They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but for some industries, it’s just business as usual. This is especially true in the gaming world; after all, why make a game that has the potential to flop when you can spend half as much and make more by mimicking a game that has been tried and tested?
Some rip-offs can be simple concepts or ideas borrowed from other sources that help inspire the game, while others are replicas with no valid excuse for existing – but here they are. Check out these five video game rip-offs that you can play now.
Fighter’s History (Street Fighter)
Perhaps one of the more notable games on this list is Fighter’s History, not because of how it copied Street Fighter, but because of how they got away with copying Street Fighter. Fighter’s History was quite the imitation, as it tried to rip off one of the most popular games of the early 90s; Capcom caught wind of this and decided to sue Data East to block the game’s distribution.
Data East’s own lawyers admitted that the game was a copy, but it wasn’t a perfect copy. Street Fighter served as a major inspiration for Fighter’s History; but the only elements taken outright were punches and kicks. And since martial arts have existed for millennia and are exclusive to no one, Capcom can’t claim that. Due to this technicality, Fighter’s History remained playable, but the judge did point out that he still noticed the similarities between SF’s Chun Lee and FH’s Feilin. Due to the famous court case, Fighter’s History has several APKs you can download and play.
Unearthed: Trail Of Ibn Battuta (Uncharted)
Those who have enjoyed classic games like Tomb Raider will remember the 2006 game, Uncharted, but not necessarily in a positive light. See, Uncharted is similar to Tomb Raider, where you try to uncover old and ancient treasures and cities. The major difference is that you control a guy in Uncharted, Nathan Drake. Many were quick to dismiss the 2006 game as a rip-off, giving it the unloving name of “Dude Raider”, but with subsequent sequels, public opinion has changed, and Uncharted is a game that is very much loved by the gaming community.
Unfortunately, this did not translate well with Uncharted’s very own copycat, Unearthed: Trail Of Ibn Battuta. Unearthed: Trail Of Ibn Battuta is a 2013 game that was sharing the same console as the vastly-superior game that it tried to copy, which had already released its third and supposedly last game in the franchise back in 2011. Obviously, it didn’t go so well for the poor photocopy of a photocopy that it has faded into obscurity, but to stay relevant, the developers plan to release episodic chapters that will expand the world and story. If you’re curious about the story and how things turn out, you are welcome to buy the game on Steam for your PC for RM12.50, which is frankly RM12.50 too much.
Pretend (Among Us)
One game that enjoyed explosive growth in recent years was the social deduction party game, Among Us. It’s a game where a group of players must complete all their tasks before a shapeshifting alien kills them all. Due to Among Us’ popularity, some games have tried to copy it, but with major elements changed. Except for Pretend, an Among Us clone that took to heart the fact that this game is a true clone – from the character models to the art style and gruesome deaths.
Instead of the typical spaceship scenario, Pretend focuses on an office space, and the aliens are rival software developers sent in to kill a group of indie developers and stop them from releasing their software, which is quite blatant, if anything. Pretend was released two years after Among Us, and based on Steam reviews, people aren’t jazzed about the game, to say the least.
Unlike the previous entry, at least this game had some creativity to it. Miscrits is a monster-catching adventure game where you explore a world that is under attack by a cult that aims to destroy it. Barring a few apocalyptic events, this game is almost a 1:1 replica of Pokemon, as you collect creatures and battle with them. As you progress through the game, your miscrits grow both in strength and number, and they even evolve.
However, there are a few notable changes and additions, like having the fourth evolution instead of your typical three and adding more variations to single Miscrit, like dark or foil, instead of just shiny. Miscrits was released back in December of 2010 and has gained (ironically) a cult-like following.
Unfortunately, the developers of the game, Broken Bulb Studios, went bankrupt and was forced to close down the game’s servers in 2017. However, some fans have banded together and created their own spiritual successor to the game, called Mystopia, while others created a pirated version of the original game and released it as an APK – making it technically viable for this list.
The Last Hope – Dead Zone Survival (The Last of Us)
Among all the games on this list, The Last Hope made the biggest splash in the world of gaming and is what inspired this list in the first place. The Last Hope follows a man named Brian Lee, a veteran soldier who was sent to the future via a time machine to investigate the cause of a zombie outbreak and prevent it.
The most interesting part of this game is that it’s an official title for the Nintendo Switch that you can buy and play, made to compete with Sony’s Last of Us. This game is, ironically, the living example of the “we [blank] at home” meme, as it took everything that made the original Last of Us great, tore it apart, tossed the good parts in the bin, and then reassembled it. It’s like taking a five-year-old’s Christmas gift the moment they see what’s under the wrapping, right before throwing a bag full of coal in their face. The game is currently only available on the Nintendo eShop in the UK for £0.99.