Pokemon Conquest

Game review by
Mark Raby, Common Sense Media
Pokemon Conquest Game Poster Image
Strategy-based battle game breathes new life to series.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn how to think critically to figure out strategies for how to successfully take on opponents in turn-based Pokemon battles. Kids are encouraged to figure out the best way to both offensively battle against other Pokemon creatures and also employ defensive tactics to ensure their victory. The battles, which take place on a grid, come across as more of a good-natured competition about using strategy, rather than any sort of actual violent event. Pokemon Conquest provides kids with some ways to test and develop strategies to defeat their enemies.

Positive Messages

As is common with the Pokemon series, this game has a solid message about believing in yourself and going for the gold. This game has a particularly strong focus on players creating bonds with their Pokemon team. Although the creatures are used for battle, they are also loving and caring, and players need to nurture their relationships with them as though they are members of their family.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The various Pokemon trainers in this game come across as positive role models. A good Pokemon trainer pushes himself to the limit and never stops trying to become a better and stronger competitor. The sport of Pokemon training does focus on battling other Pokemon, but these creatures do not die. The entire concept is more like jousting or fencing in that it's all in the spirit of strategic competition and no one is ever seriously injured.

Ease of Play

This game is markedly different than other entries to the Pokemon series. Instead of simplistic battles where players battle one opponent in a turn-based competition, the battles in this game take place on an expansive grid, with up to six Pokemon creatures battling at a time. Players need to maneuver their Pokemon throughout the grid, employing strategies that are both offensive and defensive at times.

Violence & Scariness

The depiction of violence is minimal in this game. Pokemon creatures attack one another, resulting in colorful flashes and sound effects, but the creatures never die. If they are defeated in battle, they simply faint and can be revived later. In addition, the focus of this game is very much on the strategy of battle and not the violent content.


This is a part of a very popular brand that includes trading cards, plush animals, and other video games.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pokemon Conquest is a very different game than every other title in the Pokemon franchise. This game is a strategy-based role-playing game in which players conduct battles on various game-like boards. Players move their Pokemon to various points on the board so that they can attach nearby opponents while also preventing being attacked from the opposing Pokemon. Although the structure of battle is different, this game shares all the same elements that have made the Pokemon series so well received -- it is filled with positive messages and role models, and the violence serves as a minor factor to an experience that is more about strategy and skill.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHolly R. February 15, 2018

A good introduction to Strategy RPG's...

The game is a cross over between Pokemon and the Nobunaga's Ambition/Romance of the Three Kingdoms series. It's a strategy game with role-playing mech... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMyPatronus:Charizard July 13, 2012

Great, but confusing for new players.

A great and rewarding game that is very difficult even for me at 14 years old. If the kid can get the hang of it it is a great game. If the kids have never play... Continue reading

What's it about?

POKEMON CONQUEST has a notably different story than the typical Pokemon game. First off, Pokemon trainers are not referred to as "trainers" in this game, but rather as "warriors." Set in an environment designed to resemble the historical era of feudal Japan, players travel to different kingdoms and set their Pokemon into battle. If players manage to defeat their opponents, they gain control of the kingdom, and the goal is to rule over as many kingdoms as possible. The structure of the game functions more like a board game than the typical open-ended adventures that are more associated with this franchise.

Is it any good?

Pokemon Conquest is a very unique entry to the Pokemon series. The battle system plays out as a strategic turn-based role-playing game, a genre that generally caters to a more experienced, skillful set of players than the typical Pokemon player. For those who are willing to learn the nuances of this battle system and take the time needed to perfect their strategies, this game is ultimately rewarding. Fans should note that not every Pokemon creature appears in this game, but should nevertheless appreciate the new gameplay system that helps breathe life into the franchise.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in this game. Do you consider Pokemon battles to be violent or good-natured competitions?

  • When have you had to overcome obstacles?

  • Why is it important to treat both your friends and your rivals with respect?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS
  • Subjects: Math: estimation, patterns, probability
  • Skills: Emotional Development: empathy, identifying emotions
    Thinking & Reasoning: logic, strategy, thinking critically
  • Price: $39.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: June 18, 2012
  • Genre: Role-Playing
  • ESRB rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence, Mild Suggestive Themes
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

Our editors recommend

For kids who love strategy and puzzle games

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate