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Fans spent nine years making this free Pokémon game you can play on PC

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Pokémon Uranium is a fan-version game based on the central roleplaying games of the Pokémon franchise. Like the upcoming official Pokémon Sun and Moon, the game features a tropical setting. Unlike its contemporary, the game includes 150 new and unofficial pokémon — a good choice, as it avoids outright copyright infringement of characters like Pikachu and Bulbasaur.

A fan video game is like the most Mount Everest of fan fiction. Where average fan-fic admires the characters of a story or the style of its author, a fan project seeks to understand, and sometimes improve upon, the way a game is made. A fan game features dialogue, but also art, music, and programming.

Plenty of amateur developers begin fan games, far fewer complete them. Typically, a cease and desist impedes progress. Other times the project collapses on its own. Making games is difficult and takes a tremendous amount of time. Fan projects are about passion, rather than financial incentive; when the passions fades, so does the project.

Yet somehow, after nine years of development on a game partly controlled by a fiercely protective publisher, Pokémon Uranium is complete. The game, which can be downloaded from PokemonUranium.com, even includes a new class of Nuclear Pokémon.

I respect the idea, but I, someone who admittedly hasn’t dedicated a decade to Pokémon, would like to offer ideas for other new classes.