Screencap via YouTube (CC-BY-SA)
After nine years in the making, a brand new, free-to-play Pokémon RPG launched this month called Pokémon Uranium. It features 150 custom-made Pokémon you've never seen before—including a new species called Nuclear—and it lets you play as a male, female, or gender-neutral protagonist.
Most unusual of all: It was made by a fan.
Pokémon Uranium is a fan project created by an engineering student from Rio De Janeiro and a pixel artist from Boston, and the final result is clearly brimming with the hallmarks of a deeply loved project. It introduces trainers to a tropical locale (inspired in part by Brazil) called the Tandor region, where they can participate in the local Tandor Regional Championship. Of course, to do that you'll need some stout Pokémon by your side.
The pixel art for all 150 Pokémon was designed by Twitter user voluntarytwitch, who also wrote all the game's story events and dialogue. The game itself was created by Twitter user JVuranium using the RPGMaker XP development tool, which actually tips its hat to the charm of the early days of Pokémon on the Game Boy.The depth of Uranium is impressive, and you can check it out now (PC only for now, but Mac is on the way). Though the making of the fan project has been reported on for years, Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have not attempted to shut it down—at least not yet.
Uranium invites you to capture and train a wide variety of never seen before Pokémon. It also offers online trading and battling, which could sate your appetite while you wait for Niantic to add the same to Pokémon Go. One of Uranium's most impressive additions is a whole new breed of Pokémon called Nuclear, which introduces a decidedly darker tone into the series universe.
Update 12:26pm CT, Aug 13: The folks behind Pokémon Uranium have removed the download link to the game. "After receiving more than 1,500,000 downloads of our game, we have been notified of multiple takedown notices from lawyers representing Nintendo of America. While we have not personally been contacted, it’s clear what their wishes are,and we respect those wishes deeply," the statement reads in part.
Uranium creators are cautioning users against downloading the game on other sites, as such links may contain malware. Despite the game being gone for good, forum participation is encouraged for those who are still interested.