With the release of Pokémon Quest another extremely weird Pokémon spin-off has been brought to existence. The series that is loved for it’s adventure sprawling RPGs where you train and evolve your creatures is also notorious for producing some of the weirdest spin-offs. Although they have had some success with a few ideas, the Pokémon Company have also had some massive spin-off failures. We will go over some of the weirdest of these that they have produced besides Pokémon Quest. Note that although these games are weird, they are not necessarily bad games.
Hey You, Pikachu!
Is this even a game? It came out in 1999 on the N64 and the entire premise of the game is that you have to speak to Pikachu through a microphone that was packed with the game. The only problem though, you’re talking to an imaginary creature that can’t talk back. Pokémon are famous for only saying their name, and as you can expect, the only thing Pikachu would say while talking back were various iterations of “Pikachu”. As it’s not a lot of fun to play and doesn’t really serve any purpose it’s probably the most worthless Pokémon game that has ever been made, if you can even call it a game.
Pokémon dash was the first Pokémon game that was released for the Nintendo DS, and came out when the Nintendo DS was still very new. Most game developers were still figuring out how to use the dual screen handheld that came with touch capabilities, and Game Freak’s first attempt was definitely a failure. The premise of Pokémon Dash is that you have to race against other Pokémon and collect balloons that are spread out through the map. However, you have to control everything with the touch pad. This means you’re vigorously swiping on the touch pad to make sure you go the right direction and are running the fastest. It will make you grow tired and bored of the experience extremely fast.
This game is prove that a weird crossover doesn’t have to result in a bad game. The game is a crossover between Pokémon (obviously) and Nobunaga’s Ambition. The game took place in the fictional Ransei region and was set in a feudal Japan kind of era. The gameplay was transformed to something similar to Fire Emblem where you had to take your favorite 6 Pokémon to combat and battle it out in strategical turn based battles. The game also features some of the most beautiful art that has ever been seen in a Pokémon game and all the Pokémon came with unique attacks and abilities. Although the game’s concept was definitely odd it was extremely well received by fans and critics alike. Many Pokémon fans are still hoping for a revival of this game, although it seems like Game Freak has no intentions of making a sequel.
Whoever came up with the idea to make a game based around one of the weakest Pokémon in existence is definitely crazy. In this mobile spin-off game you will ever only play with Magikarp, a Pokémon that is notorious for being extremely weak and only comes with the non-damaging move splash. This might sounds extremely tedious but luckily you don’t have to battle with the Pokémon at all, instead you will join jumping competitions where you will compete against other Magikarp to see which Magikarp can jump the highest. You can train your Magikarp’s jumping skills with training and food. Do not be deceived by the cute aesthetic of the game though, it’s constantly looking for devious ways to kill off your Magikarp, such as it being taken away by predator birds.
Pokémon Ranger is another game that was odd in concept but great in execution. On paper the game sounds like the exact opposite of what Pokémon games usually are. In this game you go around catching Pokémon by drawing circles around them instead of battling them. After you catch them you can use their special ability once before they will leave you. You will never permanently capture a Pokémon in this game, except for a few special cases. Although this concept sounds like it would never work in the Pokémon universe, the games were actually extremely successful and the series spawned three games in total. The way you capture Pokémon actually required skill since the Pokémon would try to destroy the lines you were drawing around them, and you had limited time for each encounter. They also featured more captivating and mature stories that were more engaging for mature Pokémon fans. With Pokémon departing from the Nintendo DS it’s uncertain if we will ever see another game in the franchise.
Pokémon Quest wasn’t the first game that turned your Pokémon into strange shapes, Pokémon Rumble did it before it was cool. Instead of turning the into cubes, they were transformed into wind-up toys. All of the Pokémon you love were represented in a cute toy-like art style and were brought to life in a toy world. The gameplay was that of a classic beat-em-up where you just go around hacking and slashing enemies until you reach the end of the stage. The games hardly featured an interesting story and the gameplay was mediocre. They were never that well received but the Pokémon company still managed to churn out a couple of these games, more than they needed to honestly.