A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pokémon Rumble World is an action role-playing game based on the wildly popular Pokémon franchise, which has loads of media and merchandise. This game was previously released as a freemium downloadable game, but the microtransactions have been removed and its downloadable content has been included. Action centers on fast, frenetic battles among toy Pokémon characters, but it's certainly cartoon-like, and fallen adversaries simply disappear. But kids can use strategy and tactics when going up against rival Pokémon, so it's not all mindless action. Parents also should note that, due to the game's use of the 3DS StreetPass and SpotPass features, there's a risk of seeing player-generated messages containing inappropriate language or content. Some players may find themselves interested in exploring other Pokémon items after playing this game.
What's it about?
POKÉMON RUMBLE WORLD is a cartridge version of 2015's free-to-play game but without support for optional microtransactions that cost real money. The game is a fast-paced battler that has you control Pokémon that must fight their way through large areas filled with other Pokémon characters -- more than 700 of them, in fact. If and when your fighter knocks out a rival by using its abilities and special moves, you'll be able to use that defeated Pokémon in future battles. Each stage has its own tougher "boss" Pokémon as well, which can also be captured. Unlike most other Pokémon games, the frenetic action here plays out in real time, as opposed to relying on turn-based moves. Players are also rewarded with in-game currency, Pokémon Diamonds, which can be used to unlock missions in the world via hot air balloon rides.
Is it any good?
While this is a rereleased version of a previously released title, the additional tweaks made to the game deliver a fun experience, especially for Pokémon fans. One thing to point out: If anyone bought and played 2015's Pokémon Rumble World -- a digital download that supported and pushed microtransactions -- there's very little reason to pick up this boxed version. Most of the content is the same, although it doesn't asking you to cough up cash to advance through the game. If you're a fan of Pokémon games and aren't interested in paying for progress, then it's worth the $30 to collect and battle more than 715 toy versions of classic Pokémon.
The game is easy to pick up and control, and because combat is simple, fast, and in real time instead of centering on turn-based fights, it's ideal for quick bouts of action when you're on the go. But be aware there's a lot of repetition in the gameplay, a kind of "rinse and repeat" formula, that may grow tiresome during long gaming sessions. There's also no multiplayer support. That said, the game does fold in support for mii characters, powerful mega-evolving Pokémon to help in your fight, and boss characters to defeat. The collectable nature of play is fun, as in other Pokémon games, but there's less meat here in the strategy and combat departments. Ideal mostly for younger or newbie players, perhaps, Pokémon Rumble World may be somewhat shallow, but it delivers a magical thrill for on-the-go Nintendo 3DS gamers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about bonds of friendship that develop between a person and her pets. Why do we care about pets, and what are the best ways to treat them?
Discuss what makes the Pokémon franchise so popular and which traits kids like the most in their favorite characters. What makes these characters so special?
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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.