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Camp Pokémon

Test Your Knowledge Of The Pokémon Series With Fun And Simple Games
by Sam Stewart on Oct 22, 2014 at 12:46 PM
Platform iOS
Developer The Pokémon Company
Rating 4+

Over the past year or so, The Pokémon Company has been testing the waters of mobile gaming, first with its Pokédex for iOS app and more recently with Pokemon TCG Online. Yesterday it quietly released its latest experiment onto the App Store, and it has quickly made its way into the top 50 despite little fanfare. The new game, titled Camp Pokémon, is a free collection of Pokémon-themed activities designed for children, but anyone with a love for Pokémon will likely find enjoyment in its simple games.

Right from the start, you can tell that Camp Pokémon is meant to be an entry level title in the Pokémon series. The opening cutscene features two camp counselors giving the player a primer on the Pokémon world, then quickly introducing them to the first mini-game titled “Find the Pokémon.” In this mini-game, you enter the Alternate Reality Exploration and Naming Area (ARENA for short), which is a virtual reality wilderness where the player can search for Pokémon. Using the touchscreen, you drag a magnifying glass around the ARENA and find Pokémon hiding in the environment. Find all six and you win, and earn a pin of each Pokémon you found. You are ranked gold, silver, or bronze depending on your performance, and can unlock new environments by getting gold medals. 

Other mini-games include “Pokémon in Focus,” a “Who’s that Pokémon?” style game where you identify Pokémon by looking at their silhouettes, “Battle Matchups,” which shows you a Pokémon then asks you to identify its weakness (though it is limited to Grass, Fire, and Water), and “Pokémon Evolutions,” which requires you to pick the missing evolution out of a group of three. All three are timed mini-games, so you can play again and again if you like chasing high scores. 

“Pokéball Throw,” the final mini-game, is the most robust of this small collection. The shooting gallery-style game lets you flick Pokéballs at Pokémon-shaped targets. Each target takes three hits to knock over, unless you use one of your two Ultra Balls, which deal double damage. There are six random Pokémon to knock over, and your rank is determined by how long it takes you to get them all. This activity also has multiple environments, and can earn you pins for your collection. This mini-game was heavily reminiscent of Pokémon Snap, which let you lob apples and pester balls at Pokémon in a similar fashion. 

Speaking of Pokémon Snap, Camp Pokémon also includes a Photo Booth, which will likely be the biggest draw for most fans. Using this Booth, you can take photos from your phone and add Pokémon to them using the pins you collected in the mini-games. You can also add frames and certain phrases to the images as well, as shown in this picture I made of fellow intern Jason Dafnis. 

As a longtime Pokémon fan, I must admit I had fun with Camp Pokémon’s various mini-games. Some of the games challenged my knowledge of the series, while others were simple but enjoyable nostalgia kicks. I think if they were to add a little more depth they could have something truly great, but for a free app, this is a perfect entry point for less experienced gamers who have yet to discover the world of Pokémon. Camp Pokémon is available now on the iOS App Store

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Camp Pokémon

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