Title: Pokemon Quest
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Category: Strategy, Adventure
Release Date: May 29, 2018
How we got the game: We downloaded it for free on our Nintendo Switch
Pokemon Quest was the first Pokemon game that was revealed during the recent Pokemon Press Conference from Nintendo. Considering it is a free-to-start game and Pokemon, we downloaded it after watching the conference.
Pokemon Quest tends to run on its own. The main aspect of the game is to have your team go out and battle wild Pokemon while exploring the island. Your team of blocky Pokemon run around an area and engage in battle with wild Pokemon automatically. You can tap to have your Pokemon do certain attacks, or you can let your team Auto-Battle.
While you can play this game docked on the Switch, I personally find it easier to have in handheld mode and use the touchscreen. If you’re exploring and battling manually, there’s also a dodge button to make your Pokemon scatter in different directions. Unlike most Pokemon games, you can only have 3 Pokemon in your party at one time.
When you’re not in a level, you’re at your little base camp with the Pokemon you’ve befriended. In your camp, you can decorate the area and cook up food made from random drops — like berries and apricorns — from the levels. Doing so will attract even more Pokemon to your camp, Pokemon you can then use in levels or to train up Pokemon already in your roster.
In training, you can use Pokemon you’ve befriended to level up other Pokemon or to help teach them a new move. The downside to this is, whoever is “helping” to train someone else, will leave. They’ll get booted out of the camp and go back into the wild. This goes for learning new moves as well. I don’t care too much for that mechanic because I’d rather keep the Pokemon with me and it’s especially hard in the beginning when you don’t have that many Pokemon, so you don’t want to let any of them go. As for learning new moves, you don’t get to choose which moves they’re learning. It’s just a surprise – if it works.
Another way to increase your Pokemon’s power (aside from your Pokemon running over another during training) is to collect Power Stones and Sturdy Stones during the levels, generally after you beat the boss of the area. Using those stones would increase your own Pokemon’s Attack or HP respectively. The combined Attack and HP of your team of Pokemon was your team’s strength. Each level would show you the combined strength of the wild Pokemon in the level, and you could compare the two to see if your team was strong enough to engage in battle in the area.
While the stones are great, I found myself constantly getting stuck because my team was about 1,000 points behind what they should be at for the next area. It takes a lot of exploring and fainting to try to get them to level up and find more stones to make them stronger. I have a variety of Pokemon that I swap out and try different teams with, but they’re never quite strong enough. So it’s a lot of waiting.
The graphics resemble Minecraft with its blocky like characters. It’s cute and a bit comical at times, especially with Pokemon like Voltorb being a cube rather than a sphere! The Pokemon characters bounce around in the camp area and have no problem destroying parts of the background in the campaign mode.
The graphics are really well done and while I never would have imagined Pokemon looking like this, it certainly works. It’s doesn’t look out of character for the Pokemon games at all. The backgrounds and level are simply designed, but they’re pleasing to the eyes and the colors are fun and bright.
The music is decent as well, with the tunes being cheery background noise when you have the game running on a level as your Pokemon demolish their enemies. The camp music is fun too, and the sounds effects were well done, especially with the attacks.
The music is upbeat and catchy and I enjoy having the game on (even if it’s not doing anything) while I work. The sound effects can be goofy at times, especially when you’re training and one Pokemon gives the boot to the other Pokemon, but it works for a cute game like this.
You arrive at Tumblecube Island ready to explore the unknown (not the Pokemon) and discover hidden treasure within it. Throughout you find and befriend Pokemon through your cooking and they’ll do the exploration part for you, defeating wild and enemy Pokemon in their path.
That’s pretty much it. The deeper you venture into the island, the tougher the wild Pokemon become, but your own team grows to meet them in strength. Finding loot and treasure is the end goal of the game.
Pokemon Quest is a game that keeps running and is pleasant to have on in the background while you work. It’s not bad to keep going, unlocking Pokemon and fill up your Pokedex. In a way, it seems to be a more action-orientated Pokemon Ranch, if you will.
That’s a good way to describe it. It’s certainly not a bad game, but I don’t like how you have to wait to pay again after a certain amount of time and I do wish you were able to do more with your Pokemon. Still, it’s a fun, refreshing game to play.
Pokemon Quest gets…
3 out of 5 lives.