Top Ten: Pokémon Spin-Offs

We rank the ten best Pokémon spin-off games!

By Robert Marrujo. Posted 10/08/2013 09:00 2 Comments     ShareThis

10) Pokémon Puzzle League

Released: 2000
Nintendo 64

Pokémon Puzzle League is exactly what its title suggests– a mashup of Nintendo’s Puzzle League series and Game Freak’s beloved monster-catching franchise. While it’s easy to dismiss this game as Puzzle League with Pokémon window dressing, it’s really an unfair criticism. Pokémon Puzzle League made very creative and entertaining use of the Pokémon license, adding a sense of spectacle to Puzzle League that normally isn’t present. Players guided anime star Ash Ketchum and his crew of Pokémon as they challenged other trainers to bouts of Puzzle League. Victories begot badges, and once Ash had enough he got to face off against the mysterious Puzzle Master. This quest was the core of Pokémon Puzzle League, marked with wonderful FMV scenes that looked like they came straight from the anime. Along with the animation, the graphics were vivid and colorful, perfectly capturing the spirit of Pokémon.

Gameplay was identical to other Puzzle League games, but there were a variety of modes players could engage in, including a 3D mode where the playing field was within a large cylinder that needed to be continually rotated. Pokémon Puzzle League is a perfect example of how to merge two seemingly-dissimilar games into one great package. Fans looking for more should check out the Game Boy Color version of this game, called Pokémon Puzzle Challenge. While the high production values of the Nintendo 64 version are absent, Challenge‘s core gameplay remains the same as Pokémon Puzzle League and maintains its spirit in portable form!

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