Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon is the latest entry in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series. This series puts you in the shoes of your favorite Pokémon on an epic quest to save the world. It takes a long time to actually get to that quest, but the game is a fun diversion for almost any Pokémon fan.
After answering a few short quiz questions, new players are matched with one of 20 Pokémon. (If your kids don’t get their favorite, don’t worry—they’re given the chance to pick.) Your Pokémon is then paired with the perfect partner.
The story starts as you find yourself transformed from a human to a Pokémon kid. You have no memories of how you got there. Helpful new friends and teachers get you started with dungeon navigation, fighting tactics, and items use. Instructions are clear and useful. (Although the beginning dungeons can feel tedious as you wait for the main quest to begin.)
Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon has several elements familiar to Japanese role-playing fans. Unfortunately that includes long dialogues. You might find yourself mashing the A button to get through. There’s also a lot of item and inventory management. And leading your party through a dungeon with a boss battle waiting at the end.
Each dungeon is randomly generated, so every playthrough of the game is unique. Inside you’ll find enemies that take a little team strategy, along with items to help you along the way. Researching codes online can also net you certain items. You can enter these in the Wonder Mail menu after reaching Chapter 2.
The game also includes Pelipper Island, which includes more mystery dungeons and Pokémon. It also offers the opportunity to connect with other players. Add to that the ability to keep playing to collect Pokémon even after the main story is completed, and Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon feels like a game with a lot of content to play and uncover—always a welcome feature in video games.
So much content and an unending parade of dungeons can make Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon feel tiresome at times. But the game gets more engaging the longer you play. If the kids are die-hard Pokémon fans or you’re a collecting-game aficionado who enjoys putting a lot of time into a single game, this one is worth picking up.