Pokémon Snap: Retro Review

In the year 1999, “Pokémon Snap” released on the Nintendo 64 during the height of the initial “Pokémon” fever. Now, the beloved title has made a return to home consoles on the Nintendo Switch as the final title for Wave 1 of the Nintendo 64 Online for the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack.

Stepping into the boots of photographer Todd Snap, you are assigned by Professor Oak to take photographs of Pokémon in the wild in settings ranging from beaches to river rapids and even a crystalline mountain range. 

The gameplay is on-rails, seated in an experimental vehicle known as the “Zero-One.” This  setup leads to a surprisingly fun loop. The game even received a previous re-release on the Wii U Virtual Console and a full-on sequel/reimagining known as “New Pokémon Snap” on the Switch last year.

The game has held up surprisingly well over time, both in gameplay and graphics, with the N64 Online release being the best-looking and best-performing release to date. While the game may only feature 63 of the 151 original Pokémon (to say nothing of the hundreds more introduced in the years since the game’s initial release), the hook of taking photos remains simple, yet engaging for new players and longtime fans alike. Possible scenarios for pictures range from everything to a surfing Pikachu to Moltres hatching in the peak of a volcano.

Though what comes next to the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack has yet to be fully revealed (talk persists of the Game Boy, Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance libraries being added in the near future), the original “Pokémon Snap” is a worthy addition to close out the first wave of titles for N64 Online. It’s an easy recommendation that’s ready for its closeup on Nintendo Switch.

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: HAL Laboratories

Platform: Nintendo 64 Online for Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack (Originally released on Nintendo 64)

ESRB Rating: E