Since it was first launched in 1996, the Pokémon franchise has become an international success with children and adults alike. The in-play action centres around colourful creatures called Pokémon, which live with humans and in the wild. Players can choose a range of activities, from training a Pokémon to cataloguing the wild types and taking part in competitions. Pokémon is relatively gentle, with an emphasis on fair play and companionship.
This hotukdeals buyers guide will introduce the Pokémon franchise, its history, games, and merchandise, as well as offer some tips about finding the right products. You will also find handy information about how to save money on your Pokemon next purchase by using the hotukdeals Pokémon listings.
What Does Pokemon Mean?
Pokémon is simply short for Pocket Monsters. The Pokémon universe began in the imagination of Games Freak CEO Satoshi Tajiri, who enjoyed collecting and studying mini-beasts as a child. This interest matured into a passion for software development and his love of insects inspired him to create a title based on pocket-sized monsters, or Pokémon. The original Pokémon Red and Green for the Game Boy were released by Nintendo in 1996. Their success meant that cartoons, films and other video games soon followed, most of which were published by Nintendo.
More recently, Pokémon came in app form to smartphone users, meaning for the first time, Pokemon fans could carry their Pokédex around in their pocket. Pokémon Go first took the world by storm in 2016 using augmented reality to create a truly immersive Pokemon game.
Games in the Pokémon Universe
In all, there have been more than one hundred Pokémon releases over various consoles and operating systems. This is a list of the most recent and most notable titles, and the platforms they are available on.
Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity – This 3D world is unusual because it contains Pokémon that speak during adventures, players can even work towards becoming one of the monsters themselves. In the titular Mystery Dungeon, you’ll search for Pokémon, treasure and bonus features. Use the 3DS camera to scan everyday objects and gain entrance into previously unexplored areas of the landscape. As the console is Wi-Fi enabled, up to four players can link up and work together. Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity was released in 2013 for the 3DS.
Pokémon Rumble U – Rumble U was released in 2013 for the Wii U, players can battle with 100 different Pokémon captured from different areas. You’ll find a variety of battle arenas, each containing specific challenges and a Boss to defeat before you can move on. As you progress through the levels, Pokémon you have previously taken down become your allies and fight for you when fresh battles begin. Players use the GamePad controls of their Wii U to tap a spot in the arena and start battling.
Pokémon X and Y – Generally considered as much faster and slicker than its predecessors, Pokémon X and Y is a better looking, more social and a more complex game. Created for the 3DS and launched in 2013, it was well received by gamers and also critics, eventually becoming the best-selling Nintendo game for the 3DS and shifting more than 16 million copies. It draws on previous titles, bringing in numerous creatures with far more sophisticated animation and extra regions to discover. Better online features also give X and Y more functionality.
Pokémon Battle Trozei – A different take on the usual Pokémon theme, the 3DS title, Battle Trozei, pits players against numerous quick-fire puzzles. Capturing a wild Pokémon is called Trozei, and here you’ll have to net every last one to become a winner. As the wild creatures can fight back, the gameplay becomes more complicated, and players who lose all their energy have to start over. There are more than 700 different Pokémon in this 2014 release, including some which were created for the X and Y title.
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire – Eleven years after these two iconic games were originally released, the characters were updated in 2014 for the 3DS, and given more playable features. The action unfolds in Hoenn, an island region with blue seas and an active volcano. Each Pokémon has a different storyline, as players attempt to locate them and learn more about their powers. More human characters appear in Hoenn, most notably Professor Birch, who helps you meet your Pokémon companion for the adventure.
Pokémon Picross – A collaboration with the picture puzzle title Picross may seem like an odd choice, but in this 2015 3DS title it adds a great deal of content to the regular Pokémon line-up. The new problems are very re-playable, although fans of Picross may not be satisfied with the complexity on offer in comparison with the original version. In Pokémon Picross, once you have managed to solve a puzzle, the creature it depicts is added to your gang.
Pokémon Shuffle - An entirely new title created in 2015 for iOS and Android, as well as the handheld 3DS console, Pokémon Shuffle is essentially a puzzle game which also involves Pokémon battles. Players line up three or more of their creatures to battle wild Pokémon. You can pick it up and put it down quickly, but there are collecting and levelling up elements which will keep many players hooked. For the mobile version, more stages are planned for future updates.
Pokkén Tournament – Pokkén Tournament was created by The Pokémon Company in association with BANDAI Namco Entertainment, it combines characters and gameplay from the Tekken series with Pokémon. There’s an impressive creature list, new modes of battle and fresh fighting sequences. The region of Ferrum is home to the action and competitors fight here to win the Ferrum League. The focus is much more on the battle element of Pokémon, and using a Wi-Fi connection you can also take on human opponents. Pokkén Tournament was released on the Wii U in 2016 and the Nintendo Switch in 2017.
Pokémon Go – After creating a massive stir on its initial release in 2016, Pokémon Go has managed to maintain most of that initial goodwill. It was developed by augmented reality company Niantic Inc. and is a location-based multiplayer, featuring all the creatures from the original games. Players use their smartphone camera, along with a GPS signal to track down wild Pokémon. Appearing in bedrooms, streets and workplaces in the real world, these creatures need to be captured by the player, or Trainer, just like in the classic versions.
Pokémon Sun and Moon – Pokémon Sun and Moon are an inventive pair of 3DS games released in 2016. They celebrate what is great about the series, and add a few extras into the mix. Both roleplaying and battling are treated with equal importance in this exotic adventure, making it great fun to play and satisfying to complete. The new location is a tropical island named Alola and in a fun twist, you’ll move through non-combat quizzes and hunts to strengthen your creatures, before taking on opponents. Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon was realised a year later, enhancing the earlier game.
Pokémon: Let's Go – Pokémon: Let's Go is the first Pokémon title for the Switch console, and utilises both the next generation system's graphical power and dual screen setup. But at its heart, this game is actually a return to the very earliest Pokémon games. Let's Go updates Pokémon Yellow, taking players back to the Kanto Region, where they must explore towns and forests, seeking out over 150 Pokémon for their own collection. However, there's one big addition to the action, aside from graphics. 2018's edition is fully compatible with Pokémon Go. So if you catch Pokémon in the real world via your smartphone, you can load them into Pokémon: Let's Go and train them up in the game.
Classic Pokémon Games
For retro gamers with an old-school console, there is a diverse library of Pokémon titles to explore, here are some of the most outstanding older titles.
Pokémon Red and Green – In this first ever Pokémon outing from 1996, the character is controlled from above as he moves through the Kanto region of a fictional location. The aim is to become a master at battles and eventually triumph at the Indigo League. To achieve this, players have to defeat eight powerful Gym Leaders, as well as tackling the Elite Four, the area’s top trainers. A side objective involves capturing all of the 150 Pokémon. The two games have the same plot, but both are needed to obtain every creature. A Link Cable was used to connect the two Game Boy consoles for trades or battles.
Pokémon Stadium – Nintendo 64 players use a 3D battling system, fighting with the 151 creatures that populated three previous Game Boy titles; Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow released in the late 1990s. With an accessory called a Transfer Pak, it was possible for people to upload their favourite creatures from the older games. This was a massive hit on the Nintendo 64, with one million copies bought during its year of release, 2000.
Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire – The graphics were updated for the Game Boy Advance in 2003, with better looking environmental effects and clearer audio, as well as more creatures. Battles also evolved to support two-on-two rounds, although the gameplay was similar enough to ensure seasoned fans felt at home. The player could look around the region's towns, capturing Pokémon and solving puzzles. In both titles, greater attention to detail, like ripples on a pond and richer colours, marked a huge step forward for Nintendo.
The Pokémon Merchandise Collection
Pokémon is still one of the most popular franchises in the world, there are items of merchandise for fans of all ages, featuring objects, characters and themes from the video game.
Clothing – You can shop for hats, socks, t-shirts and gloves with Pokémon branding. Adult sizes are as widely available as those for children, and you can find more unusual designs at online specialists like Red Bubble.
The Trading Cards – There are many different decks of trading cards and these can be used to compete against other people in a game. Most decks are made up of 60 cards and some come with metallic coins, damage counters, and a box to keep them in. Certain cards are rare and some fans simply enjoy amassing a collection of cards, without ever playing the game.
Plush Toys – Plush toys of well-known characters like Pikachu, Snorlax or Rowlet are available from many toy stores. These are great for kids who just want to cuddle up to their favourite Pokémon, and can also be used to act out scenes from the game.
Poke Ball – Designed to look like the Poke Balls used by Trainers during gameplay, these hardwearing plastic versions contain a small Pokémon figure. When thrown to the ground they pop open and the Pokémon springs out.
Action Figures – Whether you are looking for a collectable figure to put on display, or a playset that’s suitable for younger Pokémon trainers, there are plenty to choose from. Multi-figure packs often contain all the monsters found in one specific game or region of the game, or you can go for single Legendary Figures, which depict the more powerful characters.
What Makes Pokémon Gameplay Unique?
Although each Pokémon title is slightly different, in most games you play as a Trainer. You’ll be tasked with travelling between destinations to build up your experience of catching and training Pokémon. Then, when you and your trainee are ready, you can battle against the Pokémon of other Trainers, to work your way up the Pokémon League and become a champion. Despite the competitive nature of the gameplay, there are no moments of obvious violence and you won’t see any characters die in battle.
Once you’ve settled in, there are lots of secondary events and activities to pursue. Many titles give you the chance to fish, participate in tournaments and landscape your game.
Pokémon Online Reviews
At IGN, the 2016 release Pokémon Sun has an excellent rating of 9.0 out of 10 from reviewers and 9.1 from the website’s community contributors. Over at Metacritic, it attracted a user score of 7.8 out of 10 and a slightly more generous critic score of 87 out of 100.
Pokémon Detective Pikachu: Official Trailer
Some Tips on Finding Pokémon Offers
You can shop for retro Pokémon games which are no longer in production at online marketplaces like eBay. Game also has some titles for older consoles and Amazon sells a range of collectables. To browse newer titles or recent releases, you can visit Tesco, Asda, or Simply Games. HMV have a selection of Pokémon films, while toy shops like Smyths Toys Store stocks everything from stationary, to headphones and Monopoly games inspired by the franchise. Alternatively, shop direct at Nintendo, where there’s a great choice of Pokémon merchandise, including games, toys and branded consoles.
Big name stores like Argos, Very and John Lewis hold annual summer, Bank Holiday and Christmas sales, during which you may be able to find Pokémon deals in amongst their reduced games. On Black Friday, stores across the country lower prices in many departments, including gaming. Currys, Bargain Games UK, and Smyths Toys have all featured cheap Pokémon games in past years.
Find the Best Pokemon Games, Toys, and Accessories Deals at hotukdeals
Pokémon is a gaming franchise with spin-off toys, clothes and collectables published by Nintendo. Shoppers can look out for the cheapest place to buy Pokémon at hotukdeals, we bring together online and high street reductions from the brand on our frequently updated page. So check out the hotukdeals Pokémon listings for the Pokémon deals.