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Articuno Sighting! (Also Known As Pokemon Go Had An Update!)

Please tell me that I’m not the only one who has game apps that just kinda stay on your phone. When you first get the app you play it constantly until the “honeymoon” phase ends. You know you’ll pick it back up and play the app for like a week straight then not touch for another month. So thus it stays on your phone like a seasonal sweater stays in your closet.

I’ve been that way with Pokemon Go. For those who haven’t heard of this app, it’s a game that let’s you capture Pokemon (fantastical creatures with elemental powers) in the real world. For those who grew up watching/playing Pokemon, this was a dream came true when it came out.

Except that the app had a nasty habit (and still does) of draining your phone battery like no other app I’ve seen does. However, if you’re lucky enough to live in one of the big cities where Pokemon and Pokestops are just a short walk away, it’s fun. When it first came out the Pokemon Company promised a lot of things that would happen with this app. Those who like to geek out saw that the app that was released was not the final version. Heck, it still isn’t. It’s currently the 0.69.0 version, and until it hits version 1.0, it’s technically still in Beta (aka not complete).

Which in a way is exciting, right? It means that new updates are still being created for it.

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The New Loading Screen I Saw On Pokemon Go!

So over the weekend I pulled Pokemon Go! out of the closet to play while waiting in a restaurant to get our food. To my surprise I found that they had an update on their loading screen. After noting it to my fiance, he remembered that one of his colleagues thought there was a thing happening in Chicago that would affect the game all weekend. (I found out later that this wasn’t the case…but still.) This got me excited to keep playing the app till we got back home. Nothing too exciting happened though…

Until the next morning. I woke up and immediately got on the app to see what Pokemon were around me. And I saw it. I saw that a raid battle for Articuno was happening not even five minutes away from me. Excited, I jumped out of bed, got dressed, and pretty much ran to the area to find that no other Pokemon Go players were around. Which meant that I had no chance of acquiring my favorite legendary bird.

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So instead of catching the Articuno, I pulled out my sketchbook that I had stashed in my bag on the way out my apartment. As I watched the countdown for the raid tick down, I took the opportunity to practice quick sketching trees and such around me. (If you follow my Instagram you might have seen some of the results for it.) After watching the opportunity pass me by, I started thinking about what it would be like as a lowly trainer watching an Articuno just fly by, knowing that their favorite myth was real in that moment.

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Using a mixture of traditional sketching and digital illustration, I drew a rough sketch of this idea. 

When I got back home, I started looking for information on the internet to help explain what I had just seen. Looking at their webpage they didn’t note the update…yet. But thankfully their App Store information, along with just playing the game, has caught me about some of the new updates:

  • You can now collect items at the PokeGyms just like you can at PokeStops.
  • Gyms have a chance of opening for a Raid battle-where up to 20 trainers can work together to defeat and possibly capture the Raid Boss.
  • If you have a Pokemon defending a gym, you can feed it berries to keep it motivated to keep defending the gym.
  • If you have the game on Batter Saver mode, when you tilt your game it goes to a black screen while the game keeps going. (Which does help on the battery drainage a little.)

If you’ve never played the game these updates might not make sense. And I’m sorry for that. One of the cool yet frustrating things about the game was that there wasn’t really a tutorial to help you out. Instead you had to talk to other “trainers” to learn the rules of the game. Which is kinda cool but frustrating at the same time. Thankfully there are a lot of bloggers and pop culture websites out there that made a list of the rules.

I honestly don’t know when this update happened, but I’m excited to see new, fun content for this app. I look forward to seeing what else they bring to the game as it gets closer to its 1.0 version.

 

Thanks for reading!

Please note that the screenshots are from the app, taken by myself. The sketch was also created by me.