Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity
What parents need to know
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
Language & Reading
Thinking & Reasoning
- friendship building
Engagement, Approach, Support
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.
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.
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'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?
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.