A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Pokemon X/Pokemon Y follows the same game pattern as previous titles in the series. The two games are very similar; only the pocket monsters you collect differ. This is an adventure-style game where kids "battle" their way through the region, gathering Pokemon and leveling up their skills through turn-by-turn battles and training experiences. The battles are fairly low-key; there's no visible contact, and when a Pokemon runs out of health, it simply faints. The story line is primarily positive, and even the worst of the adversaries only engage in some mild trash-talking. The online experiences, particularly live chat, are a concern for parents and should be handled via parental controls. Despite what seems like a violent premise (pairing off Pokemon to fight and level up in ability), the game has a positive, supportive, and nurturing tone that's appropriate for most ages. Kids will need to be able to read to follow the story line.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
Your character (boy or girl) has just moved to a new town when the mysterious Professor Sycamore invites you to seek out Pokemon and collect as much information as possible in a Pokedex. Along with four other kids, you set out to explore the region of Kalos, battling other trainers, gathering information, and learning everything you can about the world.
The gameplay is pretty straightforward, but there's a lot to do. You'll visit training gyms and battle your way to the top to earn badges. You'll grow your own berries, make PR videos, collect fossils, take pictures, seek out treasure, go fishing, explore caves, ride roller skates and a bike, and establish yourself as a member of the training elite. Plus, there's free exploration and customization (you can change your hair and clothes, for example). For long-time Pokemon fans, there are plenty of new features. For example, Super Train your Pokemon in a special training arena rather than relying solely on battles. There are new Fairy-types and \"horde\" encounters wherein you must pit your single Pokemon against a group of other wild Pokemon. Mega-Evolution, one of the mysteries in the story line, allows Pokemon to experience an ultimate evolution. You can even interact directly with your Pokemon via Pokemon-Amie mini-games.
Is it any good?
POKEMON X/POKEMON Y isn't groundbreaking for the series, but it continues the fun that's made the series so popular. The game offers a lot of areas to explore and a lot of activities. Those who love previous installments will no doubt enjoy this one, and it could certainly win over the next generation of Pokemon fans.
There are some new features that will appeal to different types of fans. Those who enjoy battling will be intrigued by the Mega-Evolution mystery and may appreciate the chance to super-train their Pokemon and battle hordes in the wild. Those who are more interested in the characters can spend their time (and money) customizing their avatar's clothing, hair, and accessories. They also can nurture their Pokemon by playing with them, feeding them, and showing them lots of love.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Platforms: Nintendo 3DS
- Subjects: Language & Reading: following directions, reading comprehension
- Skills: Thinking & Reasoning: analyzing evidence, hypothesis-testing, strategy
Self-Direction: achieving goals
Creativity: combining knowledge
Collaboration: meeting challenges together, teamwork
- Price: $39.99
- Available online? Not available online
- Developer: Nintendo
- Release date: October 12, 2013
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Magic and Fantasy, Princesses, Fairies, Mermaids, and More, Adventures, Bugs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- ESRB rating: E for Comic Mischief, Mild Cartoon Violence
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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.