Korean netizens unearth a Korean mobile game that seems to be a blatant ripoff of the wildly popular Pokémon Go, except it predates Niantic’s megahit by five years.
You’re probably not surprised that app stores across the globe are constantly inundated with lazy ripoffs of the most popular games. Who could forget the ridiculous number of nearly identical Flappy Bird clones like, Splashy Fish, Flappy Crocodile, Tiny Flying Drizzy, and, uh, Fluttery Northern Bald Ibis (probably)?
The deal is no different with the current king of apps, Pokémon Go – although the difficulty in implementing the complex systems going on under the hood of Go means most of the current games trying to ape it are half-baked pseudo-clones and outright scams with “Go,” or “Catch” haphazardly slapped somewhere in the title.
So, you’d be forgiven if you stumbled across a screenshot of Korean mobile app, Olleh Catch Catch, and, assuming it to be yet another cash-in on the Go trend, instinctively did an exaggerated eye roll (accompanying exaggerated wanking motion optional) at the glaring similarities to the current app store darling.
Except that, well… Olleh Catch Catch came out in 2011, when Pokémon Go was a mere twinkle in the eye of Niantic and Company.
The game, which is no longer in service, shared Go’s basic concept almost to a T: Players used their phones to hunt down collectible monsters using a real-time GPS map that displayed nearby monsters directly on the map, and, once close enough, users could enter a mini-game in which they attempted to catch the creature using a targeting reticule. Players were even given “candy” rewards for successful catches.
There are some obvious differences, though. There’s no combat or any kind of evolution mechanic in Olleh Catch Catch, but the game does have one key feature that absolutely blows Pokémon Go out of the water: Players could exchange their earned candies for real-life rewards, including FREE PIZZA!
This is one case where we think blatantly ripping off another game would be okay — come on, Niantic, we want a large supreme!