Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs

Game review by
Christopher Healy, Common Sense Media
Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs Game Poster Image
Simple controls and deep story highlight this action game.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The games heroes are trying to stop "pinchers" (i.e. poachers) from capturing Pokémon creatures from the wilderness. The good guys get Pokémon to join them by befriending them. The dialogue speaks frequently of "showing friendship" to the Pokémon in order to win them over. Any time a creature helps the heroes, it is thanked.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The heroes are selfless and generous, and extremely well-mannered -- they always say "thank you" after a Pokémon helps them out. They are motivated by the cause of protecting nature and wildlife.

Ease of Play

Simplified controls make this a very easy game through which newcomers can enter the Pokémon universe. There are thorough tutorials to explain every action you may need to take during the course of the game.

Violence & Scariness

Players "capture" Pokemon creatures by circling them with the stylus. The creatures may fight back with fire bursts, electricity, wind blasts, etc., but your character is never hurt by these -- only the "capture styler" (i.e. your stylus) is damaged. If a friendly Pokemon is helping you in the fight, it can get hit by an attack, too, making it run away.


Pokemon is a massive media franchise, with more books, games, toys, and TV shows than you can count. This particular game will allow you to transfer (via WiFi) special collectible creatures into other DS Pokemon games.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs  focus on a heroic story and be-kind-to-wildlife theme rather than on the fighting that is normally associated with Pokemon games. In this game, "friendship" is the hero's greatest power -- and the good guys win Pokemon creatures to their side by projecting friendliness toward them. There are some actual battles in the game, between the heroes and the Pokemon that are being mind-controlled by the bad guys, but even in the end of those fights, the defeated creatures simply run off (and can later be "befriended" as well). This is a very kind and gentle action game.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byHolly R. November 6, 2018

I liked it

It's a good game with an environment friendly message and before they discontinued the Nintendo Wi-Fi on the original DS, you could download extra content... Continue reading
Kid, 9 years old October 19, 2011

Pokemon Ranger Guardian Signs!

I love this game!It is the third Pokemon Ranger game.No offense,
but I have all the Pokemon Ranger games.This game is so awesome that my 21 year old brother pla... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byeonbirdies April 17, 2011

great for everyone!!!


What's it about?

In POKEMON RANGER: GUARDIAN SIGNS, you play a member of an elite defense force that protects the world by using the powers of the Pokemon creatures they've befriended. You are called upon to reveal the mystery behind a group of villains called "pinchers," who show up and start kidnapping and brainwashing Pokemon. On your way to find the pinchers, you'll traverse a series of islands, befriending all manner of Pokemon and using their varied powers to get past a multitude of obstacles. Wild Pokemon are friended by circling them rapidly with your stylus; creature powers can be used by drawing specific patterns on the touchscreen.

Is it any good?

Kids who are new to the Pokemon universe -- or those intimidated by the scores of stats and attributes that you usually need to keep track of in those games -- will find Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs to be an excellent entry point into the series. Its simplified, action-based format for battles can be easily learned by almost anyone. It's possible that hardcore Pokemon fans will find this new format too simple, but hopefully they'll look at it as a refreshing change of pace -- as it is a truly different style of gameplay. Whether rookie or veteran, players should definitely be drawn in by the deep and compelling story. And the collection aspect -- always a key point with Pokemon fans -- is still there, with over 300 species of creatures to find and interact with. 

Online interaction: Kids can download and play new missions that will become available over time.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the theme of friendship that is so much apart of this game. How does it make Pokemon Ranger different from past Pokemon games in which the protagonists were more actively aggressive toward the creatures they were capturing?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action/adventure games

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