Pokémon Dream Radar is a poor AR game dressed up in a Pokémon suit, like a trainee dental nurse cosplaying as Pikachu. Before getting into this, you need to know whether you enjoy AR gimmicks and whether you enjoy Pokémon or not; if you’re not too fond of either of those it’s probably better to avoid this, unless playing things you don’t like is your thing.
If you’re still interested, though, then you might be glad to know that, like all AR games, the gameplay augments reality. Clouds appear in front of you in the environment, as poor two-dimensional sprites on an (often low resolution) real-world background, which you can thank the 3DS’ camera for.[drop]And, much like (almost) all Pokémon games, the game allows you to catch Pokémon and collect various items. Monsters are found in special, shiny versions of the clouds. You’ll have to hit these with your beam – which fires in the centre of the screen where you’re aiming – and then chase the escaped Pokémon around the room, tapping the A button in order to either catch it or collect the item it drops.
Standard pink clouds, however, will release a batch of Dream Orbs, which you’ll have to catch in quick succession in order for more to spawn from the final orb you shoot, continuing on until you either miss or your reactions are too slow. These orbs are the game’s currency, with which you can buy upgrades to your beam, so you can fire faster; scope, which will allow for more clouds to appear on your screen; or energy, which gives you longer to catch any given Pokémon.
You’re also able to buy power-ups such as Vortexes to hold the Pokémon in place, making them easier to catch, or a Dragnet to slow the Pokémon down. These can be useful for the faster Pokémon but they’re not really necessary – you should be able to catch everything without worrying about power-ups.
It’s a game of patience, however – you’ll have to wait upwards of an hour for all of the clouds to respawn, though you’re able to use Play Coins (which you receive for walking a certain amount of steps with your 3DS in standby) to respawn all of the clouds at once.[drop2]Collected Pokémon and items can be transferred very easily to Black or White 2, which is actually quite impressive considering that they’re DS games, although trading functionality in Pokémon games always works very smoothly.
The biggest attraction of Dream Radar, perhaps, is the various rare Pokémon you can collect. Some of these are unobtainable in Black and White 2 and there’s even a few extremely rare legendaries that you’re unable to get anywhere else, namely the new forms of Tornadus, Thundurus and Landorus.
Otherwise, though, it’s a repetitive, poorly designed game with little reward if you’re not an avid Pokémon player. It soon becomes a chore as you have to collect many orbs before unlocking the rare Pokémon or finding one of your favourites – there’s little variation in the levels since you’re always just shooting clouds. This feels more like a taster of a mini-game in an upcoming Pokémon 3DS title, rather than a standalone game.
- Can transfer Pokémon to Black and White 2 very easily.
- Rare new forms of legendary Pokémon.
- It’s hardly innovative in the world of AR games.
- Even for the low price, it doesn’t feel like it should be a standalone game.
- It soon becomes repetitive and much of a chore just to get exclusive Pokémon.
- The game could have had various levels, making it feel less barebones.
If you feel like you absolutely need some of the Pokémon included in Dream Radar in your life, then you may want to trawl through this game to get them but if you’re looking for a fun, bite-sized Pokémon-themed game, then look elsewhere. Dream Radar isn’t a fun game, it’s a tedious platform for collecting extra Pokémon for Black and White 2.