One of the best things about the original PC version of Tetris was that it ran from DOS and, even on those early machines, could run on anything. It offered a brilliant five minutes of distraction when your manager wasn't looking. While our computers have become many times more powerful, that text-based simplicity is still hard to beat. And that's what makes Pokete so compelling. As you might guess, it's a game loosely based on the idea of collecting Pokémon, but it does this from your terminal. This makes it ideal for sneaking into the background of a tmux session while you're performing essential updates.

You play the role of a Pokete Trainer, and it's your task to travel the world catching as many Poketes as you can find. The game starts you off with a single Pokete and you move this directly around the ASCII-art background with the WASD keys. This part is a little like NetHack and NES Zelda combined, as you initially move your character (literally, as you're represented by the letter "a") around Nice Town. Hidden around the ASCII are items for your inventory and other Poketes in the tall green grass. There are many different types of these, all with their own strengths and weaknesses, and you defeat them by selecting your own fighter carefully. When you encounter one, or another trainer (a) who will challenge you to a fight, the screen redraws itself in fight mode. Here you can either attack, run, use something from your inventory, or use your deck of Poketes. All of these options will be familiar to Pokémon players. During combat the screens switches to show you and your opponent alongside your stats. It's a lot of fun as you gamble moves against the Poketes and Poketeballs you face and hopefully collect, leaving you stronger for more adventure.

Project Website

With turn-based combat, 8-bit music, a healing center in town, and the spirit of collecting, Pokete is a great adventure to play in a background session.

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