The saddest Pokédex entries

Pikachu crying

“Cubone pines for the mother it will never see again. Seeing a likeness of its mother in the full moon, it cries. The stains on the skull the Pokémon wears are made by the tears it sheds.”

“It stands in front of a mirror, trying to fix its broken neck as if its life depended on it. It has a hard time getting it right, so it’s crying inside.”

“It is virtually worthless in terms of both power and speed. It is the most weak and pathetic Pokémon in the world.”

Actual Pokédex entries

In gym class, this Pokémon was always picked last. It has a recurring skin infection which it feels very self-conscious about.

This Pokémon is tormented by headaches, but it doesn’t have any psychic powers. Just headaches.

As a child, it dreamed of becoming an artist. It is now known as “the call centre Pokémon”. It thinks about doing a life drawing class, but can’t afford it.

This Pokémon’s mother didn’t like it as much as its sibling, and she thought nobody could tell, but everyone could.

On full moons, this Pokémon can be seen doing strange dances by itself. When it runs out of wine, it has a breakdown and looks up its ex on Instagram.

This Pokémon is cursed to haunt the Pumpkin Café at Swindon railway station. As if that isn’t enough, it’s also named Pooplybloots.

An orphan, it once threw a birthday party and nobody came to it. Also it looks like a crying turnip or something. That’s what this Pokémon’s deal is.

Remember your beloved childhood pet who your parents said went to the farm? They actually put it down. Now its ghost is a Pokémon and it hates you.

This Pokémon is just absolute trash. Scientists are currently researching why it sucks so much so they can feel better about themselves.

Known for its red and white stripes, this Pokémon was relegated for two seasons running. This Pokémon is Sunderland AFC.

Return of the Obra Dinn is a ship-shape seafaring death puzzle

Screenshot from Return of the Obra Dinn, showing the ship's main deck in moonlight

Lost at sea in 1803, the Obra Dinn suddenly reappears outside Falmouth years later. None of the ship’s 60 crew and passengers remain to tell the tale of what happened – every soul aboard is either dead or missing. There’s only one person who can solve the mystery of this ghost ship… a determined insurance investigator.

Return of the Obra Dinn is a puzzle game from indie developer Lucas Pope, best known for releasing the ultra-depressing immigration simulator Papers Please. While Obra Dinn isn’t as soul-crushing as Papers Please, it also centres around an administrative task, and a morbid one at that: your job is to identify everyone aboard the ship and what their fate was.

Boarding the ship, you’ll quickly spot a single skeleton on the deck, just outside the captain’s quarters. It’s time to whip out every insurance investigator’s favourite tool: a magic pocketwatch that lets you travel back to the moment of that person’s death.

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I am still playing The Sims 2

Last night, the tiny island of Prospero suffered a great tragedy – everyone under the age of 33 mysteriously vanished, not only from the town, but from the memories of their friends and family. It was as if they had never existed.

Cassie Cardelli, the town’s oldest resident and owner of the local supermarket, was left alone in the world without her beloved daughter Jordan, an aspiring professional party guest. Country musician April Larrea was the youngest survivor, but her parents (both retired superheroes) had no memory of their other 3 children, or of her father’s secret other child (the daughter of April’s boyfriend’s sister). April’s brother August and his girlfriend Luna had been expecting their first child in day’s time – now the young family was wiped from existence, never to be seen again.

All in all, 17 souls were lost. They live on only in my memories, and also in the overly complicated spreadsheet I used to keep track of them.

I speak, of course, of the tragic corruption of my neighbourhood in The Sims 2. Because I am still playing The Sims 2.

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Playing Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey

Photo of the TV screen showing Kassandra atop a unicorn

Last autumn, I started playing Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey on the PS4. I’d had a mixed experience with other games in the series: I played a fair bit of Black Flag; watched a fair bit of Assassin’s Creed III; and played 15 minutes of Assassin’s Creed II before I ran down a street I wasn’t meant to go down yet, failed the mission with a “you can’t go that way” message, and immediately ragequit. Since that experience, Ubisoft and I had been on an extended break.

But I am a sucker for the classical world, the reviews were good, and the option to play as a female protagonist was a big draw (turns out they’re not that hard to animate after all). So I fired up the console, cocooned myself on the sofa, spent ages downloading updates, and then settled into the game.

Several months and 110+ hours later, I’ve completed the main quest, collected most of the achievements, and visited most of the expansive map. My time with the game definitely isn’t over yet – there are islands I haven’t even seen yet, major secondary quests that need completing, and I haven’t touched the DLC – but at this point, I think it’s safe to say that I really, really like this game. So here’s why.

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