Main-series Pokémon games tend to follow the same basic formula. You get your starter Pokémon, travel around to beat all the Pokémon Gyms, battle your rival several times, fight an evil team along the way, and eventually face the Elite Four and the Champion. Different games have different twists on the formula, such as Gold/Silver/Crystal opening up a second region to explore in the post-game, Black/White putting a stronger emphasis on the plot, and X/Y giving the protagonist a group of friends, but the basic progression is the same.
Yet Pokémon games also have a lot of side content and mini-games. They rarely reappear in later generations, but let’s take a look at a few we’d love to see return in Pokémon Sun and Moon.
Contests appeared in Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald, and the remakes Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. They returned in a slightly different format in Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum. Pokémon would be judged based on Coolness, Beauty, Cuteness, Cleverness, or Toughness, with different ways to increase your Pokémon’s appeal depending on the round.
Diamond, Pearl, and Platinum featured large underground areas for you to explore. While there, you could mine for items (including fossils, heart scales, and other valuable items) in a mini-game reminiscent of Minesweeper and Battleship. If you hit the wrong spots of the wall too many times, it would collapse and your game would end. The Underground also let players build Secret Bases, personalized spaces other players could visit, and had several multiplayer elements.
In HeartGold and SoulSilver, you could have your Pokémon participate in an athletic competition called the Pokéathlon. It made use of the touchscreen and included events like sumo wrestling, snowball fights, relay races, and more.
While the Japanese versions of HeartGold and SoulSilver had slot machines in the Game Corner, other versions had a mini-game that was arguably more fun: Voltorb Flip, which presented you with a grid of hidden numbers and Voltorbs. Your goal was to flip the cards with numbers on them, and avoid the Voltorb cards, making it similar to Minesweeper and Picross.
These are only a few of the mini-games Pokémon has used in the past. Of all of them, the one we’d love to see return the most is the Underground. Which would you like to see in Pokémon Sun and Moon?
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