Parents' Guide to

Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver Versions

By Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Collect & battle game uses a pedometer to get kids walking.

Pokemon HeartGold & SoulSilver Versions Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 20 parent reviews

age 6+

Enhanced Remake of Generation II Pokémon games in the Generation IV format

Parents need to know that Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver are enhanced remakes of the Generation II Pokémon games, Pokémon Gold and Silver, which were released in 1999. Unlike their Generation III predecessors, Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen, it is possible to trade with players on Pokémon Diamond, Pearl and Platinum even before you beat the Pokémon League. In both the originals and the remakes, you receive one of three Pokémon; Chikorita (which most people don't choose for a good reason), Cyndaquil (better off in the originals) and Totodile (probably the best one for the remakes). Then, on your way back from Route 30, you encounter the best part of Johto; your rival (Silver). Finally, you're Johto adventure begins. First, run to Route 32, and catch a Mareep. Now, you have your two permanent party members, Totodile (and its evolutions) and Mareep (and its evolutions). After defeating eight Gym Leaders (with most of us struggling with Whitney's Miltank) we face the true meaning of Hell, the Pokémon League (Koga's Muk and Karen's Umbreon are especially annoying). Now, it's time to face Kanto's Gym Leaders (meaning Lt. Surge's gym puzzle again), and then battling Red's Lv. 80 something Pokémon (beware of Lapras's Blizzard). The remakes have all sorts of neat features, such as watching your own Feraligatr give you a bear hug. But some Pokémon may give off an unhappy expression, such as bringing a Rock-type to play in the water. The PokéGear is pretty hit and miss, unless you really like talking to Youngster Joey. Don't forget, after helping Jasmine's Ampharos feel better, you have access to a brand-new exclusive area where you can catch legendary Pokémon from Hoenn! Bottom line, there is much to do in these fast-paced remakes!

This title has:

Easy to play/use
age 5+

One of The Best Pokémon Games to Date!

Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver are excellent editions to the main series Pokémon games. With a great story, intriguing characters, and sharp and clever humor, along with interesting battle mechanics, these games can fit the appeal of almost any gamer. With access to both the Kanto and Johto regions (If you’re not a Pokémon fan, that basically means that you can have even more battles and explore even more), there is almost endless things you can do! While this is a game that is primarily targeted at children, there is still much enjoyment to be had for adults as well, with even some subtle adult humor that will fly right over the kid’s heads (Ex: the couple in the game that uses an Onix and a Cloyster). It’s nothing to worry about, though, as there’s no language, sex, or substance abuse. Unlike what CSM says, though, THIS IS NOT AN EASY GAME. It’s not the original The Legend of Zelda levels of hard, but it’s certainly not easy. Some of the Gym Battles can be very hard depending on what starter you choose, especially is you choose Chikorita, which I did. Whitney and her Miltank are always something to be worried about, and, of course, there’s your rival Silver, or whatever you choose to name him. All in all, I would consider these the second best Pokémon games to date, just loosing by a bit to Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. I would recommend these games to gamers of all ages, as long as they can still hold a DS in their hands. Please, by all means, play these games. P.S: I think SoulSilver is the slightly better version because you can catch strong Pokémon like Ninetales (My personal favorite Poké) and Skarmory in only that version. But that’s just my personal opinion. Get whichever version you think is better!

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (20):
Kids say (46):

Pokemon HeartGold and SoulSilver are just as good as any previous titles from the main line of Pokemon games. They look, sound, and play almost exactly the same way those earlier incarnations did. Yet, while there's not much in the way of startlingly new gameplay, Pokemon fans will certainly get a whole lot more of what they're looking for and love about playing these games. Kids who have only a passing interest in Pokemon and who have played any of the last few years' Pokemon titles might find these new ones a bit repetitive, but they do make excellent jumping on points for kids who are new to the Pokemon world. Also, kudos are due for the inclusion of the Pokewalker, which adds an interesting -- and healthy! -- new level to Pokemon gaming.

Online interaction: Kids can trade captured Pokemon. This encourages interaction between friends.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Release date: March 14, 2010
  • Genre: Adventure
  • ESRB rating: E for Mild Cartoon Violence
  • Last updated: August 31, 2016

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