Why You Should Play

  • It’s a free-to-play game that doesn’t force microtransactions.
  • Simple, yet fun gameplay that embodies the Pokemon style.
  • Visual style makes the game feel like a Pokemon version of Minecraft.
  • It’s something to tide you over until the next two Pokemon games release on the Nintendo Switch.

Nintendo has not been holding back with the Switch, and this week more than proves the company has big plans for the tiny console. With three Pokemon games set to release before the end of next year, Pocket Monster fans have a lot to look forward to. While the first release, Pokemon Quest, may seem more like Pokemon-light, it can be quite addictive. As a free-to-play game, you may be expecting a lot of microtransactions to keep the fun going, but even if you choose not to spend any money at all, you can still get a lot of enjoyment out of the game.

Gameplay

Pokemon Quest may not be a traditional Pokemon game, but it still offers a lot of Pokemon-style action in a unique package. The 151 original Pokemon are featured in the game, but everything is simplified to make this an easy experience for almost anyone. Most of the gameplay focuses on your team of three Pokemon venturing out on expeditions to defeat wild Pokemon. Your team moves automatically to find the closest wild Pokemon, then you can select the attacks you want your team to execute, or you can set it to auto-play and just watch the battle unfold.

Your team of Pokemon earn experience after every expedition, which allows them to level up and open up slots for special Power Stones to further enhance your team. You can also train your Pokemon to give them new moves and level them up even more. Once you reach the designated level to evolve, your Pokemon will automatically perform the evolution process. You won’t need to find a specific stone or do any of those advanced techniques from other games.

Instead of catching Pokemon with poke balls, you simply gather cooking ingredients while you’re out on expeditions, then toss them in a pot and cook something up. What you make will attract certain Pokemon, who are then caught and added to your Pokedex. Any Pokemon you’ve caught you can then add to your team, swapping Pokemon in and out until you have your perfect team of three.

There’s a battery that determines how long you can play. When you’re out of power you have to wait 30 minutes while the battery recharges at least one of five stocks. You can spend real money to purchase PM Tickets and instantly refill five stocks of battery, but if you’re continuously going out on expeditions, usually you’ll earn enough PM Tickets or power source items to keep your battery charged. You can still spend money on decorations for your base camp, including Pokemon-styled furniture, which can give you special attributes, but these are completely optional.

Visuals and Performance

You can tell just by looking at screens of Pokemon Quest, the graphics are designed to offer a visual style that’s very similar to Minecraft. It’s still easy enough to tell each Pokemon apart, but it’s a nice departure from the traditional Pokemon graphics fans are accustomed to. On the Nintendo Switch load times are very short, but Pokemon Quest was also designed as a mobile game (due out in late June). The specs of your phone will likely determine how well the game performs, but it’s not a graphically intense experience and should run well on most modern devices.

Game of the Week

As a surprise Pokemon game that’s free to play, it’s hard to go wrong with Pokemon Quest. Fans looking for a hardcore experience will have that itch taken care of with the Pokemon game coming out in 2019, while fans wanting a normal Pokemon experience without the technical aspects of the more hardcore games have Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu and Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee to play later this year.

Pokemon Quest is designed to be fun in short bursts, or during long car rides. You don’t need a lot of Pokemon knowledge to play, but you can still use that knowledge to evolve your Pokemon and find the most optimal team. There’s a little something for everyone, and that’s why Pokemon Quest is our Prima Game of the Week!

Be sure to check out our cooking recipe list and coverage on what levels your Pokemon evolve at so you can get the most out of your time playing Pokemon Quest. You can find even more helpful articles in our Pokemon Quest game hub!