|Dev: Creatures, Inc.|
|Pub: The Pokémon Company/Nintendo|
|Release: October 6, 2012|
|Screen Resolution: N/A|
by Becky Cunningham
Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have been dishing out an ever-increasing number of side activities that link with the major Pokémon games they release. With the release of Black/White, they gave us a free Pokédex app on the 3DS, where we could see what we wished the Pokémon actually looked like in the game, as well as a Pokémon Dream World web game that allowed the player to obtain unique Pokémon in exchange for playing insipid minigames. Both of those programs were free of charge, but with Pokémon Black/White Version 2, Nintendo has decided it's time for us to pay up.
The main side-game that Nintendo is selling is the Pokémon Dream Radar, available for just a few bucks from the Nintendo 3DS E-Shop. The game promises to use some of the "coolest" features of the 3DS, allowing gamers to play a shooting game in order to obtain new Pokémon that can be transferred into Pokémon Black/White 2. Unfortunately, the Dream Radar is barely a step up from the free flash games found on Nintendo's web site, and fails to capture the imagination.
Upon starting up Pokémon Dream Radar, the player meets a Pokémon-style scientist who needs to gather Dream Orbs in order to study the place between dreams and reality where many Pokémon reside. What this means is that the game uses the 3DS camera so that the gameplay is overlaid onto the player's surroundings. Pink and yellow clouds appear in whatever the player's surroundings happen to be, and a reticule sits in the middle of the top screen. The player moves and tilts the 3DS in order to line the reticule up with a cloud and shoot it by pressing the A button.
Pink clouds always spit out dream orbs, which the player shoots to collect. Shooting them quickly enough yields more dream orbs, which must be shot even faster before they disappear. Yellow clouds have a chance to spit out a "Pokémon" (which looks like a large glowing orb) when shot. In order to capture the Pokémon, the player shoots it to slow it down, then has to keep pressing A rapidly while keeping the reticule centered on the moving Pokémon. A bar at the top of the screen needs to be filled with on-target button presses before a timer ticks down, and if that's done, the player is rewarded with a new Pokémon or with the item the Pokémon was carrying.
That's about it; the entire Pokémon Dream Radar game boils down to spinning around in place and shooting stuff with the A button. As the player racks up Dream Orbs, they can be spent to upgrade the number of clouds that can spawn at once and the gun's ability to capture Pokémon. The clouds recharge at a rate of one per five minutes, so the player can go back to the game about once an hour (or more once the number of clouds is upgraded) if desired.