Pokémon Camp Review

Pokémon Camp Review

Pikachu and crew come to iPhone and iPad

Back in April, Nintendo and Google Maps teamed up to bring Pokémon out of their hand-held console homes and into the wider world. It was an endeavour that proved hugely successful: the AR mini-game ran for about a week, and went viral across the world within one day.

Pokémon Camp (also known as Camp Pokémon in the US)  proves Nintendo’s willingness to share its property with other platforms, and while we doubt it’ll ever give over the full RPG experience to iOS (you’ll have to make do with illicit GameBoy ROMs for that…) Pokémon Camp is the next best thing. It’s not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction. The game retains Nintendo’s customer-facing sensibilities, too: at the time of writing, the app features no adverts and no in-app purchases. It’s refreshing.

The app is a well-presented series of mini-games, all given a unique and loyal Pokémon flavour. You can hunt for wild Pokémon scattered around the map (your only enemy a very forgiving timer), test your type-on-type knowledge in Battle Matchups, play a ‘Who’s That Pokémon?’ silhouette-guessing game or test yourself matching up evolutionary lines. There’s a reflex-testing Pokéball throw, a special cave for Mega Evolutions to be examined and a pseudo-hub area that makes accessing each domain intuitive and easy.

This is clearly a game aimed at children – we’re big Pokémon fans, and we did enjoy playing Pokémon Camp – but the appeal does begin to waver after about an hour. You can be spurred on by the collectible nature of the pins and rewards you can unlock, but mostly… it’s something to give to your kids if they’re hankering for the next Pokémon game or wanting to kill a few minutes here and there. If the game will be kept alive with updates – eventually updating the game to the full 718-strong Pokémon roster – then perhaps we’ll be happy to go back to the app.

Rated 4 out of 5

A step in the right direction, entertaining and fun, but possibly not the Pokémon experience you’re after.