While Pokemon gaming fans can name off all the handheld role-playing games to date, not so many fans can tell about browser Pokemon games. In the in-between months, each summer, fall, and winter between releases, many Pokemon fans fill the gap by either replaying the latest or previous releases, or perhaps investing in the version parallel. Still others have turned to the Internet for their Pokemon fix. For fans that emulators are beyond them, they often turn to browser games. Unlike flash games, which are games found online where there are no links to external pages but simply a small screen in which a single game is contained, browser games are an entire website that may be explored as a game in itself. One such game is the currently in-beta vdexproject.net.
The VirtualPokedex Project, abbreviated either vdexproject or vdex, is a browser game where registered users may explore any of the Pokemon regions as well as specialty areas, such as Mirage Island and Birth Island, through events coordinated by the admins and owners. While exploring, players may get Pokedollars, through routinely logging in, selling, or battling, which they can buy Pokeballs with, which they can, in turn, collect Pokemon with. Furthermore, Pokemon may be bred, though egg claim requires a fee, as the use of the daycare is free. All routes, regions, and Pokemon are available, along with some special edits specifically designed for the web game. As players collect different species, they may begin to unlock achievements, which range from collecting sets such as the Eeveelutions, raising a number of Pokemon to level one hundred, and raising and hatching eggs. Achievements for participation in events are also available, such as the “Sweet” and “Bittersweet” achievements for catching two variations of the “Chocolate Mareeps” available for the 2011 Easter campaign.
In addition to all of the expected functions of the Pokemon games, the web browser-based game also includes more exclusive features. One instance of said features: the non-player characters. Rather than going into a town’s buildings and speaking to each and every resident to unlock TM’s and trades, the owner has designed the original non-player characters that interact with the player. Much like in-game characters, these bots will offer daily and weekly rewards, like berries, as well as special items.
For instance, for bringing a certain number of Pokemon that are maxed friendship with the player, one character will give the player an item, which can be used to unlock access to an area or interaction with a legendary Pokemon. Another element nonexistent in the handheld official releases is the partners. The partners, which are randomly chosen when one signs up for the site, are entities that will travel all throughout the Pokearth, making remarks in their own section of the Map page. These partners are Pokemon ginjinkas, humans with traits from Pokemon and an appearance reflecting their associated creature. Not only do they offer smart cracks as the player explores, but they also impact the player’s game play.
For instance, my partner Lyrit, who is a ginjinka of a Shiny Male Milotic, contrary to his appearance, what with his flowing clothes and long hair. I got luckier than I could’ve imagined, getting paired with him, as his special ability is to boost catch rates. Now, at max affection, which works much the same as Pokemon friendship, Lyrit boosts my catch rate one hundred twenty percent. In other words, a regular Pokeball is now superior to an ultra ball in my game. Of course there are other partner impacts, such as multiplying money whenever earned and reducing hatch time for eggs, which are measured in hours rather than steps. The differences between a handheld and this browser game may be numerous, but it is these same differences that will hold over any Pokemon fan until the following spring. Well, that and six hundred forty-nine Pokemon to collect.
As the site is fairly complex and in depth, despite its early stage, there are systems in place to help the player decipher the game including the forums and the Guidebook. The forums include the typical relevant and irrelevant threads; there are plenty of places to meet, greet, and speak. Don’t be afraid to search for Pokemon games online. After all, this is but one of many!