Pokemon Quest is an official free to play mobile Pokemon Company game where you explore an island using a pack of pokemons that run around and defeat enemies automatically. By doing so, they find items to equip and food to cook in order to attract more pokemons for your roster. You can customize your base camp, complete quests and achievements and more. I think it's well made but I got stopped by an energy timer the moment I started really getting into it, which soured my opinion a bit. Combine that with the extremely simple and borderline boring battle system, and you have an okay game that won't steal any mainline franchise pokemon fans.

You start by picking a pokemon from the usual suspects as your starter. Pokemons have health and attack, which you can increase by equipping stones in a grid that resembles a bingo board where you unlock squares progressively (and get bonuses if you manage to complete lines). These stones can have rarities had special effects and are obtained by defeating enemies. Pokemons also have one or two special moves with various effects, like dealing damage around them, increasing their attack, shooting a powerful projectile, etc. You can upgrade those with special items as well. You also gain food that you need to mix in a cauldron and wait for a certain number of battles, after which you'll get a random new pokemon based on what you used. So far, everything is fine.

The problems start with the battles themselves; You can't do much in them. The most you can do is hit buttons to tell your pokemons to do certain attacks, there's also a button to force them to scatter, it's not very interactive and I wish you could move them and target enemies for them. You can enable auto-fight, which automatically picks special moves for you, but removes the option to scatter, so it's one or the other. It's a bit difficult to say if type advantages/disadvantages are at play - I kinda wish there were 'super effective' messages - and you just have to hope your creatures dodge hits at the right moment, often by dumb luck. The game gives you a value rating of your team's strength, which you can use to determine if you'll succeed in a given map. While the first levels aren't too difficult, whenever a pokemon dies, they just come back after a short while.

The campsite decoration feels a bit useless; you get small bonuses for placing new statues, like allowing pokemons under a certain level to gain more experience, and the currency you need to buy more is doled very slowly through quests and achievements (but mostly real money transactions) so I never felt like it really impacted gameplay for me. I kinda got into the groove of just watching my pokemons defeat wave after wave of wild encounters, like if it was an idle game, and I unlocked new maps and I almost was ready to get more visitors to my camp via the cooking pot; Then the game hit me with the energy timer and I came back to reality; Pokemon Quest is well made, but I'm not invested in Pokemon itself enough for me to want to play that kind of free to play title anymore.

AuthorJérémie Tessier
Categories3/5, iOS, RPG