Unlike the Pokémon games in the main series and yet similar in essence, it guides you through exciting and randomly generated dungeons.

Theft is not worth it. A lesson that nobody really needs to teach me. And yet I was curious what would happen if I let go of the Kecleon store, which appears now and then in dungeons of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX. I shouldn’t have tried it. My attempt ended with Kecleon beating my entire team and newly recruited Pokémon in the dungeon within a few blows. The end of the song: all new Pokémon gone, as well as all items and all the money that I was carrying with me. Ouch.

Okay, neither is theft in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. Unless you’re strong enough later in the game. Maybe then. Until then, Kecleon prefers to be friendly and pay for your goods. Meanwhile, deal with the Pokémon that make life difficult for you in the dungeons of this Pokémon offshoot. A game that is not completely new. It is a remake of the classics Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Team Red (Game Boy Advance) and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Team Blue (Nintendo DS).

For the new edition on the Switch, Nintendo has significantly spruced up the game and relies on a chic 2D drawing style that suits rescue team DX well – whether in handheld mode or on the big TV. This looks as beautiful as it is cute. But what is this exactly? Definitely not a classic Pokémon game as you know it from the main series, although it shares certain aspects with this one.

With your rescue team you travel through dungeons to save other Pokémon. (Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX – Test)

The biggest difference – or one of the biggest – is that you are not playing a human being as a coach and you are not throwing Pokéballs around. Rather, a Pokémon is the main protagonist, humans appear only indirectly. And your task is nothing less than saving the world. Phew, don’t put any pressure! Together with your partner, you set up a rescue team that rescues other Pokémon in need.

And you end up in randomly generated dungeons that extend over different levels of floors. Here you fight on the one hand Pokémon that stand in your way, on the other hand you collect items. All of this is always associated with a risk. If you go down in combat and there is no hope of salvation, you will lose everything you currently carry with you. All items, all the money and the Pokémon previously recruited in the dungeon. And depending on the situation, that really hurts, for example when you have lots of useful items with you.

You’re constantly weighing whether it’s worth the risk of venturing further into the dungeon, exploring another room, and so on. Is it under certain circumstances, in other situations you get annoyed because you make mistakes – like my attempt to steal an item from the store, mentioned at the beginning. But you learn from it and do it better the next time you try it. This gives the game an exciting, unpredictable aspect. Your decisions are followed by direct consequences, good or bad.

It’s good that you can take precautions. At home in the home there is a bank and a warehouse where you can store items and money in a safe place so that you always have a supply in case of an emergency. Bit by bit you expand your rescue team by winning new Pokémon for your cause through the battles in the dungeons, buying camps for them and so on. The fights take place in a turn-based system that is different from the main games.

If you meet a Pokémon there, there will be an encounter in a separate battle screen, here everything takes place directly on the overview map. If you make a move, the opponents do the same, attacks follow attacks and so on. The right tactic is just as important here as familiarity with the subject matter – which types are effective against others, which items are effective and useful, etc. – which should not deter newcomers. On the contrary: At the beginning Pokémon Mystery Dungeon is a very beginner-friendly game. It slowly introduces you and over time and further boss opponents it gradually attracts you without overwhelming you.

The main story keeps you busy for a good 20 to 25 hours, depending on your speed, after which you can unlock numerous other dungeons, recruit Pokémon (including the first three generations), complete randomly generated missions … in other words: boredom comes so quickly not on. In contrast to the originals, Rescue Team DX also includes dazzling Pokémon as an additional incentive. A reason to put even more time into the game if that’s what you’re after.

You can store money and items at Pokémon Square and prepare for new trips. (Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX – Test)

Apart from that, some comfort functions have been added since the last versions. If you find it difficult to choose the right attack – Pokémon have up to four attacks as usual – simply press the A Button and the game will automatically select the right one. There is also an automatic movement that can be activated at the push of a button and guides you through the levels of the dungeons. If you meet an enemy, you regain control immediately. And if an opponent knocks you out, you have the option to let other players save you or to bail you out with your own rescue team so that nothing is lost.

What annoyed me so far was that I encountered several colorful Pokémon, but could not recruit them because my leader was not the Pokémon that made the final blow. Only if the current leader of the team knocks out an opponent is there a chance a Pokémon will join you. With the rarer shimmering specimens, I would have found it better if they were guaranteed to come to you, even if another team member carried out the final attack. This makes you all the more annoyed about a rare specimen that you may miss. Likewise, the music, which is quickly repeated in the dungeons, quickly becomes annoying, a little more variety wouldn’t have hurt here.

At the same time, these are the only major criticisms that I have. Apart from that, Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX is a nice game or remake. One that looks great and is an interesting change compared to the main games. It is fun to fight your way through the dungeons, at the same time your detours to the individual areas are always associated with risks, which creates tension. Finding the right team composition – here there are a maximum of three Pokémon per team – is just as exciting as in the main games, and in the end it’s all about one more thing: catching them all. It’s a Pokémon game, just a little different.