29 – Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Red/Blue Rescue Team (Game Boy Advance – Red, Nintendo DS – Blue)
The start of the Pokemon Mystery Dungeon titles, Red Rescue Team and Blue Rescue Team are about as mediocre as any of them. You play a human turned into a Pokemon, and must team up with other Pokemon to help friends who are in trouble, take on jobs as a team, and stop some dangerous antics wrought by legendary Pokemon and your evil rivals, “Team Meanies”. Yeah. That’s their name.
The games are dungeon crawlers, but relatively uninspired ones. Each dungeon has a randomized layout, and the goal is to either complete a specific objective (such as rescuing a Pokemon, escorting someone, or delivering an item) or clear all the floors. Wild Pokemon will challenge the player and their party as you travel, opening up a turn-based battle system using each Pokemon’s four moves or a basic attack. There are no puzzles, just a basic random maze and various encounters. Pokemon also get hungry as they travel and have to eat to continue.
The cheesy story and simplistic gameplay make it obvious that this and all subsequent Mystery Dungeon titles are geared toward younger players. Which is completely fine. The Mystery Dungeon titles remain a cute and easy way to get kids interested both in Pokemon and in dungeon crawlers and roguelikes. Even if experts don’t enjoy it, Mystery Dungeon titles are still fair games.
Next: #28 - Pokemon Ranger