Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 34
  2. Negative: 5 out of 34
Buy On
  1. 100
    The lesson here is that just because the license is for kids, the game doesn't have to be. There’s a reason this sort of gameplay has been around for over 25 years: it works, whether you’re a green squirrel or an @. And Pokemon Mystery Dungeon is the game to prove it.
  2. With a decent story, interesting play mechanics, and a novel link/rescue system, it’s hard not to recommend this title for DS owners looking for a good RPG fix, especially since it’s got considerable longevity as well.
  3. 85
    You won't find a better handheld RPG so fitting for bite-size moments of play, and those cute 'n' marketable pocket monsters are only the icing on the cake.
  4. Graphically the DS version is only slightly better, but nothing that you will even notice unless you put them side by side. The one crucial advantage that the DS version holds over the GBA one is that it sounds much better. [JPN Import]
  5. Overall, it’s a satisfying Pokémon romp. The perspective is a little different but the addictive turn-based battles and exploration are in full effect and still lots of fun.
  6. 80
    It may confuse some and frustrate others, but its addictive nature should keep you hooked until you learn to appreciate the art of the dungeon crawl.
  7. Nintendo Power
    Mystery Dungeon is not perfect, but its robust and original aspects form a game more solid than many expected. [Nov. 2006, p.86]
  8. 75
    With it's focus on dungeon crawling, this is a diversion that you'll want to return to again and again — and believe me, there are a lot of Pokemon waiting to be rescued!
  9. Only the most diehard Pokemon fans should ever consider picking this game up. The gameplay isn’t especially interesting, the game makes poor use of the Nintendo DS hardware, and the presentation is seriously outdated.
  10. For one thing, storing and retrieving items is too much of a hassle. And second, whoever came up with the idea or permanently losing your valuables every time you die(which makes going back to finish the job much tougher)should have their head examined. [Nov. 2006, p.138]
  11. Ironically, it's a game that'll probably be criticised for not being the same game as before. But actually that's one of its strengths. Especially if, like me, you're a massive fan of Rogue.
  12. Official Nintendo Magazine UK
    Although the idea is interesting and the thought of being a Pokemon instead of training one is a fun twist, it's a shame the game itself is a bit of a let-down, with repetitive and boring missions. [Dec 2006, p.90]
  13. Anyone with an established affection for roguelikes (apparently there are a lot of you) and even the slightest liking of Pokémon will really enjoy this. And ultimately, I did too - played one mission at a time, Mystery Dungeon's old-fashionedness in the context of the adorable setting is charming, and you can't fault it for a lack of longevity.
  14. Games Master UK
    A nice twist on the Pokemon formula, but this isn't the stuff of greatness. [Christmas 2006, p.58]
  15. This is far and away the best Pokemon DS game out there. It's just not the full-fledged sequel that I'm still anticipating.
  16. 70
    Something of a guilty pleasure. Objectively, it's not a good game at all -- it's ill-suited to its platform, repetitive to the extreme, too easy, presented with little flair, and a mere shadow of the best that both Pokemon and dungeon crawlers in general have to offer. But it's still sitting there in our DS's slot, waiting for the next time we have ten minutes of downtime.
  17. 68
    The Mystery Dungeon games are definitely different than most Pokémon games, and there's fun to be had with them, but there are still a lot of better games available on the DS (including the second Pokémon Mystery Dungeon), which makes Blue Rescue Team difficult to recommend.
  18. 65
    It drags on and on without much change, which is why it's a good thing it's been structured in segments for quick-shot, handheld-friendly dungeon exploration.
  19. 60
    Mystery Dungeon is far from being a poor game by any standards, it’s just a game that makes terrible choices that limit its appeal greatly.
  20. If you can stomach grinding through hundreds of dungeons, then there's dozens and dozens of hours for you to enjoy. If you're waiting for the next great Pokemon adventure, however, keep waiting. This isn't it.
  21. While ploughing through the dungeons becomes repetitive, following your character's evolution and steady growth in skills becomes addictive.
  22. With oversimplified gameplay and sub-par graphics Pokemon Mystery Dungeon – Blue Rescue Team does not have the depth one would hope.
  23. Nintendo Gamer
    Dungeon-crawling is deadly dull. [Dec 2006, p.50]
  24. All of the benefits of level grinding found in the classic Pokemon games are either removed or cheapened in this title. Without anything to look forward to, it's hard to deal with the monotony of the dungeons.
  25. The injection of Pokémon characters and aspects hasn't done anything to improve ChunSoft's oft-copied dungeon hack.
  26. Compelling for a while, eventually Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team casts a powerful sleep spell over the toughest of pokéfans.
  27. The concept had a lot of potential, but we feel that far too much of this potential has gone unexplored.
  28. 50
    If monotonous gaming and skimpy Pokemon action aren't your thing, then this is one mystery that's best left unsolved.
  29. AceGamez
    The unabashedly GBA presentation and flimsy integration of both Pokémon and the DS leave this game feeling boring and unexceptional.
  30. I’m confident that you’ll eventually grow weary of the repetitious dungeon crawling.
  31. 40
    Being a hardcore Pokemaniac, it really hurts to see yet another Pokemon game succumb to mediocrity.
  32. Game Informer
    Simply put, this game is bad and I hate it. [Nov. 2006, p.140]
  33. The game is a rapidly wearisome, dull dungeon crawling adventure with repetitive maps, dialogue and gameplay.
  34. Blue Rescue Team lacks most of the content that made Pokemon so popular in the first place. Instead, it features the ancient failings of Roguelike games, including dungeon restarts, level grinding and no versus play. Frankly, we’d rather catch a cold.

Awards & Rankings

#6 Most Discussed DS Game of 2006
#3 Most Shared DS Game of 2006
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 111 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 27
  2. Negative: 5 out of 27
  1. Jun 20, 2013
    A great game! A wide variety of Pokemon that you can have on your team, a fun story, fun side-stories, lots of places to explore! It'sA great game! A wide variety of Pokemon that you can have on your team, a fun story, fun side-stories, lots of places to explore! It's challenging enough to keep you busy and entertained, but not so challenging that you get angry and frustrated and give up. I honestly cannot think of any ways this game could have been made better. Heavily recommended! Full Review »
  2. Oct 22, 2012
    This game is an experience and a damn amazing one. The dungeons do get monotonous while replaying the game, but seriously Gamespot? You can doThis game is an experience and a damn amazing one. The dungeons do get monotonous while replaying the game, but seriously Gamespot? You can do better than that. The story is this game's highlight. While you can agree with McDumbass and make two accounts to hate on this game and it's story, it's easily the most compelling storyline Pokémon has offered, still unmatched by its sequel. If you'd rather have improved gameplay and a predictable story then I recommend its sequel, Explorers of Sky. If you agree that story makes an RPG of this caliber, then this game is for you. Full Review »
  3. May 28, 2016
    The game isn't perfect by any means, it can get a little repetitive at times and the story takes a little while to get interesting. However,The game isn't perfect by any means, it can get a little repetitive at times and the story takes a little while to get interesting. However, it's perfect in my eyes and this game had a massive impact on my life. The story is amazing and the gameplay gives a fresh twist on Pokemon. In my opinion, this is the best game ever made, second only to the sequel, Explorers of Time/ Darkness/ Sky. Full Review »