Pokémon Go is currently ruling the world, luring even the most sedentary and reclusive of players away from the safety and comfort of their hobbit holes to hunt the titular creatures in the real world. A multimedia franchise that once seemed moribund (or at least stale) has suddenly become relevant again. But whenever a major pop culture fad like this comes along, there always has to be that one weird kid who shuffles off to a dark corner somewhere and does his own thing. Back in the ’80s, while everyone else was trying to solve their Rubik’s Cubes, this kid had Parker Brothers’ The Orb to keep him busy. So what are the non-conformists of the world supposed to do during the heyday of Pokémon Go? Well, thanks to a game developer called Dumb Parody Gaming LLC, they can play a mobile game called Dumb Parodymon, available free for Android and iOS.
Loosely inspired by Nathan Fielder’s “Dumb Starbucks” stunt, Dumb Parodymon is meant to be a complete travesty of the beloved Nintendo series—an irradiated, Bizarro World approximation of the franchise. The basic objective is the same. The player tries to capture enough magical creatures to become “the greatest trainer in all of the land.” The difference is that the creatures are “stupid” and have names like Dumb Pikachoo and Dumb Squirturtle. Also, this game features childish graphics and has no sound effects or multiplayer features. In essence, every expense was spared here. The game is still nominally playable, but it’s more like interactive conceptual art. It’s the ideas behind it that make Dumb Parodymon fun for those who grew up aspiring to be Ash. The company’s frequently asked questions list, for instance, is a little masterpiece of coy legal gamesmanship with the creators all but begging Nintendo to send them a cease and desist notice:
Question: Why are there barely even 50 unique illustrations for Pokemon in the PokeDex? It’s not as though they’re amazing to begin with. Surely you could have taken the time to make distinct images for every evolution?
Answer: We are unfortunately not sure what you mean by this question. Our game has neither Pokemon nor a PokeDex. Those are registered trademarks of Nintendo. Our game, Dumb Parodymon, includes no words trademarked by Nintendo with the exception of a single nominative use of “Pokemon” at the beginning of the game in order to clearly identify the game as a parody.
So far, they’re still in business.