Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia

Game review by
Erin Bell, Common Sense Media
Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia Game Poster Image
Popular with kids
Still catching Pokemon, just this time to solve puzzles.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 10 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The goal of a ranger is to help people and Pokemon resolve their issues. Rangers try to befriend Pokemon and calm them down instead of "defeating" them.

Violence & Scariness

Some Pokemon are aggressive and will attack the player. During the capture phase, players can stun Pokemon to make them easier to capture using a variety of techniques like shocking them with electricity or flicking water bubbles at them.


The game is part of a long-running Pokemon franchise whose catch-phrase is "Gotta catch 'em all," although the emphasis here is more on adventuring and puzzle-solving than collecting pokemon.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Pokemon game de-emphasizes combat in favor of "befriending" Pokemon and capturing them for a short time so that they can help players solve environment-based puzzles. Players capture wild Pokemon by drawing circles around them with the stylus, but can also use other Pokemon to stun the target Pokemon. Some of the capture techniques include using electricity to shock the Pokemon. Some Pokemon are aggressive and will attack the player, but it's because they're under the influence of a strange machine. Players can use the Ranger Net service to download addition missions through the Nintendo DS WiFi connection if they're within range, and can also trade Pokemon with friends.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byWilliam Afton v... October 31, 2020


ttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttjhmnWe're no strangers to love
You know the rules and so do I
A full commitme... Continue reading
Parent of a 13-year-old Written bychrrr October 11, 2009
Teen, 15 years old Written byChristianUmbreon October 25, 2010


Well, other than ONE character, I love everything about this game. In case you're wondering who bugs me, it's Sven (who is not a villain.) I just don... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old October 23, 2010


This is the BEST video game I have EVER, EVER played!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What's it about?

POKEMON RANGER: SHADOWS OF ALMIA is the second game in the Pokemon Ranger action/role-playing game series. You start out as the newest student at Ranger School, where you learn the ropes alongside your friends Keith (who also wants to be a ranger) and Rhythmi (who wants to be an operator). Eventually you'll graduate to become a full-fledged Pokemon Ranger and will be able to go on missions and quests to help resolve Pokemon-related issues, such as why more and more Pokemon seem to be behaving abnormally.

"Combat" in Pokemon Ranger is very different to the other Pokemon games. Instead of selecting a Pokemon from your stash to do battle with wild Pokemon in a turn-based environment, players use the DS stylus to draw circles around wild Pokemon to capture or subdue them. Pokemon can attack and drain your Stylus meter, and if it reaches zero before you're able to flee, you'll lose the battle. You can bring a limited number of Pokemon with you as you explore, and each Pokemon has special skills that must be used to solve puzzles and progress through the game. Pokemon with the "crush" ability, for example, can destroy crates that are blocking a pathway, while electric Pokemon can recharge your Stylus meter for you.

Is it any good?

The game mechanic of having to temporarily catch Pokemon to solve puzzles is a refreshing change from other older Pokemon games such as Pokemon Diamond, which placed a greater emphasis on combat and filling out your Pokedex with hundreds of Pokemon. The story is linear but enjoyable, and the game offers a good system of helping players keep track of objectives and their location on an overhead map. Shadows of Almia isn't a huge leap forward from its predecessor, but Pokemon fans will enjoy it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether it's more fun to actually have adventures with the pokemon, or to just try to catch as many of them as possible as in the other, ealier Pokemon games. What's your favorite type of Pokemon and why? Why do you think the Pokemon franchise is still so popular after all these years?

Game details

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