Nintendo unveiled Pokemon Mini at their show in Westminster last September, and we were instantly impressed with what they'd managed to squeeze in to such a tiny package.
|The tiny 70 gram device is feature packed, with built in vibration, speaker, infra-red port, shock sensor, direction pad, A and B buttons plus a side C button, power and reset, cartridge port at the back which has a locking device, along with a battery backup, and a clock/stopwatch feature. The display is similar to a mobile phone screen, but very clear and easy to see from all angles, even in quite poor lighting.|
Nintendo's tiny new toy is similar in style and size to a Tamagotchi, but much more fun and not half as annoying - as it won't wake you up in the middle of the night, unless you set the alarm clock to do so!
Pokemon Mini comes in a choice of three colours (blue, green or purple), and offers a selection of games with the included "Party" cartridge - further games are available at £14.99 each, and come on the smallest cartridges we've ever seen, and not much larger than a pound coin.
Pokemon Party Mini comes bundled with the device, and features seven games - rocket start, baseline judge, ricochet dribble, dance delight, boxing frenzy, speedy fake out, and battlefield - the last two being multiplayer via the infra-red communications port on the top of the Pokemon Mini.
Our favourite game from the Party cartridge has to be the boxing frenzy, which involves you shaking the Pokemon Mini until the vibrate kicks in, and doing this three times to get a total score - keep shaking whilst the vibrate is going, and you'll wave good-bye to the points that you've just built up, so it requires both skill and quick reactions.
Some of the other games seem a bit odd, and quite basic, although there's plenty on offer and something for everyone. Each game has a "how to play" function, which guides you through what buttons you need to press, and the Pokemon Mini comes with an instruction manual for both the device and the included cartridge - in fact, 3 versions of each manual, making the box weigh considerably more than the game, unit and battery!
Extra cartridges in the form of Pokemon Pinball Mini, which features over 90 screens of pinball action, Pokemon Zany Cards, and Pokemon Puzzle Collection are also available. We were sent the Pinball game, and it's enjoyable, although not quite as much fun as some of the Party games, as you've just got the pinball and no variation, so if you get a bit bored with playing pinball, you're not going to want to keep playing, although once completed you do get to unlock lots of bonus extras. Unlike the Party game cartridge, there's no multiplayer support.
At the time of writing this review, our local Woolworths were selling the Pokemon Mini, and games, for £5 off the RRP - if you want one, Woolworths might be the place to head for.
Pokemon Mini is sheer proof that Nintendo know how to make an enjoyable game, even though it's only got black and white graphics, basic sound, and basic gameplay features. If you're not a fan of the Pokemon franchise, then don't be put off - in fact, Nintendo could have nearly called it Game Boy Mini - as there's plenty of fun to be had, Pokemon fan or not.Overall score: 8 out of 10
Players: 1 (multiplayer via extra Pokemon Mini devices)
Colours: Blue, Green or Purple
Recommended Price: £39.99 (games £14.99)
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