Parents' Guide to

Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 7+

Become the monster to battle and explore in dungeon crawler.

Game Nintendo 3DS 2013
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

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

Community Reviews

age 5+

Based on 1 parent review

age 5+

Should be called "Preachymon" because it is very preachy

This game is very narrative, which is to say, very text heavy. The gameplay is probably about half reading the text as opposed to actual gameplay but that is great for people who love to read and enjoy a great story with a wonderful positive message about the horrid effects of inner negativity and despair and what simple acts of kindness can do to touch the lives of those who have lost hope. Unlike main series Pokemon games that focus on "catching em all" and fighting crime lords, this spin off title sees the player turn from human to Pokemon to save the world from an enemy known as the Bittercold created by the negativity and cruelty that the creatures of that world. Along the way the player and their best friend Pokemon meet negative characters who have given up on honesty and kindness because of how others negative actions affected them. At the very beginning of the game when you are tasked with getting blue gems to pay for a new home, the builder scams the player. Upon learning how the builder, Gurdurr, suffered a back injury and then had a house he built torn down without payment because he was told it was "garbage", he turned to a life of scamming. But instead of "getting revenge" for being tricked, the player and the friend have compassion and convince him to give up crime and build their house. It's little moments when playing this game that the positive messages about spreading kindness, friendship, and hope shinies through. Some characters become so consumed by "negativity" that they want the world destroyed so they can "disappear" because of all the suffering and hurt that they have endured which some people might think is an allusion to suicide. The good news is that they are convinced at the end that disappearing is not the answer and good triumphs over the evil that is negativity. It's an inspiring story in a game that feels more like a book but that's certainly not a bad thing in my opinion. There's no graphic violence and the game is pretty easy and straight forward. Storyline wise it is the best that the franchise has to offer in terms of a positive message about friendship and never giving up. Where it lacks in gameplay it more than makes up for it in the sheer emotion from its storyline. Even at the age of 31 I find myself teary eyed at certain parts when playing it. This is a game for gamers who place a bigger value on story than actual gameplay or for people who prefer books to actual gameplay. The game is very easy for a "dungeon crawler" and is pretty easy as one of the kid reviewers noted. If you have a Pokemon crazy kid who might not like reading, this might get them into reading (or they may despise all the text scrolling and cutscenes). Christian parents who might be wary of the franchise in general will be pleased with the messages that are in line with Christian beliefs in a "Narnia" fashion and will be happy with the fact that the game isn't heavy on the violence in the way alot of video games tend to be. If you want a game that mostly teaches a good moral lesson and isn't too violent then this is perfect for any child who is old enough to read and enjoys reading. It's also good for Pokemon fans in general and is wonderful for people who are going through a hard time because it acknowledges that "in real life trying sometimes isn't enough so eventually you quit trying because it doesn't hurt as much" yet inspires hope because you should "never give up hope no matter how hard life can get and how negative you feel". It's not candy coated but it is it's own kind of saccharine that incorporates a sense of relatability that if you take the Pokemon stuff out and keep the story, seems all too close to home in today's world. Yes, I totally recommend this and it's sequel Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon for making inner negativity the true villains that they are in real life. This one, for me, is the more emotional one and the one with the most reading involved. If reading and storyline aren't your thing then I can't guarantee that you will enjoy it much, but give it a try. Violence includes mostly cheap attacks that cause characters in the area to fade or ask to join your team, cut scenes involving being chased, and characters appearing to be hurt or distressed. Language includes mild name calling like losers, twirps, rascals, weakling, etc... Characters threatening to crush other characters. Other things to look out for are themes that hinge on suicidal talk such as characters talking about wanting to disappear" with their friends from this world because they want "the pain and suffering" to end, talk of sad situations such as losing a friend and becoming bitter because of betrayal, talk of loneliness and not fitting in, feelings of not having worth are discussed, and themes such as how negativity not only affects the person who feels it, but those who become negative because of others actions. It ends on a happy note but some heavy things are explored in the game. There's not anything sexy other than mild flirting and talk of a character being "lovely". There's nothing truly bad in it other than that.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
Easy to play/use
Too much consumerism

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (2 ):

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.

Game Details

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