Pokémon Ranger is a spin-off of Nintendo's lucrative monster-collecting RPG series, which began in 1998 on the original Game Boy. Cast in the role of a novice Pokémon Ranger, you vow to protect nature and defend the Pokémon species populating the rustic Fiore Region. To ensure each monster's safety, you must first capture Pokémon and then release them into the wild. Ensnaring the crafty critters is accomplished by using the stylus in a circular motion. If you quickly encircle the monster enough times, you'll successfully trap it. Yet each time the stylus touches the screen, it leaves behind a trail. If a scuttling Pokémon touches said trail, the trap resets and players must try again.
Each failed attempt also diminishes the stylus' damage meter, sapping its power until there is none, at which point the game ends. Once a Pokémon is captured, players can use its distinct powers to overcome puzzles and obstacles within the main world, which is viewed from the classic overhead perspective of previous Pokémon games. Inherent affinities such as grass, fire, and water can also be used in future rescue attempts on stronger Pokémon, as players "borrow" attributes from caught monsters to transform the stylus into a more powerful capturing tool. The game challenges players to track, ensnare, and free more than 200 species of Pokémon roaming the land. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide