Pokemon is best known as a series of RPGs where you travel the world, catching monsters and fighting in gyms.
But, like any semi-successful media franchise, Pokemon has also had its fair share of spin-off games. Games that feature those loveable pocket monsters. but in different styles and genres.
Most of them are rubbish, including a game where you watch Pikachu watch TV, an awful racing game for DS, and a game where you gently wash Slowpoke's tail.
But there have also been some good'uns. At least 10, which we'll share with you now. Gather round, boys and girls.
Pokemon Puzzle Challenge
Puzzle League aka Panel de Pon aka Tetris Attack aka the best action puzzle game ever, is the best action puzzle game ever. It's fast, addictive, and makes Tetris look dull.
The addition of Pokemon only makes the whole thing sweeter. It's cool on N64 but I'm giving the edge to the Game Boy Color edition for featuring the Gold and Silver critters, aka the secret best generation of Pokemon.
Pokemon Pinball could have been some quick and dirty cash in. Dig up some old pinball game from the archives, slap on a picture of Pikachu's face, and call it a day.
But no, these games are genuinely cool and actually capture the thrill of catching Pokemon. There's a Pokedex to fill, different biomes to visit, and even boss battles against the bigger monsters.
As far as mash-ups go, no one really expected Pokemon to do a collab with Japanese war game Nobunaga's Ambition. But here we are. Deal with it.
The game plays like Fire Emblem or Final Fantasy Tactics, as you do duels with teams of Pokemon in taut, grid-based battles. There are 200 critters to catch, and a whopping 100 hours of story to work through.
You'll still be playing this one when the Pokemon GO servers are finally in working order. In 2054.
This was, to be honest, a stroke of genius. You could use the chunky plastic Transfer Pak to take your monster team from the Game Boy and send them into battles on the N64.
And, oh man, check out those battles! Seeing Pikachu and pals in 3D for the first time was an absolute trip. It really got us all super stoked for that fully fledged Pokemon RPG for consoles that finally came out…
Oh, hang on. We're still waiting for that one aren't we. Perhaps we'll see it on the Nintendo NX? Please?
Pokemon Trading Card Game
Oh god, do you remember the mania surrounding Pokemon Cards? It was like beanie babies, only much more cardboard. My school had to ban the bloody things because it lead to too many playground fist fights.
Anyway, it's actually a good card game when you stop brawling, stop worrying about shinies, and actually play the damn thing. And both the Game Boy Color game and the more recent iPad edition are must-play games for PokeNerds.
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon
Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games let you play as an actual Pokemon, in a randomly generated roguelike adventure. And I guess they're super popular, or there wouldn't be 10 different games in the series.
They're generally well liked, too, offering a lightweight rougelike with all the quirky, light-hearted fun of a bunch of monsters fighting to the death.
Oh hey, it's that new game. It has shot to 75 million downloads in a matter of nanoseconds, it has led to at least two corpses being discovered, and if you now shout "Vaporeon!" in a crowd, the place will descend into instant anarchy.
So, sure, it's got buggy servers and the game's kinda dull and it only works in cities - but how many games have inspired this level of craziness in public spaces? Great game or not, it's just fun to be part of the phenomenon.
Pokemon aren't just there to be captured, stuffed into a tiny ball, and then made to fight other critters. There are, thankfully, more gentle ways to interact with the Pokemon world.
Pokemon Snap turns you into a shutterbug, as you ride a tram through deserts, beaches, jungles, and volcanoes, snapping photos of nearby monsters. It's simple and fun and it's criminal that there hasn't been a sequel.
Get it? Pokemon. Tekken. Pokken? Yeah, you get it. It's a barmy one-on-one fighting game that mashes up the gameplay of Tekken and the bestiary of the Pokemon games.
It hasn't been massively successful either on Wii U or in Japanese arcades, but it's still getting good reviews from fighting game fans. Plus, where else can you see Machamp punch a Gengar in the face. If Gengars even have faces.
Super Smash Bros.
Pokemon has played a huge role in the Smash Bros games. Pikachu, Jigglypuff, Pichu, Mewtwo, Lucario, Squirtle, Ivysaur, Charizard, and Greninja have all been playable characters, for starters.
Then there's the Pokeball item that spits out random monsters to mess with the battle, the Pokemon gym battlefields that transform over time, and even a boss fight against Rayquaza in Brawl.