Pokemon Concierge Would Be The Perfect Life Sim Game

I was utterly engrossed by Pokemon Concierge, Netflix’s new stop-motion animated Pokemon series about a tropical island resort for Pokemon. The world it depicts is one of the most stunning and inviting in the entirety of the Pokemon universe, and its story, while short, is packed with heart. I’m not surprised to see Pokemon fans rallying around the show and begging for more episodes, but if you ask me, Concierge is perfectly suited for an Animal Crossing-style life sim game. It’s a genre that Pokemon has never really explored, but Concierge would make for a perfect fit.


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The four-episode series follows a young woman named Haru at her new job as the concierge at Pokemon Resort, an island getaway and relaxation destination for Pokemon. As a high-strung overachiever, Haru struggles at first to adapt to the island lifestyle. Soon, she bonds with a Psyduck – a notoriously high-strung Pokemon – and discovers how to bring joy to the Pokemon while helping them overcome their own hang-ups that prevent them from living their best lives on the island.

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I’m thrilled with how Pokemon has stretched out into new and experimental forms of storytelling lately. Between Concierge, my beloved Bidoof’s Big Stand and the first animated project based on the trading card game, Path to the Peak, Pokemon is doing some amazing things in animation. I want to celebrate the way Pokemon is stretching its wings with projects like this, but at the same time, it’s too hard to ignore what a perfect setup Concierge would be for a life-sim game. Every second I spent watching it, all I could think about was what a great Animal Crossing clone it would be.

The show translates to the structure of a game so perfectly that barely anything would need to be changed. You’d play as Haru starting on her first day at Pokemon Resort, and after exploring the island and meeting the other resort employees, you’d begin to build relationships with the Pokemon guests and ensure their needs are being fulfilled. As those relationships develop, each individual story would progress, and it would be up to you to decide which Pokemon you want to spend the most time and build the strongest bonds with.

Doesn’t this look like an Animal Crossing game?

All of the life-sim trappings would fit, like gathering resources, decorating living spaces, and running errands. The first few missions could pull directly from the series, like Haru’s attempt to help a shy Pikachu come out of its shell, but there are countless stories to be told and ways to help Pokemon at the resort. Like the villagers in Animal Crossing, Pokemon could come and go from the island or even change with the seasons, bringing new favorites and opportunities for storytelling with each new addition to the guest list.

It’s surprising that there hasn’t been an attempt to make a social-focused Pokemon spin-off already. I can see why Nintendo may not be keen to split its Animal Crossing audience, but as Concierge makes clear, there’s just too much untapped potential for this kind to be ignored. Other than Pokemon Snap and Detective Pikachu Returns there are no modern Pokemon games that don’t have some kind of battles. Concierge reveals the perfect way to introduce a new genre to the Pokemon franchise.

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