Super effective?

Pokémon may be child-friendly, but it isn't just played by kids - the series remains massively popular with players of all ages, even those who grew up with the Game Boy debut.

However, a fan-made version of the game is attempting to offer something a little more in tune with the daily lives of grown-up players. According to its developer, Pokémon Apex boasts adult dialogue, adult themes and increased difficulty, yet it retains the visual charm of the old-school Pokémon instalments and won't feature any sexual themes:

Pokémon Apex is developed with an adult Pokémon fan in mind. The game contains some adult dialogue (some swearing) and themes (death, abandonment), and some minor horror elements. Furthermore, the game is intended to be somewhat difficult, meaning that you will need to think about your strategies and make conscientious choices about your team in order to progress. Playing through the game haphazardly will get you into trouble.

Also, this game is for people who prefer to take their time in games to explore their environment and uncover hidden details. There are lots of small details hidden throughout the game, as well as secret areas and items that reward meticulous players.

The developer also sees Apex as a way of "solving" the problems they have with the core franchise, such as:

Low Difficulty: Most Pokémon games are geared towards younger audiences, meaning they are typically very easy to finish. Personally, I think Pokémon could benefit from a steeper difficulty curve. Apex will not be brutally difficult, but it will require players to make conscientious choices about their team and play style.

Poor balance: Core Pokémon games may seem well-balanced on the surface, but once you start digging into stats and movesets, it is clear that some Pokémon are way better than others. It is my belief that every Pokémon is entitled to a moveset that complements its stats and vice-versa. I intend to solve this problem by raising the base stat totals off all fully-evolved Pokémon to at least 400, as well as refining movesets to better reflect the play style of each Pokémon.

Characters are bland: Pokémon games always tend to follow the same tropes, and characters are very seldom interesting. I intend to solve this problem by giving the protagonist a voice and personality, as well as making characters seem as much like real people as possible instead of forcing each one into a character archetype. This includes the protagonist, rival, antagonists, and supporting characters. Characters will also experience development, showing their growth (or decline) over the course of the game.

Game structure is formulaic: Start in a small town, meet a tree-themed professor, get a fire/water/grass starter, get a PokéDex, defeat the eight gyms, defeat the bad guys, defeat the Elite Four, etc. You've done all this before. The same tired game structure is used in every core Pokémon game. I intend to solve this issue by introducing starters that do not fit the standard type wheel. Furthermore, progression through the game will revolve around opening up new areas. There will be no Gyms, nor Elite Four. Furthermore, instead of one singular storyline, there will be many sidequests and secret storylines to discover.

If that sounds interesting to you, then you can download and play Pokémon Apex on your PC here. Given that it has Pokémon in its title there's a good chance Nintendo will shut this project down in the future, so you if you're keen you might want to check it out sooner rather than later.