5 weird bootleg Pokemon Games

Pokémon has been around for many years. The famous game franchise first gained popularity in the late 90’s and instantly became a phenomenon with toys and TV shows under its belt. The game’s popularity also sparked a lot of knockoff merchandise that take advantage of Pokémon’s popularity. Games are no exception. Surprisingly there are bootleg versions of Pokémon that also appear in the market. Some of these bootleg Pokémon games are so bad, they are good. This article focuses on the five best bootleg Pokémon games the world has to offer.

What are bootlegs?

A bootleg or bootleg games are ROM hacks of illegally licensed games sold publicly to the masses. They are placed in cartridges and are sold in certain game stores worldwide.

  1. Pokémon Vietnamese Crystal

The most infamous of Pokémon bootlegs, this game is famous for being an illegally produced version of Pokémon Crystal. This game is also well known for its “amazing” English translation. Don’t believe me? Here’s a small example.


The Pokémon are commonly called elfs, Team Rocket threaten the player to be rude in meddling their affairs, and explicit language on places that make no contextual sense. The game is impossible to read and even more confusing in learning to comprehend the thought process behind it.

  1. Pokémon Adventure

pokemon adventure

Pokémon Adventure is a side-scrolling game starring Pikachu as the main character. He is fast, eats chilidogs, collects Pokéballs, and most importantly he has attitude… wait …


If you don’t get the references, this game is a knockoff version of Sonic the Hedgehog. Need more proof? The title itself is a direct copy of Sonic Adventure 7. The creators of this game is not even hiding it!


  1. Pocket Monster “Saphire”


No, it’s not a typo, that is how the game is officially spelled. Also despite the terrible spelling, if one thinks that this is the bootleg version of Pokémon Sapphire, they are sorely mistaken.

Pocket Monster Saphire is actually a strategy game similar to Fire Emblem. Surprisingly for bootleg standards, this game incredibly well made. However, like Pokémon Vietnamese Crystal, expect the game to be poorly translated in most parts.


  1. Pokémon Gold NES


The game is faithful or close to the source material, but the game feels very clunky for the worst part. The music is said to very repetitive, with annoying beeps and blips. They seemed to go for an original soundtrack for this game but unfortunately it is a pain to listen to.


  1. Pocket Monster


Pocket Monster is at the top of the list because it doesn’t copy from a Pokémon game (shocker). The game focuses on the side-scrolling adventures of Pikachu. What’s impressive however is the game copies from other 16-bit games from the SNES and Sega Saturn. Despite it being stolen, the game controls reasonably. This is one of those games that follows the saying “copy from the best”.

Juan Paulo Pereña

Writer and game reviewer. Likes movies, a bit of comedy and a good show to binge on. A fan of video games and video game culture in general.