offers opportunities for micro-transactions but only if you desperately want to pay for random additional items or Mortys. Everything you can get from those lottery drawings can also be found in the game on your own, as well. Aside from a lack of different attack and battle animations, this game provides more than what you may have come to expect from app-based gaming experiences. If nothing else, this familiar journey of battling and collecting cute and lovable characters is just plain fun. If you fall into the golden demographic of phone game-loving “Pokémon” and “Rick and Morty” fans, then this is the best game you will play all year.