Pokémon Rumble Rush

Pokémon Rumble Rush is a laid back action game, that’s arrived on the App Store just in time for these hot Summer days and nights, when we can barely function.  

    If That Game Company’s Sky: Children of The Light is my retreat right now, then Pokémon Rumble Rush is the light entertainment I choose to take with me.  Mostly because it requires very little effort to play, and it’s too hot at the moment to focus on just about anything.  Of course, it helps I'm finding it fun too.  Else, I’d likely not bother, even with this.

Quick back story: Let's just say, I wouldn't call myself a Pokémon Trainer.  Never played any of the original games, collected the cards or watched the animated tv series.  I was too old to appreciate them back in the day, I guess.  I didn’t own a GameBoy until much later than 1996, and was probably still playing Super Mario All-Stars on my Super NES around that time.
    That being said, I have dabbled in Pokémon since The Pokémon Company have brought some of their titles to mobile; GO, Shuffle, Quest, even Majikarp Jump and I’m a fan of this game, so am not totally new to the franchise.  

Once known as Pokéland, Rumble Rush is a casual game you can play with one hand and I’ve even read somewhere, you can’t lose.
    Your adventure begins with a fairly lengthy tutorial that lasts throughout your encounters with the first five or six bosses.  Then, you are pretty much left to your own devices.  As tutorials go, I found it to be a just about right.  It wasn’t too intrusive, yet felt more of a walkthrough and by the time I’d finished it, I felt equipped enough to go on alone.  Before I go more into detail of the game itself, just thought I’d also mention it’s free-to-play and the in-app purchases do not appear to be obligatory nor so ridiculous either, so it’s definitely worth checking out, even if you’ve only the slightest bit of interest.

Like every other Pokémon game?  The premise here is to collect and battle your Pocket Monsters.  
    Everything else, aside from the familiar faces, are possibly unique attributes of Rumble Rush that set it aside from all other editions in the franchise.  It’s probably not the best version, and for hardcore supporters, arguably not even an authentic experience, but it is an easy-going adaptation and, I feel, a nice introduction.

The main game in Rumble Rush is Adventure mode.  Here, you auto-travel via hot-air balloon to different areas within maps.  When you land, your Pokémon moves automatically.  All you have to do, is tap the screen to attack, and swipe to dodge attacks.  Holding the screen performs a more powerful attack and there is also a dedicated button to use your Summoning Power, which I’ll cover a little later.   
    On each map there are bosses to battle.  But, before you engage in combat with them, there are certain sets of requirements to fulfil before you become eligible, and they see you as a worthy opponent.     
    These could be catching a Pokémon of a certain CP (Combat Power) level, having a required number of the same Pokémon in your Dexes or upgrading a skill (which I’ll also come to shortly.)  
These tasks can all be met by searching areas of the map and discovering new Pokémon to battle.  To search, you need a feather, which is sometimes dropped by Pokémon you’ve defeated.  They and their minions also drop Pokécoins and sometimes even Ore.  Ore can be processed at the refinery.  More on that too in a bit.
    Each area appears to be inhabited by its own species of Pokémon and you can revisit areas to farm.  
It’s fun discovering and capturing new Pokémon and I think that, and the collecting aspect might be what will give the game its longevity.  The only downside of Rumble Rush, at least for me, is the fact you need to be connected to servers to play.  I get there's Wi-Fi almost everywhere these days, and that we have our mobile data, but the choice to play offline and then upload your progress when you next had a connection, would have been a welcomed feature.  Talking of which, there is a nice option to toggle the status bar, so you can keep an eye on the time or your battery without exiting the app.

Given it's a simple game, there's some depth involved.  Earlier, I mentioned Ores and Summoning Power.  So, when you win a battle, you win Pokémon and loot that has been dropped by the Pocket Monsters; Pokécoins, sometimes a feather, and sometimes an Ore.  When you collect an Ore, you can process it in the Refinery.  Here it can be mined for Power Gears and Summon Gears.  Power Gears can be equipped and upgraded by any of your Pokémon, giving them new skills and moves, and helping to make them more powerful.  Summon Gears can also be equipped.  I referred to the dedicated Summoning Power button earlier.  Well, once you've equipped a Pocket Monster with a Summon Gear, with the tap of that button they can summon another monster with a powerful attack.  This comes in useful when battling bosses, and can help give you an edge in combat when it all gets a bit too claustrophobic.  The only caveats here, are that mining Ores takes time, and so you may have to wait a while to reap your rewards, plus that Special Power button needs powering up.  I mean, it's easy enough, there's a meter that fills as you defeat monsters, and it doesn't take too long before it lights up and is ready to be tapped. 

As well as the main Adventure mode, there are challenges and daily tournaments (Rumble Rush mode) and also more challenges, which you can complete and compete in to win more Pokemon, P-coins and diamonds, which can be used to upgrade your Gears.  There is a shop, but I’m finding I am earning enough of the in-game currency by playing so far.  That said, if I continue to enjoy game, I might just purchase the starter pack to support the developers and give me a boost.

Menus are easy to navigate and everything's laid out neatly.  Included, are a comprehensive options menu and sections to view your Pokémon, Dexes and Gears.  So, you can keep check on who you've collected so far and if you've got the most powerful Gear equipped.  You can also switch Pokemon and Gear, should you find a more powerful one. 

You level up as you progress, and there looks to be some kind of co-op option, which I’ve not quite come to grips with yet.

Rumble Rush is visually and audibly what you’d come to expect from a The Pokémon Company.  It seems a fair free-to-play game.  It’s easily accessible (providing you’ve got a connection,) and it’s the most fun Pokémon game I’ve played so far.

“A new Pokémon appears!”

These Pocket Monster games.  They're like buses!  Pokémon Masters can now be pre-ordered on the App Store, and is expected to be released on the 29th of August.  Tons more information, gameplay trailers and even more links can be found over at and from pokémon.com


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