4 Things You Need To Know About Pokémon: Super Mystery Dungeon

If you’ve ever wondered what Pokémon do when they’re not with their trainers, Pokémon: Super Mystery Dungeon on the Nintendo 3DS has the answers to all your burning questions. This game has you playing and interacting with Pokémon, with no humans in sight!

After a strangely metaphysical opening sequence, a brief personality quiz matches you up with the pocket monster that best suits you, and also one to be your best friend.

Like the other Mystery Dungeon games that came before it, this latest entry in the series is very different than your average Pokémon title. If you’ve never played one of these before, here’s what you can expect:

Shorter Levels


This isn’t your usual grind to find, fight, and capture Pokémon, train them, and watch them evolve. You’re now free from the pressure to “catch ‘em all.” Instead, you spend your time exploring dungeons, which are really just areas broken up into eight or nine floors. The goal on each floor is to find the stairs, but along the way you’ll pick up items, locate special blocks to heal your status conditions, and, of course, run into angry Pokémon who want to fight. The map feature is particularly helpful and is great for avoiding foes when you’re in a hurry—pathways and rooms appear on your lower screen as you traverse them and icons stand in for everything you’re likely to encounter.

Faster Fighting


Super Mystery Dungeon does away with that catchy little song and cut-scene you see before every battle; the fighting here is fast and furious. Each step counts as a turn and brings you closer to potential enemies roaming throughout the dungeons without warning. If one of them gets within a few steps of you, prepare to fight! This makes for overall faster gameplay and means you can be decimated in the blink of an eye. So keep your eye on your HP and watch out for your companions, too.

Rescue Teams


As with most Pokémon games, it ain’t really over until it’s over-over. Super Mystery Dungeon affords you multiple options to save yourself from a disastrous battle. The most amusing of these involves a trip to Pelipper Island, where you temporarily inhabit a different Pokémon and get teleported back to the dungeon to rescue yourself. It’s a challenge with limited items and a fair amount of retracing your steps, but you get to take two friends with you—so get ready for another personality quiz.

Side Quests


On top of exploring dungeons and working your way through the super adorable story line, there are all kinds of neat stuff to explore in the game. Since you can’t capture Pokémon, you’ll want to spend time making friends with them instead. You can do this once you become a member of the Expedition Society and receive a Connection Orb–a special device that allows you to make connections with Pokémon lost in various dungeons. Rescue them, make friends, and they’ll lead you to others. Plus, once you’re connected with a Pokémon, you can ask them to join you on your next expedition—even super powerful ones that are levels ahead of you. Nice!

You can catch Pokémon: Super Mystery Dungeon on the Nintendo 3DS starting today.