Originally released on the Nintendo 64, Pokémon Stadium was an extension of the classic RPG that allowed you to battle using the first 151 Pokémon on your home console. This game featured multiple game modes, including a tournament mode, a free battle mode, and a gym leader challenge tower. You could even transfer your Pokémon from the original Red, Blue, and Yellow.
Of course, you can’t forget the most memorable part of the game: the Kids Club. This mini Mario Party-like mode hosted nine simple mini-games you could play with up to three other people. With the rerelease of Pokémon Stadium on the Switch, it seems appropriate to rank all the mini-games the spin-off title had to offer.
9 Dig! Dig! Dig!
Button mashing is a staple in most party games, and for Pokémon Stadium Dig! Dig! Dig! is that game. By alternating between the L and R buttons, you can help a Sandshrew dig a hole deep enough to find water. If you win, you’re treated to Sandshrew riding the water spout it found back to the surface.
It’s a simple concept, but there is a catch. If you press the same button twice in a row, the Sandshrew will stop digging, which gives the game some nuance. However, it’s not enough to make it stand out among the other mini-games.
8 Thundering Dynamo
Similar to the previous game in the list, Thundering Dynamo involves furiously pressing the same buttons over and over again. However, this time you are playing as a Pikachu or Voltorb and charging a machine in the background. The machine has a light bulb on it that constantly changes color, and the color corresponds to the button on your controller you’re supposed to press.
As another speed challenge, this game doesn’t offer much that is different other than a small reflex test. The color changing does add more difficulty but not enough to make this game more exciting.
7 Magikarp’s Splash
Compared to the other button-mashing games, Magikarp’s Splash is a little special, but not for any gameplay reasons. In this mini-game, you are a Magikarp counting your splashes. However, for each splash to count, you need to jump high enough to hit the floating counter—like getting your chin above the bar when doing pull-ups. You do this by hitting the A button repeatedly.
It’s a simple game, but what makes it great is the sound of the Magikarp flopping up and down. It’s a cacophony of it saying its own name and groaning in confusion, an experience you need to hear for yourself.
6 Ekans’ Hoop Hurl
At a carnival, the ring-toss game usually involves throwing plastic hoops at stationary glass bottles. But what if the bottles disappeared and reappeared as if you were playing whack-a-mole? That’s exactly what Ekans’ Hoop Hurl is. By using the D-pad to aim and the control stick to fire, you must launch Ekans at some Diglett who are constantly moving.
This one’s tricky because it’s hard to see where you’re aiming. The only indicator you have is the subtle difference in the angle of the Ekans at the bottom of your screen. However, games can be more fun when you don’t know exactly what you’re doing.
5 Run, Rattata, Run
Run, Rattata, Run is like a combination of the previous games in terms of controls. You’ll continuously hit the A button to make Rattata run on the treadmill and use the D-pad to jump over obstacles. Despite how simple it is, there is a lot to keep track of in this game, especially because the camera will rotate through the entire match.
Your mashing skills, reflexes, and timing have to be perfect in this mini-game, but the challenge is part of the fun. You can never go wrong with a race to the finish line.
4 Rock Harden
In an anime episode, Ash’s Metapod battles another Metapod, but the only move they both know is Harden. This mini-game is a reenactment of that episode. Boulders and rocks are falling from the sky, and you, as a Metapod or a Kakuna, have to harden at the right time not to get squished.
What makes this game so exciting is the stamina bar. It’ll go down when you harden and even more when you get squished. By the end of the game, it can be a coin flip as to who will win. For a Pokémon that doesn’t move, it can be pretty fun to play as a Metapod.
3 Snore War
This mini-game is all about timing. In Snore War, you play as a Drowzee, trying to get other Drowzee to fall asleep before you do. Between the four Drowzee is a pendulum used for hypnosis, and you must hit the A button when the pendulum meets the red needle in the center of its swing. It’ll swing faster until only one person is left standing.
This game is great because you never know who will win. The game starts relatively calmly, but suddenly all the Drowzee will start to sway and fall asleep one by one. It’s the kind of game you’ll always want a rematch on.
2 Clefairy Says
No one does Simon Says like Clefairy. Clefairy Says is exactly like the classic game but in the Pokémon world. The lead Clefairy is teaching a dance class, and you have to match its moves each round using the D-pad. The move combinations will get harder and harder each time, and if you get a move wrong, Clefairy will pull out a rubber mallet and whack you on the head. You only get five strikes too.
It’s probably the most stressful game available because you have to remember so many inputs in a short time.
The most iconic and fun game in the Kids Club is Sushi-Go-Round. You play as a Lickitung, trying to spend the most money at a sushi restaurant. This one is special because you must think about more than just which button to press and when. Each piece of sushi has a price, and you want the one that costs the most.
You have the most freedom of movement in this mini-game compared to the rest. Being able to body block and interfere with the other players is the best part of any competition, and having that feature makes this game stand above the others. If you add in the great sound design and visual comedy, you’ll understand why this one is the best.
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