pokémon playhouse

New Free Pokémon Playhouse App Designed for Preschoolers

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Hook ’em on ‘Catch ‘Em All’ while they’re young! Today the Pokémon Company revealed a new mobile app designed specifically for preschool age children (age 3-5). The app is called Pokémon Playhouse. It’s available now on iPhone, iPad, and Android as a free download – without any in-app purchases.

“The Pokémon brand truly is a property for all ages, and the ability to complete activities with cute new expression of recognizable Pokémon in Pokémon Playhouse offers our youngest fans the opportunity to explore the world of Pokémon in an environment made just for them,” said J.C. Smith, senior director of Consumer Marketing at The Pokémon Company. “As the popularity of the Pokémon brand continues to grow, we’re thrilled to launch the first-ever Pokémon preschool expression with Pokémon Playhouse, offering parents an age-appropriate and entertaining experience for the littlest Trainers in their family.”

The game takes place in and around a playhouse for Pokémon. All activities are cute and calming, such as grooming your Pokémon and finding Pokémon constellations in the stars. There are no reading or math skills required. A human character narrates the activities, and there are some light puzzles and stories kids can engage in.

pokémon playhouse

The more you play with the Pokémon the stronger a bond you create. Completing activities and befriending Pokémon work toward hatching new eggs to add new Pokémon to your collection, such as Pikachu, Bulbasaur, and Snorlax. Over 50 Pokémon are available to hatch, play, and befriend.

The Pokémon Playhouse app is available now on iOS and Android. It’s free to download and play.

pokemon go

Pokémon GO Fest Chicago Will Include a Global Event

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Pokémon GO’s one year anniversary celebration is in full swing. Niantic has finally detailed what exactly is going down at their ticketed celebratory event Pokémon GO Fest, and it is a neat way to integrate with players all over the world.

Pokémon GO Fest takes place Saturday, July 22 in Grant Park, Chicago, IL. Three Challenge Windows will task both players at the festival and Pokémon GO players everywhere. For the first challenge, festival goers need to catch different types of Pokémon in order to unlock certain rewards. Catching enough water Pokémon grants an XP bonus, while Fire gives out more Candy. These are global rewards that will benefit everyone playing Pokémon GO.

If you’re not attending the event in Chicago, you can still participate. The duration of these earned bonuses are tied to how many Pokémon everyone else catches around the world. Reaching Bronze increases the bonus by 24 hours, and Silver by 48 hours. If enough Pokémon are caught to reach Gold tier, it will unlock the second Challenge Window, which Niantic is keeping a mystery. Completing the second Challenge will reward the third, which unlocks “a major global reward.”

pokemon go

Niantic hasn’t release the actual numbers required to hit any of these target goals. It would be disappointing for those who paid to play at Pokémon GO Fest to not even unlock the later challenges. I’m fairly certain Niantic won’t let that happen.

The one year mark is also celebrated through new loot boxes and hat-wearing Pikachu. Special Anniversary Boxes can be purchased at a discount in the in-game shop. They include Incubators, Ultra Balls, and Raid Passes for the recently added Raid Battles. Any wild-caught Pikachu can be found wearing Ash’s iconic hat from the Pokémon animated TV show. These extra perks last until July 24.

Pokémon GO Fest takes place on July 22.

pokemon go

Massive Pokémon GO Update Revamping Gyms, Adding Co-op Raids

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The single biggest update is coming soon to Pokémon GO. The upcoming patch will revamp how Gyms and Gym battles work as well as adding a new cooperative Raid Battle feature.

Gyms will soon feature six permanent slots that can be filled with its controlling team’s Pokémon. Each Pokémon must be unique – no more stacking Dragonites and Snorlaxes! Opposing teams will have to battle them in the order in which they were assigned.

A new motivation system will be integrated with Gyms. Pokémon will lose motivation over time while in a Gym, especially if they lose a battle. As they lose motivation their Combat Power will decrease, making it easier to assault bulky Gyms after awhile. Gym owners can raise their Pokémon’s motivation by giving them berries, giving berries a much more important use. If a Pokémon’s motivation bar is completely drained, it will leave the Gym and return to its Trainer after its next loss.

Gyms will also provide items the same way PokéStops do. New Gym Badges can be leveled up by gathering Gym items every day as well as giving Gym Pokémon berries.

Raid Battles are an entirely new feature. A Raid Boss will take over a Gym, kicking out the current Pokémon. The Raid Boss initially appears as a giant egg with a countdown timer, signaling that a powerful boss will soon appear. Up to 20 trainers will work together to defeat the Raid Boss within a five-minute time limit, and the chance to catch a powerful Pokémon.

You’ll need a Raid Pass to join the fight. You can earn one free Raid Pass per day by visiting a Gym, but you can only hold one at a time. More will be available for purchase in the in-game shop.

New items are being added as rewards for winning Raid Battles. Rare Candy works like a wild candy, letting you use it on any Pokémon. Golden Razz Berries increase the chance of catching a wild Pokémon as well as fully replenishing a Gym-assigned Pokémon’s motivation bar. Two new Technical Machine items let you teach Pokémon new moves.

The Gym portion of the update is being rolled out soon, which will temporarily disable all Gyms during the transition. Then the Raid Battle feature will be added over the next few weeks, beginning with a beta for select players.