Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky

Game review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky Game Poster Image
Popular with kids
Nothing new, but still a fun dungeon crawler for fans.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 15 reviews

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.

Positive Messages

You are a human who has been transformed into a Pokemon, and while solving the mystery of your transformation, you also go on quests to help pokemon and defeat "bad" pokemon. The game teaches perseverance, courage, and helping others through quests that involve making it to the end of tough dungeons. One of the messages presented in the game is about saving money -- players can buy and sell items, and store money in the bank to prevent it from being lost if they perish in a dungeon.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You are surrounded by positive role models in your fellow guild members, who all go on quests to help other Pokemon. Each morning begins with the "guild chant," an upbeat message about starting the day with a smile. Some of the quests involve catching naughty "fugitive" Pokemon and bringing them to justice.

Violence & Scariness

Players encounter wild Pokemon that must be defeated through basic physical and special attacks that will be familiar to any Pokemon aficionado (such as Leech Seed, Mud Sport, and Ember). Violence is not graphic – basically, one Pokemon moves into the other.


Pokemon is a well-established franchise that includes video games, playing cards, clothing, plush toys and other merchandise.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this game is the third game in the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon series, where players explore dungeons and battle other Pokemon using non-graphic attacks and special moves. A knowledge of Pokemon, their special moves, strengths and weaknesses, is recommended and will make combat easier.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byspeedyblupi October 17, 2014

Great game, but very violent for pokemon.

This game is very good, but not suitable for any children under the age of about 5, and due to the complexity of the plot would probably not make sense to most... Continue reading
Parent of a 12 and 14-year-old Written byANTI-PARANOIA August 26, 2012

fancypants what are you on?

THIS GAME IS GREAT! good story, good fun cartoon action [not violence, action] and good messages about teamwork now please don't listen to TheFancyPants he... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byM O N I C A October 23, 2020

...this game is DARK, my dude.

Ok, now before anyone new to this game freaks out, no. It doesn't have any blood, gore, or disgusting imagry. Thats more edgy than it is dark. Just needed... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byLemoniscence August 18, 2019

The second best game I've played.

So, whilst there is a lot of dialogue in this game, and as such may not be suitable for children without a good vocabulary, it actually, in my case, helped me l... Continue reading

What's it about?

POKEMON MYSTERY DUNGEON: EXPLORERS OF SKY will give players a sense of deja vu if they've already sampled previous games in the series. The premise – where you play a human who wakes up trapped inside the body of a Pokemon, meets a companion, and joins an adventurer's guild – is identical to that of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time/Darkness. So is the gameplay, which involves exploring randomly-generated dungeons to complete quests and defeat wild pokemon.

Is it any good?

What's new in Explorers of Sky is that players have access to a handful of new quests and special episodes, including being able to explore the previously inaccessible Sky Peak where a new Pokemon called Shaymin acts as a companion and guide as you hike up the mountain. Players also have five new starter Pokemon to choose from when they start the game, can find additional missions through bottles that wash up on the beach, and can trade exclusive items with friends who have other Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games. The degree of repetition between Explorers of Sky and its predecessors (Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Time and Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness) is a bit disappointing, especially if the games are played back to back. The frustrations of Explorers of Time, such as losing some of your cash and items every time you perish in a dungeon, are still a part of the new game, and Explorers of Sky hasn't undergone any sort of graphical improvements either. Nevertheless, Pokemon fanatics who buy into the franchise's "gotta catch 'em all" mantra will find plenty to keep them occupied.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Is it worth it to buy a game that's so similar to another game in the series for a handful of extra Pokemon and new features. Would a completely new game have been better?

  • What is your favorite Pokemon and why?

  • Which Pokemon remind you of real-life animals?

Game details

  • Platforms: Nintendo DS
  • Price: $34.99
  • Available online? Not available online
  • Developer: Nintendo
  • Release date: October 12, 2009
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief
  • Last updated: June 19, 2019

Our editors recommend

For kids who love animals

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