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Pokémon Rumble World 3DS Game Review

Reviewed by on May 10, 2016
Rating: 3 Star Rating

Pokémon Rumble World has gotten a full release! Kidzworld has played through and started catching em all! Read our 3DS Game review!

By: Max Cannon

Pokémon games are often criticized for being repetitive, so getting a spin-off like Pokémon Rumble World is satisfying, in a way. Regardless of feelings on the content, it's always fun to pick up a Pokémon game. Though the game definitely has its issues it changes the length of your play sessions from what you'd typically expect from a standard console or handheld game. 

A New Way To Play

Pokémon Rumble World on the Nintendo 3DS, is the full release of the original free-to-play game from 2015. You'll play as your Mii trainer living in a Pokémon kingdom. Your king loves Pokémon and encourages you to catch 'em all. However just as your Mii is an avatar of you, these Pokémon aren't quite "real" Pokémon in the game. These Pokémon are considered toys this time around and whenever you select which one to use a wind up key will turn your Pokémon on. 

Gameplay is pretty shallow this time around. You'll move through your levels as a Pokémon of your choice, in a sort of "Baby's First Dungeon Crawler" sort of way. You'll fight and capture smaller Pokémon and fight a giant Pokémon boss in the end of each level. Battles don't play out in the usual RPG, turn based, fights. Moving through deserts, beaches, forests and castles you'll take full control of your Pokémon with the circle pad and A or B will allow you to use different attacks. It's simple stuff.

The Pokémon King sitting next to his favorite Pikachu.The Pokémon King sitting next to his favorite Pikachu.Courtesy of Nintendo

It's not a visually amazing game, but it looks fine and it has that coveted Nintendo polish. It's charming and cute and you get the adorable squeaks and shouts of the Pokémon. And it's exciting whenever we get to play a game where you have full movement over a Pokémon rather than a menu of commands from a Pokémon trainer. Things are new here, for a Pokémon game, but they're pretty standard for anyone who has been playing mobile games in the past few years. With Nintendo's recent announcement of their plan to make more mobile games, I would say this is a pretty accurate representation of things to come from the company. 

And A New Way To Pay

Though it's now a full release, this game definitely has free-to-play elements in its bones. Free-to-play games are typically found on phones and are known for having microtransactions, a way to make small - real money - payments to progress through the game faster. Whenever you finish a level a timer will appear ranging from 15 minutes to nearly an hour, and you won't be able to play the level again until the timer runs out. Also you won't be able to unlock more levels until you replay those old levels several times.

You can play through Pokémon Rumble World slowly and steadily if you have the patience needed to wait out the timers. But you can also earn Poké Diamonds to speed up your wait, you can speed up that progression even faster by purchasing the diamonds from the Nintendo eShop in the "freemium" version. I don't believe breaking the bank is fully necessary in this full release as it was in its original free-to-play one which had a point where it became nearly impossible to progress without spending money. However it is definitely a time consuming ordeal if you want to get through it all, luckily short bursts of play and simple gameplay help the game.

Your Mii trainer can throw a little help to your playable Pokemon.Your Mii trainer can throw a little help to your playable Pokemon.Courtesy of Nintendo

A Fun Way To Pass The Time

Pokémon's simplicity could have been a negative and the timers preventing me from playing would also hurt the game, but when they are pressed together it works really well. The grind of catching Pokémon is fun in short 30 minute to hour long bursts while I play other games. If I wanted to wait for the oven to preheat it was a perfect time for me to play through a few levels. If I was waiting for my turn in the shower I could spend some of my earned Poké Diamonds.

The game works very, very well for a quick play session because of the simplicity of the gameplay. Attacks are simple and and reused by several Pokémon with varying degrees of success. Some attacks are hard to control - particularly one called "Stomp." Others won't work if an enemy is too close to you, for example if you shoot out a stream of fire and a baddie is right in front of you they will remain unharmed. Though those moments are few and far between they are certainly frustrating, but with short sessions I always move along and forget how annoyed I was when I was last playing.

The more you rank up the more you can customize. The more you rank up the more you can customize. Courtesy of Nintendo

You'll be replaying levels often by hopping onto a purchased, hot air balloon and taking to the skies. A slot machine style game will then pick from 3 potential levels with their own Pokémon available at each one. The frustration here would come from the randomness of the level selection, if you have all the Pokémon in 1 level you can wind up having to pointlessly replay that level, though I felt like the game was normally on my side with the selection. However, that earlier mentioned timer doesn't have your back. If you want one Pokémon from a particular level and the wrong level is chosen for you, you'll need to sit through a long timer to get another chance to catch it.

There's a strong emphasis on customization for your Mii character. You can unlock shirts, frames, and backgrounds to show off your Mii with streetpass. There's a strong social element to this game and you're rewarded for meeting other streetpassers with Poké Diamonds. You're gifted diamonds for trying out all sorts of things, in addition to the 40 free ones given to you every 24 hours. But you can really rake in a lot of Diamonds by taking your 3DS on a walk or bringing it to school with streetpass. 

Pokémon Rumble World Trailer


Final Thoughts

For all of its flaws and issues, the structure of Pokémon Rumble World makes up for any of the game's stumbles. I never thought I was bored with the game because its short play sessions keep it from feeling stale or repetitive, though the gameplay certainly is flawed.

It's a simple game, that I had a fun time playing with between doing day-to-day chores and playing other games. I feel like it would have been worth about the same price to pick up the free-to-play version rather than the retail one, so if you had played the game before there's not a lot of reason to pick up a physical copy. But if you had missed out on this game before and want to just play around for a little while I would definitely recommend picking this game up if you're a big Pokémon fan. If you don't care about the world move on, but as a potential diehard fan you would have an enjoyable time giving it a playthrough.


  • Simple Gameplay
  • Fun, In Short Bursts


  • Repetitive
  • Annoying Fight Moves

Pokémon  Rumble World Game Rating:3

Available for Nintendo 3DS

Pokémon Rumble World 3DS Box ArtPokémon Rumble World 3DS Box ArtCourtesy of Nintendo
Have Your Say!

Are you a Pokémon fan? Have you had a chance to play either version of Pokémon Rumble World? Are you looking forward to this or any other Pokémon game? Comment your thoughts below!