Game Review: Pokémon Isle of Armor

Released: June 2020

Rating: PEGI 7

Released in 2019 Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield brought the Pokémon franchise to the Nintendo switch. Sword and Shield are amazing additions to the franchise with a beautiful story and great graphics. The expansion pack – Isle of Armor – was released this month, capturing all the fun of the base game in a sweet new adventure.

Once the pack has been downloaded, the game directs you to Wedgehurst train station to begin. At the station you are introduced to one of the new characters, Avery, who is eccentric and camp in the most perfect Pokémon way. After the first encounter with Avery you can board a train and travel to the Isle of Armor.

Like other areas in the base game, the Isle of Armor is a wild area where Pokémon roam free – perfect for exploring. Upon arriving you encounter Avery again before receiving instructions to go to the dojo. However, there is no rush to get there. It is up to you as the player whether or not you’d like to have a look around this new area first.

Arriving at the dojo begins the main aim of the expansion pack (and gets you a cool new outfit!). The dojo is run by Honey and her husband, Dojo Master Mustard. These new characters are great and feel like classic Pokémon characters. Mustard gives you three trials to complete as part of your dojo training and the tasks are relatively easy – chasing Pokémon, hunting things down in the wild area, and completing a battle. While simple, the trials are still entertaining and, like many things in this pack, can last as long as you want them too. Once the trials are complete you are gifted with an adorable new Pokémon, Kubfu.

It is after completing these three trials that you have true freedom to explore. Your next task is to train Kubfu, who can now walk around outside its Pokéball – a great addition to the game. Leveling up Kubfu allows you to fully explore the Isle of Armor and all of the new Pokémon that were added with this expansion.

I would recommend getting your Kubfu to around level 70 because there is an option to climb either the Tower of Darkness or the Tower of Waters (depending on how you want your Kubfu to evolve). Each floor of the tower has an opponent to battle and you are only allowed to take Kubfu, making it a nice challenge. There is one final task after the tower, but after that, the main aim of the pack is finished.

However, there is so much more to do! Honey will begin to ask you to donate Watts – a new currency introduced in Sword and Shield – to help the development of the dojo (Watts are easier to get with the help of Digging Pa and Digging Ma). As well as that there are 151 Diglett hiding across the Isle of Armor who need to be returned to their trainer. This is the most annoying part of the pack, but you do get rewards for finding Diglett and it forces you to explore the Isle of Armor.

Overall, Isle of Armor is my favourite post-game addition. Previous games have had quests with the mysterious Looker or a mini adventure (such as the Delta Episode in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire) and whilst these adventures are fun there is nothing to do once they are complete. Pokémon Isle of Armor gives the player a whole new area to traverse, which is still there and still fun to be in after the main events of the pack.

Final Verdict: 8/10

Words by Orla McAndrew

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