Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: The Indigo Disk DLC – Review
Follow Genre: RPG
Developer: Game Freak
Publisher: Nintendo, The Pokémon Company
Platform: Switch
Tested on: Switch

Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: The Indigo Disk DLC – Review

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Good: An actually challenging Elite Four
Bad: Some content is still locked behind timed events
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Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Well, here we are again. After having finished both Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s main adventure as well as the previously released The Teal Mask DLC, Game Freak is calling us back to Paldea for The Indigo Disk, the second part of its The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero season pass. If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve been waiting to pick up the DLC to see if the entire package is worth it, rather than simply jumping in with The Teal Mask. Is The Indigo Disk the missing piece of Scarlet and Violet’s puzzle or does it fail to make up for the game’s shortcomings?

Before we dive into what’s new in The Indigo Disk, let’s first address the Donphan in the room: Although the new DLC adds a substantial amount of content, more so than The Teal Mask did, The Indigo Disk does not fix Scarlet and Violet’s abysmal technical performance. In fact, the slowdown and frame rate issues that plagued the game since day one were more prevalent when exploring the Terrarium, as this new area includes more visual details than Scarlet and Violet’s previous environments did. We won’t go over the game’s graphics and audio again, because, at this point, there isn’t anything to add. That said, even if you don’t pick up the DLC, you’ll be treated to a significant update for the base game should you return to Scarlet and Violet. Rather than bug fixes, however, this update adds compatibility for new and returning Pokémon included in The Indigo Disk. By doing so, you can receive them through trading and via Pokémon Home.

With that out of the way, let’s take a look at what The Indigo Disk actually has to offer. You’ll need to have finished The Teal Mask’s main quest before you can access this new DLC, as this new chapter continues the story of Kieran and Carmine, who debuted in that first DLC. You’ll run into the siblings at Blueberry Academy, a prestigious institute situated on the coast of Unova. The Academy’s main facility is the Terarium (with a single R), which is an enormous underwater dome that houses four biomes where wild Pokémon are studied. Many of the Pokémon found in the Terarium aren’t native to Paldea, which serves as a convenient excuse as to why they’ve been added to the game. Unfortunately, The Teal Mask still doesn’t include every Pokémon, so if you’ve been hoping to see the likes of fan-favorite monsters like Nidoking or Togepi again, then you’re out of luck, unfortunately.

As if a biodome filled with monsters and a new regional Pokédex to complete wasn’t enough, The Indigo Disk also provides players with a new Elite Four challenge. This ties into The Indigo Disk’s story, and Blueberry Academy’s Elite Four are significantly more challenging to deal with than Paldea’s Elite Four. Rather than having to collect gym badges before facing them, however, you’ll have to complete a challenge if you want to take them on in the arena. Drayton, for example, wants you to beat three trainers using Pokémon you caught yourself inside the Terarium, so you can’t use your trusty level 100 companions that have been with you throughout Paldea. Complete all four challenges and you become eligible to face Kieran, who has become Blueberry Academy’s champion since The Teal Mask. After clearing the Elite Four challenge, you’ll open up another major story arc in The Indigo Disk, but we’d be doing you a disservice by spoiling it. All we’ll tell you is that it involves the new legendary Pokémon Terapagos, who resides deep in Area Zero.

There are a handful of smaller additions present in The Indigo Disk, the most noticeable being the introduction of the so-called BBQ mechanic. Unlike what the name would have you expect, this isn’t an expanded version of Scarlet and Violet’s sandwich-making minigame, however. BBQ stands for Blueberry Quests. These are small, simple tasks, not too dissimilar to the tasks you receive from Pokéstops in Pokémon GO. Completing BBQs rewards you with points. These points can then be spent in a myriad of ways, from buying items to making Paldean Gym Leaders appear at the academy, after which you are even able to trade Pokémon with them. Earning points can be done quicker by linking up with other players and taking on group BBQ challenges.

Another, less kosher reason to link up your game are Tera raids and Pokémon breakouts. These time-limited events allow players to obtain mons that are either unavailable in the base game or with an increased chance to encounter their shiny forms. With The Indigo Disk supposedly being the final DLC, we figured that this would eliminate the need for players to participate in Tera raids to obtain specific creatures, but unfortunately, specific forms are still locked behind raids or will need to be imported through Home. While previously raid-exclusive monsters like Charizard or Cinderace are now available in the game, regional forms like Hisuian Samurott or legendary Pokémon like Mewtwo are still locked behind either timed events or must be imported from other games. The most egregious examples of this are the new legendary Pokémon Iron Leaves and Walking Wake, who are not only version-exclusives that can only be caught once per save file. These are also locked behind timed raids even though they are each part of a trio, with their counterparts readily available to catch in the DLC.

With the latest update, 25 previously unavailable Legendary Pokémon have also been added to Scarlet and Violet. You’ll need to get snacks from the aptly named Mr. Snacksworth to lure these elusive monsters to your game, but specific snacks are locked to the version that you’re playing. By linking up with other players, you’re able to get snacks so that you can summon the version-exclusive critters into your game. Of note is that these creatures aren’t in any of the three available regional Pokédexes. There are also a handful of new Pokémon introduced: two evolutions for existing critters and five legendary Pokémon, including the aforementioned Terapagos. A sixth mythical Pokémon is also present in the files, but with no official way to obtain it yet, we might actually see ourselves returning to Paldea at some point in the future after all.


All in all, The Indigo Disk is a significant step up from The Teal Mask, even if it doesn’t fix Scarlet and Violet’s technical issues. The new mechanics that center around BBQs ensure that plenty of longevity is added here, especially if you’re a completionist, while also avoiding that the game feels like padding. While the vast majority of the returning Pokémon can simply be imported through Home, newer players are able to add a ton of Pokémon to their collection without having to rely on older games, which is always welcome. The Elite Four Challenge significantly ramps up the game’s difficulty too, and in this regard, The Indigo Disk successfully manages to appeal both to veterans looking for a challenge and newer players alike. The Indigo Disk is likely to be the final outing of the franchise on the Switch, with remakes of Pokémon Black and White next in line and likely to debut on the platform’s successor. If this is indeed the end of Pokémon on the Switch, we’re okay with the result, even if it isn’t perfect.

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Pokémon Scarlet and Violet: The Indigo Disk DLC – Review, 6.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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  1. […] only just reviewed The Indigo Disk, the supposed finale to Pokémon Scarlet and Violet’s The Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC, and […]

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