Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity

Common Sense Media says

Become the monster to battle and explore in dungeon crawler.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Most of the game is simply about fighting monsters. However, the Pokemon usually learn a simple lesson after each dungeon, such as not to give up or to be forgiving. 

Positive role models

The Pokemon here may fight a lot, but they're generally good little guys. Even some enemies end up changing their naughty ways once confronted by the game's kind and forgiving heroes. Kids could take away a lesson about being tolerant and sympathetic. 

Ease of play

Movement, selecting attacks, and navigating menus are all pretty straightforward. Kids as young as 7 can make their way through most dungeons with relative ease, assuming they read -- and heed -- the in-game instructions.

Violence & scariness

Pokemon battle each other using attacks with names like "scratch," "water gun," and "sting." Players will see the tiny cartoonish creatures jump, spin around, and swipe, accompanied by simple effects such as splashes of water or flashes of light. Damage is represented by a loss of hit points. Losers don't die and aren't seriously injured, but instead simply faint.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

This game is part of Nintendo's popular and ubiquitous Pokemon franchise, which includes games, shows, movies, toys, and collectibles.

Privacy & safety

Some privacy concerns. This game uses the Nintendo 3DS StreetPass feature, which automatically transfers player information to others, including their Mii character. This feature can be turned off, but young children should be cautioned to never use their real name as their Mii. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity is unlike traditional Pokemon games in that players actually play as Pokemon rather than collect them. That means it's the player's character doing the fighting, not a pet commanded by the player. What's more, these Pokemon talk and have vibrant personalities. Some are mean and do bad things, but most are good and honorable and looking for ways to help their fellow pocket monsters -- even those who are misbehaving. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy

Emotional Development

  • empathy

Communication

  • friendship building

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

This game is sure to attract Pokemon fans of all stripes, but its basic design and simplistic play may not be enough to keep some kids playing beyond the fifth or sixth dungeon.

Learning Approach

Little life lessons to do with forgiveness and loyalty are neatly woven into narrative scenes and don't feel particularly preachy. In co-op, players will naturally learn to work together to clear dungeons.

Support

The game provides ample instructions, making it accessible even for younger players. Plus, kids are likely to chat avidly about strategies and what they've experienced while socializing outside of the game.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • reading

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • strategy

Emotional Development

  • empathy

Communication

  • friendship building

Kids can learn about empathy, teamwork, friendship, and strategy in this simple dungeon crawler starring Nintendo's iconic pocket monsters. Each dungeon has its own little story, often accompanied by simple moral and social messages. Playing alone, kids will work out strategies for dealing with different enemies, and when working with other players, they’ll cooperate to more expediently clear dungeons. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

Parents say

Not yet rated
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Kids say

What's it about?

Rather than taking on the role of a trainer who collects monsters, trains them, and pits them in battle against other monsters, POKEMON MYSTERY DUNGEON: GATES TO INFINITY has players taking on the roles of the Pokemon themselves. They wander freely around towns without a master, talk to one another, and go on adventures together, exploring large, winding, randomly generated dungeons, each with its own story. Players can also find additional dungeons in the real world by using the 3DS's camera to scan objects in their immediate environment, creating gateways to new locations. Up to four players can go on quests together via a local network.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Nintendo has done a good job of subtly exploiting of some of the 3DS' more interesting features here, including scanning objects to create to new dungeons and using Street Pass to anonymously swap "reviver" seeds with other players that can come in handy in a pinch. And the Pokemon themselves are as cute as ever, thanks not only to their adorable designs but also their generous and noble little personalities.

Sadly, the action grows monotonous pretty quickly. The randomly generated dungeons are visually bland and chore-like to explore, and combat lacks strategy and spectacle. It's just the same corridors in different configurations, the same battles with only minor differences in attack types. Pokemon addicts may stick with it until the end, but casual fans will likely lose interest before too long.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about emotions and forgiveness. Have you ever forgiven someone who has done something mean to you? How did it make you feel? How did it make them feel?

  • Families can also discuss the difference between being a combatant and commanding a battle. Is one role more important than the other? If the conflict is morally dubious, is one more culpable than the other?

  • How does your family go about choosing video games? Here are some tips that can help.

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo 3DS
Price:$34.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Nintendo
Release date:March 24, 2013
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Friendship
ESRB rating:E for Mild Cartoon Violence (Nintendo 3DS)

This review of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byMasked Anonymoose June 13, 2013
AGE
7
QUALITY
 

A rather easygoing game as opposed to the former releases

As a rather avid Pokemon player, I don't really believe this game is all that great. In all honesty this game just doesn't feel like it has any real good values. First off, getting through the dialogue is like trying to eat soup with a knife. It goes rather slow, and isn't too enjoyable whenever any of the main characters reiterate something that's already been said. For example, during one cut-scene, a character literally repeats the same line about five to six times in a semi-humorous manner. I do understand that humor is a good value in gaming, repetition doesn't usually cope so well with most gamers as it does with the minority of gamers. Another problem this game suffers from is the new ability to level up moves. This sounds ingenious on paper, but in reality this makes the characters go from zero to hero within about less than an hour of game time. I'm not kidding, at level 20 my character can actually defeat most enemies in about one hit even if the move I use is ineffective. They really toned down the difficulty too and healing items of all sorts can be found just about anywhere which makes this much more simplistic, and better for the younger audience, but it takes away some of the educational value. All in all, it's an okay game for younger children, but I don't recommend it to any gamers looking for a challenge.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use

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