Pokémon Dream Radar is a side-game from Generation V of the Pokémon series exclusive to the Nintendo 3DS eShop, developed by Creatures, Inc. and published by Nintendo. It was first released in Japan on June 23rd 2012, then later released for the rest of the world on October of the same year. Dream Radar's main mode is an augmented reality mini-game, which requires making use of the handheld's back-facing camera and built-in gyroscope to aim around a real-world environment, looking for Pokémon to catch.
Any Pokémon or item caught in Pokémon Dream Radar can be transfered to a game of Pokémon Black 2 or Pokémon White 2.
The player takes the role of an assistant of Professor Brunet, a Pokémon professor researching the Interdream Zone. Professor Brunet equips her assistant with special goggles and other gear necessary to see the Interdream Zone and capture Pokémon and Dream Orbs within it, in order to further her research of the realm.
As the player catches more Dream Orbs, Professor Brunet is able to develop new extensions for the goggles which allow the player to catch Legendary Pokémon.
Her goal is to research the Kami Trio, composed of Tornadus, Thundurus and Landorus, which have been altered into their Therian form by the Interdream Zone. The game's credits roll once the player has caught all three.
Dream Radar's gameplay makes use of the 3DS' augmented reality capabilities by overlaying pre-rendered images of Pokémon, Dream Clouds and Dream Orbs over the video input from the 3DS's back-facing camera. The player must physically aim the Nintendo 3DS console at the onscreen elements, and shoot them with an energy beam in order to capture them.
There are two types of Dream Clouds: pink and stormy.
Pink clouds hold Dream Orbs, which can be used to purchase upgrades or power-ups. If a Dream Cloud holds three or more Dream Orbs, shooting all of them in rapid succession will result in a new number of them appearing. Dream Orbs can be chained to a maximum of 20 per cloud.
Stormy Clouds are the ones that may hold either Pokémon or Dream Orbs. Most Pokémon in the game initially appear in the form of a floating glowing orb, a behavior caused by the Interdream Zone, and are turned back to their normal form once captured. This does not apply to Legendary Pokémon, however, which require their own extensions (upgrades for the player's goggles) and cannot be found on a regular session. If a Dream Cloud is holding a Pokémon, once that cloud is hit the game initiates a capture mode.
Once hit, a Pokémon stays locked with the beam as long as the player keeps mashing the A button and following the Pokémon so that it doesn't leave the crosshairs. In this mode, the HUD on the top screen displays a gauge that is filled every time the A button is hit, which sends a pulse through the beam, while the Pokémon is locked in. When the A button isn't being hit, the gauge does not deplete. If the Pokémon leaves the crosshairs, or if the players stops mashing the A button, it sets itself free, but the player is not thrown out of the capture mode. There is a timer, however, which upon reaching zero ends the capture mode. If a player gets hit by an attack from the Pokémon, additional seconds are subtracted from the timer.
Sometimes, once captured, non-Legendary Pokémon "drop" items. This means that the player got an item, but not the Pokémon.
Upgrades and Power-Ups
There are three upgradable items in the capture gear (Beam, Energy and Scope) and three power-ups (Support Items) that can be bought (Vortex, Dragnet and Energy).
Three different parts of the capture gear can be upgraded: the Beam, the Energy Pack and the Visioscope.
- Beam: "Increases the power of your Beam for catching Pokémon"
- Energy: "Increases the amount of time for catching Pokémon"
- Scope: "Increases the number of Dream Clouds that can be found"
The higher the level of the component, the higher the cost of the upgrade. All upgrades cost the same across components.
- Level 2: 100
- Level 3: 500
- Level 4: 1000
- Level 5: 1500
Support items function as one-use power-ups and vary in cost.
- Description: "Holds Pokémon in place to make them easy to catch"
- Cost: 100 Dream Orbs
- Description: "Slows down a Pokémon's movements temporarily"
- Cost: 50 Dream Orbs
- Description: "Restores the energy spent while catching Pokémon."
- Cost: 50 Dream Orbs