Last Saturday marked the 20th anniversary of the launch of the first Pokemon video game for the very first Game Boy. Since then Nintendo has squeezed some 50 games and successive generations of monsters out of the license. But there’s life beyond the official channels, with loads of fangames, clones, and veiled tributes out there to enjoy. Here are a dozen games and apps for Windows and Android to celebrate the anniversary just how Pikachu wants you to.

Pokemon 3D (Windows)

The real deal. This unofficial adaptation of the classic Pokemon Gold/Silver on Windows boasts 3D settings and a very peculiar first-person exploration mode that changes the experience quite a lot. If you have to pick just one Pokemon game to download, make it this one. [Download]


Terra Monsters 2 (Android)

The gameplay formula of capturing monsters and evolving them to battle other monsters has been done to death. This game brings together all these gameplays and adapts them to Android, with the addition that up to three monsters can fight simultaneously for each band. In terms of the rest, Pokemon fans will be in their heyday. The integrated ads are maybe slightly intrusive, but the developers’ve gotta eat, right? [Download]


Pokemon Survival Island (Windows)

The secret these days lies in mixing things that work well together. Take a Pokemon classic, preserve both the look and the controls of Game Boy Advance titles, and add Minecraft-style object crafting and grid construction, and out comes a helluva game that could well pass for a commercial title, but 100% free. [Download]


Super Pokemon Evee Edition (Windows)

Another potpourri that’s as original as the previous one. In this case we have a game set a few years before the first Pokemon and visually inspired by the old Game Boy Color, with the benefit that the battles are closer to RPGs like Final Fantasy than the original title and its ‘active time battle system’ of pseudo-turns. And you can fight with up to four creatures at the same time, with one of them always being Evee, the ‘main character’ of this adventure alongside the trainer that you play. [Download]


EvoCreo (Android)

On Android, alternatives that rescue the proper essence of the original Pokemon are conspicuous in their absence. EvoCreo is one of the few clones out there, and is extremely well done, offering gorgeous graphics and a fun game system where instead of Pokemon you capture the 150 existing ‘Creos’ while becoming the best trainer in the world. [Download]


Pokemon Shuffle (Android)

Here we’ll make an exception to our amateur-only rule and mention the first real official Pokemon game for Android, which is a long way from the usual gameplay, having been transformed into a free-to-play puzzle game where you have to keep leveling up with the excuse of capturing monsters. Initially made for Nintendo 3DS, it’s recently made the jump to Android. [Download]




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