WHY NEW POKEMON SNAP ISN'T THE WEIRDEST POKEMON SPIN-OFF
By Matthew Byrd
As a game all about taking pictures of Pokémon, New Pokémon Snap is a pretty strange entry into a legendary franchise. However, it's downright normal compared to the weirdest Pokémon spin-offs ever.
Believe it or not, 1999's Pokémon Snap wasn't even the weirdest N64 Pokémon game. That honor would have to go to the 1998 game Hey You, Pikachu!
A combination of Pokémon and Tamogatchi, Hey You, Pikachu! made you take care of Pikachu and guide him through the world using the N64's microphone add-on. It was similar to Dreamcast's Seaman.
The only problem was that the N64's microphone peripheral barely worked. Most players shouted at Pikachu for a couple of hours, watched him do nothing, and then just went back to GoldenEye.
Things got even stranger for Pikachu in Pokémon Channel: a spiritual successor to Hey You, Pikachu! that's truly unlike any other game ever made.
Pokémon Channel sees you watch TV shows in order to help Professor Oak launch a new network. It's basically that episode of Rick and Morty with all the interdimensional programs.
Aside from a few minigames, Pokémon Channel really is all about watching fake TV shows with Pikachu in order to see which ones he likes most. It might be the strangest game ever made.
Then you have Pokémon: Magikarp Jump: a 2017 mobile game where you train a Magikarp (a fish) to be the best jumper in Hoppy Town.
Magikarp Jump's gameplay is a simple series of minigames, but what's weird is the game is constantly making fun of Magikarp for being so weak. He's even referred to as "useless" at one point.
Needless to say, Magikarp Jump wasn't as successful as Pokémon Go. It's been all but forgotten about four years later, and may be one of Nintendo's worst mobile titles.
Not all weird Pokémon games are bad, though. In fact, some go on to forge a legacy of their own. Pokemon Snap is one of the best examples of that outcome, but Detective Pikachu is close behind.
As a narrative-based adventure starring Pikachu as a noir detective, Detective Pikachu caught everyone by surprise when it was released for the Nintendo 3DS in 2016. Initial reactions were...confused.
However, Detective Pikachu's story and charm led to the idea eventually being adapted into a 2019 film. It just goes to show that even the weirdest Pokémon games can become blockbusters.