Everyone seems to be buzzing about Palworld right now. Gaming, tech, culture, and business outlets review the game, differing in opinions from "this game is a hit" to "Palword is an utter rubbish." We're not gaming reporters; we write about audio, video, and music, so we wanted to dedicate this piece to Palworld's soundtracks. Spoiler: They're actually quite good!
But first, if you learned about this game a few days (hours) ago, just like us, here's a brief explainer of what the world is so crazy about right now.
What is Palworld?
Pokémon-like adventure-action game Palworld, released in early access on January 19, 2024, quickly gained attention by selling over four million copies within three days.
#Palworld has sold over 4 million copies in only about 3 days!— Palworld (@Palworld_EN) January 21, 2024
Momentum has increased since yesterday, with the latest sales at 86,000 units per hour.
Thank you everyone for playing Palworld!
Please leave a review if you've been enjoying your time in Palworld!#Pocketpair pic.twitter.com/lTSLLiFHjc
Developed by the Japanese studio Pocket Pair (Craftopia), Palworld incorporates survival elements in an open fantasy world populated by creatures known as "Pals." Players engage in battles with Pals, capturing them using special spheres, and can then summon them for various tasks such as building and managing a base.
The game's mechanics, particularly those related to capturing Pals, draw comparisons to the Pokémon series, although the developers claim the influence comes from games like Ark: Survival Evolved and Rust.
Some requested Palworld gameplay.— Video Gamers Podcast (@VideoGamersPod) January 22, 2024
This boss was WAY higher level then us, we were only doing 1 dmg per hit. He was vulnerable to fire though, so we had a thought.... what if we had 20 campfires around when we fought him?
This is the result of that crazy idea. pic.twitter.com/HumXnK1FvJ
Source: Video Gamers Podcast
Palworld features exploration, third-person character play, resource gathering, base construction, and crafting of weapons and equipment. The in-game world, Palpagos Islands, is home to 100 unique Pals, each with distinct skills and abilities. The game supports both single-player and online multiplayer modes, with servers accommodating up to 32 players. In addition to collaborating, players can engage in battles with both NPC criminals and local law enforcement.
How is Palworld so successful?
In just a few days, Palworld became one of the most-played games on Steam, following Counter Strike and PUBG: Battlegrounds. And now, at the moment of this article being written, the game hits #1 in Steam's Top 100 played games chart.
[3rd highest all-time peak in Steam history! ]— Palworld (@Palworld_EN) January 22, 2024
Steam users currently playing #Palworld has exceeded 1.5 million!
Thank you so much for making us the 3rd highest concurrently played game on Steam ever!
We are working hard to make the game as enjoyable as possible.
Thank you! pic.twitter.com/bPsFtAFuM1
Palworld gained popularity partly due to a successful pre-release advertising campaign on X and beyond, earning it the moniker "Pokémon with guns" and well-executed in-game mechanics. Positive reviews also praise Palworld and overall gameplay experience, noting its uniqueness within the genre. "I think Palworld is a game that takes elements from major games and genres—Pokemon, modern Zelda, and survival-crafting, namely—and throws them into a pot in an attempt to tally Steam wishlists and sell copies. That's it," Gamespot reviews.
Palworld music & soundtrack
We believe that a gaming soundtrack is always part of the game's success because sound is what makes any game immersive. Over the past few years, along with games themselves, video game music has turned into a whole new genre, "with everything from the NES classic Castlevania to the modern blockbuster The Last Of Us getting a physical release," as DJ Mag reports.
VGM (or video game music) is a diverse and integral part of the gaming experience. It has evolved from early chiptune music to encompass a wide range of genres, reflecting the intensity and nature of the games themselves. The Music Games market worldwide is projected to grow by 7.23% (2022-2027), resulting in a market volume of US$4.18 billion in 2027. And in terms of genre popularity, shooters and sports games are among the most popular video game genres in America.
The soundtracks that Palworld sound designers and composers incorporated also add to this gaming experience. Melodic, ambient, sci-fi sounds follow the player along the way. The use of different instruments, such as playful ambient sounds, electric guitar riffs, horns, strings, and oh! those little sci-fi piano bits create a vibrant atmosphere.
The soundtrack blends ambient sounds with subtle and funky tones, providing a pleasant and engaging backdrop. These soundtracks, perhaps, aren't the ones you might want to listen to played by some world-renowned orchestra, but the tunes are actually quite good! On second thought, a few complex, intense soundtracks called "Scrambled Party," "Brutal Strike" or "Engraved in Myth" with its great strings may, perhaps, sound quite good on an actual concert. Honestly, these soundtracks are a lot better than what could be expected from an "easy" game like this.
In combat scenarios, the music takes on a more intense and serious tone, with elements like low brass, piano, and percussion contributing to the heightened atmosphere. So, our overall impression is that the music in Palworld is well-produced, and this use of synthetic sounds and technology elements within the soundtrack adds a modern and polished touch.
Verdict: Palworld has great music throughout. Just listen to it 👇
How to play Palworld
Palworld is available on PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series S/X, accessible through Steam and Xbox Store, including Xbox Game Pass. The system requirements are listed on the official Steam page, with both minimum and recommended specifications provided.