It’s April Fools’ Day, and aside from being a living nightmare for journalists around the world, it’s also an opportunity for game developers to put out some very silly stuff. This year it seems PUBG Corp has taken up the gauntlet, releasing an arcade-style minigame for PUBG where you fight chickens. And it’s called POBG (short for Playeromnomnom’s Battlegrounds) – although that doesn’t exactly solve the debate on how to pronounce the acronym. I’m going with pob-guh.
The minigame can be accessed through PUBG’s main menu, where it appears as a little arcade cabinet. POBG is based on a pixel art version of PUBG maps (inspired by the work of artist Alexey “Gas13” Garkushin). Having played it for a couple of levels, I have to say, it’s a surprisingly high-quality April fool. Players must shoot their way through “rooms” full of chickens, who parachute from the sky and immediately start firing semi-automatics in your general direction. (The choice of chickens is a reference to what happens when you win a regular PUBG game, which gives you the famous message “winner winner chicken dinner”.) You can pick up ammo, health and different weapons along the way, and find cover behind various crates and pieces of debris. Once you’ve cleared a stage, you can also acquire various bonus abilities to help you collect some chicken dinners.
If you’re wondering exactly what this looks like, you can find a quick demonstration of how POBG plays in the video above. Apparently this minigame is actually rather extended, with later stages taking place on other PUBG maps like Vikendi, and even some boss fights with overgrown chickens. I’ll probably need a little more practice to earn my wings.
As for PUBG Corp’s official explanation for this minigame, well, erm, it claims this is a “spiritual predecessor” to PUBG that was originally released in 1991. “As it’s been well documented, the original release of POBG had an issue before it was rolled out to arcades throughout the US,” said head of development “Herman Havoc” in the official press release. “Sure, an undiscovered manufacturer’s defect in the motherboards led to a bunch of fires and power grid failures throughout the country, but it was the ’90s. Things happen. No one was hurt, but we still had to recall and destroy all known POBG cabinets. But the game was just too good to leave it in ‘storage,’ so we figured out how to get it running on modern hardware and boom, now you can play it in PUBG. A game within a game!”
I wasn’t around in 1991, but I’m pretty sure PUBG actually originated from a mod for another game… I can’t quite recall its name. Oops-a-DayZ.
For some PUBG fans, the release of this minigame is not entirely surprising: images of the game were leaked by PlayerIGN, and briefly caused some drama when original artist Alexey Garkushin said he’d not heard from the PUBG team in some time. It seems the communication issues have been cleared up, and Garkushin has been fully credited in PUBG’s official announcement of the minigame.
All your Battlegrounds belong to us.
— PUBG (@PUBG) April 1, 2021
If you want to check this out for yourself, it’s worth noting that this is a limited-time minigame: you can access it on PC from today until 12th April, while console users will be able to play from 8th-18th April. It’s certainly something to keep you entertained while cooped up inside.