Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition is a remake of the multi-million selling Game Boy video games Pokémon Red and Blue. To mimic the hit TV show, rather than you being able to choose from three different starter Pokémon (which consists of Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle), there is already only one more Pokémon left, that one being Pikachu. While the player always gets Pikachu, his/her rival always obtains Eevee. Another difference between this game and its predecessors is that the player's Pikachu follows him/her in the overworld throughout the game.
Of course, the goal of the game is the same as in any other famed Pokémon video game, to defeat Team Rocket and become a Pokémon Master. There are the same gyms and Gym Leaders as in the Red and Blue versions. The game takes several cues from the Pokémon anime; among them, Jessie and James from Team Rocket make a few appearances, and the Pikachu in the game is based off of Ash's Pikachu. As the game is started it says 'Pikachu' in the anime voice of Pikachu (when Start button is pressed).
Pokémon Yellow: Special Pikachu Edition, along with Pokémon Red and Blue were re-released worldwide on the Nintendo Eshop for the Nintendo 3DS on February 27, 2106, exactly 20 years after Pokémon Red and Green were released in Japan. This was done to celebrate Pokémon's 20th anniversary. All 3 games were ported with little change besides the fact that players can use the 3DS's wireless abilities to trade with other players. The 3 games will also be compatible with the 3DS application Pokémon Bank.
- The game's intro uses a now-controversial strobe effect, popular in Japan at the time. The effect is now strongly discouraged due to its association with photosensitive epileptic seizures.
- The starter Pikachu will not accept a Thunder Stone, similar to Ash's Pikachu in the anime.
- Unlike in the anime, Brock and Misty do not accompany the player, due to the fact that while the starter Pikachu is based off of Ash's Pikachu, the player is Red, and not Ash.