Pokémon Dash is one of those games that makes you say, ‘Someone made that? Really? Why?’ The answer is that Nintendo were releasing the Nintendo DS and they most likely wanted a Pokémon title in the launch lineup to boost sales, so Pokémon Dash was born. The game’s premise is simple – you’re a Pokémon, there are races, you run in said races, try to win and hopefully avoid the lava, because there are no regulations in Pokémon races.
Sounds mildly exciting, right? Well, Pokémon Dash has a few setbacks.
Firstly, aside from multiplayer, you only ever play as Pikachu. Sure Bulbasaur, Meowth, Torchic and even Munchlax, which – fun fact – makes Pokémon Dash one of the first games to include a Gen 4 Pokémon, are there, but, if none of your friends own Pokémon Dash, it’s one hundred percent Pikachu, one hundred per cent of the time.
For a Nintendo DS launch title, Pokémon Dash barely considers the touchpad. All you do is drag the stylus forward to direct Pikachu about the track and, occasionally, move it from left to right when Pikachu gets stunned. The Pokémon Ranger series utilizes the touchpad more and that’s about drawing circles around Pokémon, while somehow managing to have an excellent time.
It may sound like I don’t like Pokémon Dash that much, but it’s actually managed to gnaw it’s way into my heart. Maybe it’s how you can poke and prod at the Pikachu on the title screen; pulling its ears in bone breaking directions, without being electrocuted. It could be how you can transform your team from one of the GameBoy Advance Pokémon games into new race tracks, making Pokémon Dash the only game that lets you run about on Mewtwo’s face. Most likely, however, it’s because I just like weird Pokémon games – I’ve replayed Pokémon Channel at least twice. I love discovering what kind of new nonsense the Pokémon Company has come up with and Pokémon Dash is the perfect kind of Pokémon nonsense.