Pokémon Dash is a racing game developed by Ambrella, and the first Pokémon game to be released on the Nintendo DS. The player uses the touch screen to control Pikachu in a race against five other Pokémon. On the way to the goal, racers must pass checkpoints scattered across the map. Easier difficulties require these checkpoints to be passed in a specific order, while the Expert difficulty allows them to be passed in any order.
Each difficulty has five Cups, further divided into five courses each. Further courses may be unlocked through events or connectivity to older Pokémon games.
This is Ambrella's last Pokémon game so far to use a traditional art style for the Pokémon, before they switched over to Super-Deformed character models beginning with their next game, My Pokémon Ranch.
Tropes used in Pokémon Dash:
- A Winner Is You: Completing any of the Cups produces the message "Thank you for watched!" after the credits roll.
- Balloonacy: Averted in actual gameplay, where all flying is done in proper hot air balloons, but the boxart and a pair of hidden sprites play this straight.
- Bubblegloop Swamp: A few swamp courses appear in the game.
- Competitive Multiplayer: Supports up to six players, and is the only mode to allow you to play as a species other than Pikachu.
- Early-Bird Cameo: This game was the first in the franchise to include Munchlax, a species which made its main series debut two years later in Pokémon Diamond and Pearl.
- Green Hill Zone: The tutorial and the Green Cup take place in a lush, green area.
- Interactive Start Up: There is a Pikachu on the single player or multiplayer select screen. You can interact with him using the Nintendo DS stylus to move his ears and face.
- Lethal Lava Land: Downplayed. Even though lava courses appears, Pikachu and the other Pokémon can run on lava harmlessly.
- The Lost Woods: Forest is among the terrain you have to run over on many courses.
- Mucking in the Mud: A literal version appears in parts of the Blue Cup, but really, any terrain except paved roads slows you down.
- Nitro Boost: Running across special patterns on the ground negates slowdown on the corresponding terrain types.
- No Plot? No Problem!: There is no plot. None whatsoever.
- Old Save Bonus: 417 additional courses in the shape of Pokémon may be unlocked by inserting a Gen III main series game into the DS' GBA slot.
- Palmtree Panic: Plenty of coastline appears in the game and several of the courses take place on islands.
- Shifting Sand Land: Several courses take place in a desert area. A sandstorm appears in some of them but has no effect other than slightly slowing Pikachu down.
- Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Several of the courses take place on icy or snowy levels, but for the first time in the Pokémon series, Frictionless Ice is averted.
- Time Trial: Time Attack mode, which is limited to courses the player has completed in other modes.