This game is rated PEGI 7
Our review includes potentially triggering words:
Ignore All Content Warnings
Posted: 2 years ago, last updated 3 weeks ago.
Author: Ben Kendall, @GeekDadGamer and Jo Robertson.
The aim is to collect Pokémon gym badges and eventually become the region's Pokémon champion. You can level up your team of Pokémon by winning battles, and evolving them into different species. You can also trade Pokémon with friends and other players.
Most Pokémon games come in two variants (ie. Sword and Shield). Each version, although similar, is slightly different in what Pokémon it offers. If a friend has one version, you might consider getting the other so you can trade with each other and get all the Pokémon available over both versions. To trade with nearby friends, you do not need to be online, but for trades with other people across the world, you will need an internet connection and a Switch Online subscription.
The game gets gradually more difficult, and you need to learn which Pokémon do well against which kinds of enemies, and, at a high level, you'll need to know exactly what moves and magic to use in battle and when. There is significant strategy and memorisation involved in playing, and the series has a prominent competitive scene. There are almost 900 different species of Pokémon to collect, and each set of games adds more, keeping the gameplay fresh.
The original Pokémon games, Red and Green, launched back in 1996 on the Game Boy console, and since there have been 31 more main series games. The pattern of release is a pair of games that are then followed up by an enhanced version:
- Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green (Feb 1996) Game Boy
- Pokémon Blue (Oct 1996) Game Boy
- Pokémon Yellow (Sept 1998) Game Boy
- Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver (Nov 1999) Game Boy Color
- Pokémon Crystal (Dec 2000) Game Boy Color
- Pokémon Ruby and Pokémon Sapphire (Nov 2002) Game Boy Advance
- Pokémon Emerald (Sept 2004) Game Boy Advance
- Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl (Sept 2006) DS
- Pokémon Platinum (Sept 2008) DS
- Pokémon Black and Pokémon White (Sept 2010) DS
- Pokémon Black 2 and Pokémon White 2 (June 2012) DS
- Pokémon X and Pokémon Y (Oct 2013) 3DS
- Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon (Nov 2016) 3DS
- Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon Let's Go, Eevee! (Nov 2018) Switch
- Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield (Nov 2019) Switch
- Pokémon Legends: Arceus (2022) Switch
Games are also updated and re-released:
- Pokémon Fire Red and Pokémon Leaf Green (Jan 2004) Game Boy Advance
- Pokémon Heart Gold and Pokémon Soul Silver (Sept 2009) DS
- Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire (Nov 2014) 3DS
- Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon (Nov 2017) 3DS
- Pokémon Brilliant Diamond & Shining Pearl (Nov 2021) Switch
Release Date: 27/02/1996, updated in 2019
Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GBA, Game Boy and Switch
Content Rating: PEGI 7
Skill Rating: 7+ year-olds
Players: 1 (4 online)
Genres: Battle, Collecting, Role-Play (Adventure, Fighting and Strategy)
Accessibility: 13 features
Components: 3D Third-Person and Cartoon
Developer: Game Freak Info (@GameFreak_Info)
View our choice of games like Pokémon. This game is good if you want to:
You can play this game in the following styles:
This has been enjoyed by families in the following styles:
Rated for younger players in the US. Rated ESRB EVERYONE for Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence. Players engage in turn-based combat with other trainers. Players select various attacks (e.g. fire, lightning/electricity) from a menu to defeat Pokémon Melee-style attacks (e.g. rolling, scratching, bouncing) are also used, as impact sounds, light effects and diminishing health bars indicate damage. One creature is seen with a large drop of mucous hanging from its nose.
7+ year-olds usually have the required skill to enjoy this game. Younger players enjoy the adventure and characters. As children get older they set about collecting and breeding Pokemon to collect them all. Discovering new tactics and strategies helps them develop tactical planning and lateral thinking.
Our Game Pathways reveal how 6 - 9 year-olds play this game:
- 6-year-old: Introduction to Game Dialogue
- 9-year-old: Brotherly Guidance
- You need be 18-years-old to subscribe to Nintendo Online, but can then create accounts for children of any age to play online with Nintendo Switch.
Pokémon Alpha Sapphire
Pokémon Blue Version
Pokémon Crystal Version
Pokémon Omega Ruby
Pokémon Red Version
Pokémon Silver Version
Pokémon Ultra Moon
Pokémon Ultra Sun
Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition
- In-Game Purchases: Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience.
You need a subscription to play online:
- You need to purchase a Nintendo Online subscription to play online with Nintendo Switch.
In Pokémon Sword and Shield, you can buy an expansion pack which allow you to travel to extra areas and catch different Pokémon. It costs £26.99 / $29.99. None of the other Pokémon games contain expansion packs, although to transfer Pokémon from one game to another requires the use of a separate application, which cost money and can be bought for different amounts of time and different prices, depending on your needs. Playing online in battles requires a subscription, as does trading Pokémon.
It's important to set up your accounts and devices appropriately. More information is on our Financial Resources page.
Accessibility information provided is for Pokémon Sword and Shield versions only.
The games provide the option to change the text speed, turn the gyroscope on/off and includes an autosave feature.
The games also feature casual controls which enable you to play the game with only one side of the controller/with only one joy-con. Casual controls automatically remap the directional buttons (arrows) as the A, B, X and Y buttons and work for all aspects of the game. However, in this mode, you do lose access to the directional arrow buttons, though you can still complete the game in this mode.
Diversity and Inclusion
Hand-Picked Games Like Pokémon
Here are our hand-picked short list of similar games; the perfect thing to play next if you enjoyed Pokémon. We also have a long list of games similar to Pokémon.
Hand-Picked Board Games Like Pokémon
Our experts have hand-picked the following board games that offer a similar experience or theme to Pokémon..