Pokémon Sun/Pokémon Moon

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Pokémon Sun/Pokémon Moon Game Poster Image
Popular with kidsParents recommend
Latest "catch 'em all" games bring new features to series.

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 7 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 22 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

No positive, negative messages as you simply try to be best Pokémon trainer on an island.

Positive Role Models & Representations

You're a trainer who attempts to catch, train, fight Pokémon against other characters. You don’t know anything about your own backstory, motivations, other than wanting to prove yourself by challenging others to see who will win.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; easy to learn.


Mild cartoon violence when battling Pokémon against one another, such as whipping a tail to hit someone, zapping them, and so on. There's no blood, gore, but characters may make noise, wince to suggest damage taken.


Part of a larger franchise that's been around almost 20 years spanning video games, animated series, collectible card games, apparel, other merchandise.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents should know that Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are adventure games for the Nintendo 3DS. Both games, which are essentially the same with some subtle differences, have some mild cartoon violence. Players battle their Pokémon creatures against adversaries where they can strike the enemy with physical and magical blows, but there's no blood or gore. Players may find themselves interested in checking out other Pokémon merchandise after playing these games.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byKC H. December 8, 2016

Despite the official review, it's actually full of role models and positive messages

I definitely disagree with the official review's assessment that there are no real messages or role models in this game. Yes, the player character is devo... Continue reading
Adult Written byKarenBridget March 3, 2021

This game promotes dog fighting

This Pokémon game like all others glorifies dog fighting and makes you virtually torture animals by putting them in enclosed places and forcing them to fight fo... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written bything5313 June 10, 2017

10 and older. There must be something wrong with you

It is pokemon. These people rated one of the earlier ones 6 and older an even that was to high for me to believe. They move in battles now holy crap so much vio... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bybigandbaguy January 10, 2017

I thought this website was better than this

For one thing, don't listen to common sense media's review all the time, and this time is one of those times. The cutscenes are not boring, but very i... Continue reading

What's it about?

POKÉMON SUN and POKÉMON MOON let gamers become a Pokémon trainer who arrives on the fictitious tropical islands of Alola Region, so you can find, catch, level up, and battle unique Pokémon against others. The light story isn't of any substance, but your goal is to become a Pokémon Champion by exploring large areas and bypassing obstacles by summoning help (like a horned creature to smash rocks, so you can enter a cave). You'll also toss Pokéballs to trap creatures and use a new, intuitive screen to manage your rock-paper-scissors battles by choosing the ideal offensive and defensive maneuvers based on the Pokémon you're up against.

Is it any good?

Whether you’re a seasoned Pokémon fan or brand-new to the series, these two games are excellent role-playing games for players on the go. Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon -- one taking place during the day and the other at night, with different Pokémon available per game -- hasn't changed the standard gameplay formula from previous titles, which is just fine, but there are a few enhancements and additions this time around.

Everything isn't perfect with these two games, because you'll have to forgive the lame story and some long animations you can’t skip through. If you can look past these issues, the improved graphics, intuitive controls, and engaging combat sequences all make these games easy to pick up, but difficult to put down. Even the little things -- a helpful new map and an objectives list on the bottom screen of the 3DS and the ability to earn Z-crystals to unlock super powers (or Z-moves) are worth mentioning. During battles, you can also tap the "i" (information) button to see what kind of an effect your move may have on the enemy, which is a welcome new feature to prevent you from wasting time in combat. Overall, Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon are exactly what a good sequel should be: something that retains what made the original games so beloved, yet builds upon the foundation in a few key areas.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violent content in Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon. What are your thoughts on using Pokémon for battle? Is it an OK way to resolve conflict? What might other options be?

  • Talk about branding and franchises. If you weren't interacting with and collecting recognizable Pokémon characters, but instead you were using a group of random characters, would you still play the game? Did you want to play the game because it featured Pokémon? What makes them so popular and engaging?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love role-playing games

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate