I have enjoyed Pokémon for a very long time, and I grew up playing Generations Three and Four. I was excited when, at 2017’s E3, Nintendo announced a Pokémon “core RPG” for the Nintendo Switch. Unfortunately, this game will not be arriving to the switch until 2019. However, Nintendo announced Pokémon Quest, Pokémon Let’s Go! Pikachu, and Pokémon Let’s Go! Eevee to fill the gap.

Pokémon Quest is a free to play game currently available on the Nintendo Switch, and it will also be arriving on iOS and Android in June 2018.


The game starts by allowing you to choose between five starter Pokémon being:

  • Squirtle
  • Charmander
  • Bulbasaur
  • Pikachu
  • and Eevee.

The player arrives on Tumblecube island, bringing along a drone manufactured by Silph Co. called the MoBee IV. Upon arrival, the MoBee IV malfunctions and loses its data collection about the island. The player must, as a result, befriend new Pokémon and embark on expeditions.

Pokémon Quest has a very straightforward plot that does not offer much for the game itself.


In terms of Gameplay, Pokémon Quest has a fair bit to offer for a free-to-play game. There is a fair bit of micromanaging, too, which can be addicting at points.

The first thing about Pokémon Quest is that you have no control over your Pokémon during expeditions. However, if you disable the auto-attack button you can decide what attacks your Pokémon will use during these expeditions. You also may bring up to three Pokémon on each expedition. This allows for a great amount of mixing and matching.

Want a tank? Perhaps Onix would be a decent option. Want something a little more balanced? Eevee might be the right choice. This mixing and matching is fun and allows the player to carefully plan for future expeditions.

Players can also use special attacks when available. If not using the auto-attack feature, the player uses the left analog stick and hovers over the special attack; additionally, you can also tap the screen (the touch screen, however, is not the most responsive thing in the world). You can also have your Pokémon spread out and disperse. This allows you to dodge devastating moves from stronger Pokémon.

Each expedition consists of waves of Pokémon that your party must defeat to advance. Towards the end of each expedition you fight against the boss Pokémon of the area. After completing a certain amount of expeditions, and defeating the main boss of the stage, the player can then proceed to the next stage.

During each expedition players can also receive power stones and other items. Also, if you fail during an expedition, you can use 10 Poké Mart tickets to keep the items you found during the expedition.

Power Stones

You can equip power stones to each Pokémon you own for bonuses. Want a Pokémon thicker than Hariyama? Slap on some HP power stones. Want a champ stronger than Machamp? Better start lifting those strength enhancing power stones.

Some power stones also offer additional buffs (EX: “X” power stone gives a small % increase in critical hits). You can also recycle power stones to get cooking items, incase you have too many power stones. This is nice, considering you probably will eventually get rid of those garbage +20 power stones soon.

Leveling Up

Pokémon level up when you take them on expeditions. If a player were to fail an expedition, the Pokémon participating in the expedition will still gain experience points. Pokémon can also gain experience by doing training. Training requires the player to train with other Pokémon at the base camp. However, excluding for the Pokémon being trained, the Pokémon participating in the training will permanently leave the base camp.

Gotta Catch ‘Em All

You can also find cooking items during expeditions. Cooking at your base camp allows wild Pokémon to join you on your expeditions. By going out doing expeditions you also speed up the cooking process. After going out to a certain amount of expeditions, the cooking will be complete, and will attract new Pokémon that will join your team. Keep in mind you can only carry three Pokémon on your team. You should carefully decide who to leave at your base camp. You can also decorate at your base camp which can help your Pokémon out on expeditions.

Recharging… Oh boy…

You are given a charge meter that will allow up to five expeditions. The charge meter will reset after a certain amount of time. You cannot continue if your charge meter reaches zero; however, you can use PM tickets to recharge the charge meter. I am not a big fan of games that use recharging, but in Nintendo’s defense, so far, I feel like Nintendo has been fair with distributing free PM tickets.


Surprisingly, unlike some free-to-play games, the micro-transactions/DLC don’t feel mandatory and are not shoved in your face.

What I don’t like about Pokémon Quest

Aside from the charging meter issues, Pokémon Quest has a few other minor issues that bug me.

I found it repetitive at points, especially regarding expeditions. The objective for each expedition is the same; complete “X” number of waves and defeat the boss monster. The combat is engaging but not enough to overshadow the repetitive expeditions.

While I have not felt the need to spend cash, I do feel at points the progression slows down. You might find enemies too hard for your current team, thus you must go back to previous stages to level up your Pokémon. This is not a problem in normal games but due to the charge meter, you can only complete five expeditions at a time. The charge meter completely stalls the experience because you are waiting for it to recharge. Constantly having to grind and face the same enemy multiple times can also make the game a little repetitive.

Final Thoughts

Pokémon Quest has a few cool ideas and concepts that I really liked. The combat is not bad and can be engaging at points. The game has a fair bit of micromanaging like cooking, leveling up Pokémon through training, mixing and matching expedition teams, and mixing and matching power stones.

However, Pokémon Quest can also get a little repetitive at points and the annoying charge meter can stall the experience. I also appreciate how I have not felt the need to spend cash; however, the progression can slow down at points.

Overall Pokémon Quest is not a bad game; yet, it does have a few issues. It’s nice that Pokémon Quest is also free-to-play. But while the Nintendo Switch is portable, a smartphone is far more portable than a Nintendo Switch. Seeing as Pokémon Quest was meant to be played in small bursts, it seems like it might flourish better on a smartphone. While the touchscreen is not bad on the Nintendo Switch, a touchscreen on a smartphone generally exceeds it. I feel like Pokémon Quest will do better when it hits the Apple and Android stores.

What are your thoughts on Pokémon Quest? What do you like or hate about Pokémon Quest? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more content!

Several engaging ways of micromanaging (EX: cooking in the base-camp)
I have not felt the need to spend cash
Game-play/combat can be fun at points
A simple game that is easy to pick up
Can get repetitive at points
the charge meter
progression can stall at points
Feels like it would be better on a smartphone seeing as how a smartphone has a better touchscreen

Review Summary

Pokémon Quest is not a bad game; yet, it does have a few issues. Pokémon Quest does a great job of creating several engaging ways of micromanaging, creating sometimes engaging combat, all while creating a simple game that is easy to pick up. Quest’s biggest problem, however, is the repetitiveness, the annoying charge meter, and progression that can stall the fun. In the end, Pokémon Quest is a fair game and it’s free-to-play. It might be worth your time checking out Pokémon Quest.

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