Pokkén Tournament

Game review by
Marc Saltzman, Common Sense Media
Pokkén Tournament Game Poster Image
Deep, demanding play brings fighting twist to monster game.

Parents say

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Kids say

age 8+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

All about battling Pokémon creatures against one another. While combat is core gameplay mechanic, it's not realistic, graphic.

Positive Role Models & Representations

There are many characters you're controlling, no one main protagonist. Pokémon characters are all about battling, which might not be very positive, but no one gets hurt.

Ease of Play

Simple controls, easy to learn.


Fantasy violence, as Pokémon fight against one another (similar to previous games in this popular franchise). Characters can kick, slash, use magic attacks -- such as electric strikes -- to chip away at an opponent's life meter.


Latest game in global Pokémon phenomenon, which not only includes video games but TV shows, movies, plush toys, action figures, apparel, much more. Nintendo's amiibo characters, cards are supported, which need to be purchased separately.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pokken Tournament is built around combat -- essentially the entire game is about battling Pokémon -- but it's not graphic or realistic in nature. Characters can kick, slash and use magic attacks to defeat an opponent. There are some cries of pain, but the opponents aren't hurt or killed. There aren't really any role models or specific characters that you play as either -- you're essentially a trainer using your monsters to fight others. This is also the latest title in the wildly popular Pokemon franchise, so you might expect some interest in the other titles or properties for fans of the game.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 9 years old June 10, 2016

Really good

Finally you can control your Pokemon while in battle! I like Pokken Tournament because when you use an attack it looks really cool! This game shocks like Pika... Continue reading
Kid, 10 years old September 29, 2019

Good game but not the best.

Only played it once and it was pretty good. I wish there were more games in which you can control your Pokémon in battle

What's it about?

POKKÉN TOURNAMENT is an action-heavy battle game that pits Pokémon characters against one another in epic area fights. Your goal is to become the ultimate champion by mastering the various fighting styles and signature moves of familiar Pokémon -- including Pikachu, Charizard, Lucario, Machamp, Pikachu Libre (a wrestling champ), and many more -- plus you can call upon support Pokémon to assist with damaging moves to KO your opponent. Much of the action is divided into two parts: a Field Phase, where players use ranged attacks to attack opponents from a distance. It's a simple but effective way to engage in turn-based battles, with offensive and defensive moves at your disposal. The second part of combat, Duel Phase, is more melee-focused, which leverages Bandai Namco's experience in fighting games, like Tekken. ​Along with multiple solo and multiplayer modes, included in the box is an amiibo card, which unlocks Shadow Mewtwo when gamers use the Wii U GamePad to read the card -- but only after you've earned the right to use the new fighter.

Is it any good?

It's fair to say Pokémon fans have been waiting years for a game like this -- one that allows you to battle between Pokémon up close and personal, like your favorite Tekken or Street Fighter franchise. First of all, Pokkén Tournament looks great, which will be a treat for fans. Between the high-definition and smoothly-animated characters, arena environments, and special effects, this is by far the best-looking Pokémon games to date. Secondly, the game is very accessible. It's a cinch to pick up -- even for those who haven't played a fighting game previously -- yet the combat still has enough depth for more experienced and/or demanding players. For example, most special moves -- which are unique to your Pokémon -- can be performed with a single button. But you'll need more timing and multi-button skills once you want to take advantage of some advanced moves and chaining moves/combos.

Worth noting are the special Pokémon you can summon if and when you need it, cinematic "Bursts" attacks to inflict damage on opponents, and multiple stages and modes to keep the gameplay fresh, along with support for amiibo characters and cards. A limited number of Pokémon -- only about 16 -- may be the only beef players might have with this new game. With many, many hundreds of Pokémon available after 20 years, it's too bad this game only focuses on a few. But still, Pokkén Tournament wont disappoint fans of the franchise and new players, too. It's fun, feels fresh, and offers a lot of accessible yet challenging gameplay.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about marketing to kids. Has Nintendo (or in this case, Bandai Namco), created enough titles out of the Pokémon franchise? Should Nintendo move on and create new franchises or continually go back to the same characters and gameplay mechanics? Are games like this purely a shameless marketing play for the franchise overall?

  • Talk about violence in games. Is the violence in Pokemon games acceptable because the fighting and creatures are clearly unrealistic, or is it disturbing because you have creatures fighting each other for sport?

Game details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love adventure

Themes & Topics

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