Having being born in the late 80s and growing up in the 90s, I was well aware of what Pokemon was, but I never got into it the way that some people did. Yes, I watched the cartoon a few times but I never played the games or collected the cards. It just wasn’t my thing and it wasn’t until I had a son that I realised just how popular and how many different formats it took on. Not only are there the games and cards, but there’s also figures to collect, the cartoon to watch and mangas to read along with other formats. Tom now has quite a collection of Pokemon related items.
Our journey with the franchise all started about two years ago when about a month or so after Pokemon Go (a mobile game for iOS and Android) was released. Tom came home from school ranting and raving that we just HAD to download it. Loads of people were playing it in his school and he just had to play it as well. It was free to download and play so I thought I’d give it go…. what harm could it do? What harm indeed.
That was when it all started… we (me and my OH) downloaded the game for Tom and were immediately hooked. In the beginning, it was all about how many Pokemon you could catch in a day or how many candies you could get from walking with your buddy. But as the months went on and the game updated and new features were added the game just seemed to get better and better. At the start there was just catching Pokemon, gathering items from pokestops, training in gyms, taking the gyms of the other teams and making them your own. Now they still have all that, except the training in gyms. Instead, now they have it where you can battle in raids with other members of the same team to try and take down, and then catch legendary Pokemon. They have community days where certain types of Pokemon are boosted, and they have weather boosted Pokemon, where depending on the weather depends which Pokemon spawn more.
They have also recently added tasks that have to be completed. Tasks such as hatching an egg, battling in raids, and catching a certain amount of a particular Pokemon. For doing these tasks you can get different items like revives, which as the name suggests can revive Pokemon that have fainted after a battle, razzberries, which help you catch Pokemon, pokeballs and many other things. These tasks also get you stamps. You collect one stamp a day for doing them and when you’ve collected seven stamps altogether you get a crate. These crates have even more items for you and also the opportunity to catch a legendary Pokemon without having to battle it in a raid. As well as the smaller tasks they have a special task which is very similar to the smaller ones however it is working towards something even bigger.
Fast forward to today and my OH, Tom and I are still heading out on evening walks to see what Pokemon we can catch or what we can get from the pokestops dotted around the town. Coming into the good weather we’re heading out more and more. It’s the one thing that we all do as a family. Tom even has his granny out walking so that he can get the stops around where she lives. When this happens I’m always getting screenshots sent to me showing me Pokemon that has spawned. When these are shown through the AR it can sometimes be quite funny. These are just a few of the pictures I have been sent recently by Tom.
The one thing that really annoys me about it is that it eats up my phone battery way too quickly. It is expected though, as it has to have the screen on constantly to register the distance walked; plus it is continuously buffering the internet to show what pokemon are nearby and when they change or leave etc. I have noticed over the past few months of playing that Tom is getting more and more competitive about it and this has caused many a slammed door or bad attitude; especially, when someone gets a pokemon that he hasn’t got. This is usually when he’s at school and me and his dad are out on a drive or I’m walking to or home from work and something he hasn’t got spawns. He also seems to have a habit of running out of data which means that he can’t leave the house without losing signal. If we do go out, and he has no data left, I always end up losing my phone to him so that he can log me out and log himself in.
Anyway… this post wasn’t supposed to turn into a review for the game or anything. It was supposed to be a post about how the game, I feel has brought us closer as a family. Even now, after nearly 2 years of playing it, we still find ourselves going out of our way so that we can get that stop we haven’t spun before, or going somewhere we haven’t been to, to see if a different type of Pokemon will spawn. There have been times that we haven’t played in a few weeks; this is usually during the winter months when the cold and dark nights roll in, but we have always come back to it. When my OH’s daughter is with us on the weekends even she joins us if we are out hunting, etc. It really is a game that the whole family can play. And it’s not as geeky as you may think…. well in my opinion.