Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky

  • Random dungeons... if that's your thing
  • Must be a reason it has survived this long
  • The sprites are okay
  • Completely archaic gameplay
  • The whole thing could be done on a GBA
  • Just boring to play

Hurrah, it’s time to become a Pokemon again! After answering questions on such varied subjects as how we feel about school and what we’d do if a TV crew asked to interview us, we were transformed into a Mudkip and sent off into the land where Pokemon live free from human interference. We’re sure we’ve been here before…

Explorers of Sky is this year’s companion piece to the Explorers of Time/Darkness double bill we were treated to in 2008. Those titles weren’t exactly the cream of the Poke-crop, but Sky promises new features, new chapters and a deeper look at this parallel universe populated by sentient Pokemon.

Of course it’s built on the same old Mystery Dungeon formula – one that might have seemed fresh and unusual when it first appeared in the early 1990s, but which is getting creakier with every new installment. There must have been at least 20 of these things over the years, featuring various themes and exactly the same dungeon-traipsing core gameplay.

You get dropped into a randomly generated dungeon, built over several floors and populated by monsters. Each time you take a step, the monsters take a step until they collide with you and a turn-based fight takes place. There are a limited number of moves you can assign to each button, and the events of the battle are relayed in super boring text-o-vision. You gain experience, you move on and eventually you find the treasure and escape.

Above ground, there’s a story about Pokemon turning evil and stealing things from each other. There are entire villages where Pokemon families live in shacks and run businesses and send you off on quests that always involve fighting your way through the basement of yet another random dungeon.

It looks very much like the kind of thing you could create with some sort of game-maker program. Feed it some graphics, write a bit of text and press the ‘generate game’ button. As if by magic, a Mystery Dungeon appeared!

It’s amazing that Nintendo allow their biggest property to be used in this manner. Of course it sells well and it’s perfectly playable, in a completely mindless way, but it’s a phenomenally weedy game. The proper Pokemon titles are in a completely different league.

Oct 22, 2009

More Info

Release date: Oct 12 2009 - DS (US)
Available Platforms: DS
Genre: Role Playing
Published by: Nintendo
Developed by: Chunsoft
Franchise: Pokemon
ESRB Rating:
Everyone: Mild Cartoon Violence
PEGI Rating:
Rating Pending



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  • mikeyb52 - December 8, 2010 2:01 a.m.

    i just started playing and i was wondering can your partner evovle and can u evovle?I also have another question,can u have more than 2 pokemon on ur exploration team and if you can how
  • SeniorDingDong - September 26, 2010 9:32 a.m.

    Its not that anyone cares now, but: -> for those who know the game, Sky made a lot of improvements, however full price is still a rip off. Get it used, like me. -> its story is far superior compared to most of Nintendos other current games -> the freely talking and acting Pokemon with true personalities are much more interesting -> about 40 hours of story driven gameplay, about 80 hours to rank up completely, no idea how long it takes to get and do everything here -> you can do a "soft-restart" ingame on four special islands -> unlockable hardcore dungeons -> if you are a grinding and party building fanatic (like me) this is your thing
  • jscriber100 - September 18, 2010 11:58 a.m.

    the only major difference is that u get get to go to shamin village near the end of the game.
  • Spartan11794 - June 7, 2010 7:08 a.m.

    This person sucked at rating, Sky made an ass ton of improvements over the last two
  • GameManiac - October 28, 2009 2:27 a.m.

    (God! I'm always forgetting SOMETHING!) This game will pass the time until HeartGold and SoulSilver come out (as well as a third game on the Wii...but I won't tell.)
  • Pry0citer - October 25, 2009 10 p.m.

    ehh, Ill buy it. Im kind of a major fan.
  • secretsearcher - October 25, 2009 6:35 p.m.

    I like this series. Call me crazy if you want :P
  • aion7 - October 25, 2009 7:26 a.m.

    What I find funny is how the whole mystery dungeon series is based on severely watering down the Roguelike genre, and people actually pay money for it. reCAPTCHA: 1880's tallyhos, what a sweet band name
  • GameManiac - October 25, 2009 5:36 a.m.

    If you stick with a franchise, you evenyually grow fond of it. Enough said.
  • Anonymous93 - October 24, 2009 11:46 a.m.

    Nobodys here cause the game is shit and only die hard fans would check a 5/10 game while browsing a website filled with more awesome stuff than this. I'm here cause I'm bored and have read everything else this site has.
  • GameManiac - October 24, 2009 5:28 a.m.

    Hello? Is anybody here? ... I dust wanted to say that this is my very first TRUE #1. ... ... ... Seriously, where is everybody?
  • GameManiac - October 24, 2009 1:24 a.m.

    Ehh... The Mystery Dungeon spin-offs are only for the die-hard fans. ... ... ... ...... ......LIKE ME!