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Everything we know about Super Mario Run

Posted by Jessica Famularo on November 16th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

It's been something of a dry spell, but at long last we have some new details on Super Mario Run, the next mobile entry from Nintendo. Nintendo has been a bit resistant in jumping into mobile games, but that's slowly been changing over the course of the year. Earlier in the spring we were treated to Miitomo, a pleasant enough social app that let you get dressed up and collect friends.

Super Mario Run was then announced in September at an Apple press conference, pushing back the anticipated release of the Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem mobile games folks were pretty excited about. We learned that the game was to be an endless runner of sorts, but apart from that, we didn't have a whole lot to go on. Until now, that is, thanks to this latest announcement from Nintendo. Let's take a look at what we can expect from Super Mario Run.

7 reasons Luigi deserves a mobile game rather than Mario

Posted by Harry Slater on September 12th, 2016

Look, I don't want to start an argument because of my excellent content writing skills, but anyone who's anyone knows that Luigi is the best of the Mario brothers. I mean, for starters his first name and his second name aren't exactly the same. That instantly makes him more trustworthy.

Plus he's the underdog, the other brother, the charming moustache-wearing loser who secretly we all root for. He's more than the player two character, he's an institution. I mean he had a whole year dedicated to him. Remember that? That was a thing that actually happened.

To that end, here are just some of the reasons that it should be Luigi spearheading Nintendo's next mobile game and not his stupid brother whose name I've already pretty much forgotten. Martin or something, I think.

He wears green

Why the next Pokemon GO update needs to get here now

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on September 4th, 2016
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Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

There's no need to panic about Pokemon GO. Though you're almost certain to have read articles in various places about how it has fallen off in terms of popularity since its stellar debut, that was inevitable. When your star burns as bright as Pokemon GO's did, literally the only place to go is down.

The numbers tell a slightly different story. Pokemon GO is still a top 20 app as we head into the holiday weekend in the U.S., even bouncing up a spot from the previous chart. That's not too shabby for a game that's been out for two months.

More importantly, it's still the top grossing iPhone game (though unlike some of its competitors for that throne, it's way further down on iPad). That should give Niantic all the resources it needs to keep plugging away on updates.

And make no mistake, those updates are definitely needed.

Pokemon GO update: Take me to your leader

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 24th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

The Team Leaders in Pokemon GO have had it pretty easy up until now. They show up when players reach level 5, make their cases for joining their respective teams, and that's pretty much it. Light work, as Floyd Mayweather might say.

Niantic's latest update for the game changes that situation and turns every Team Leader into a consultant of sorts. Can't blame them for that, as there's money to be had in that field, or so I'm told.

They still don't have to commute or work out of an office, but here's what you need to know about the Team Leaders' new duties and the new update in general.

5 places where Pokemon GO is still number one

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 22nd, 2016
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Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

In the U.S., the bloom is off the Pokemon Go rose ever so slightly. It's still doing great, sitting atop the top grossing chart as it has for some time, but it's no longer among the top 10 free apps in downloads, possibly because darn near everyone who wants it already has it.

But while it may no longer be the all encompassing phenomenon it was in July and early August in the United States, it's as big as ever in some other countries -- maybe even bigger, if that's possible. Let's take a quick look at five places where Pokemon GO is still the unquestioned number one mobile game.

How to avoid getting banned in Pokemon GO

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 15th, 2016
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Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

You may have heard people talk about a mythical "fate worse than death" before, but here's something that definitely fits that bill: getting banned from playing Pokemon GO -- forever.

We're being tongue in cheek while saying that, but it's happening more and more often. As reported by various media outlets over the last few days, Niantic has been issuing permanent bans to some Pokemon GO players for what it says are violations of the game's terms of service. To be fair, most people never read the TOS for, well, anything, but some of the issues the developers have pointed out are clear.

Things like using bots are actions that only the most passionate believers that users should be able to do whatever they want with software tend to defend. Other violations pointed out by Niantic are less obvious and have already been the subject of some debate within the Pokemon GO community.

But the rules are the rules, and all we can do is roll with them. In the interest of keeping you in the game, here are three things you shouldn't do if you want to avoid the banhammer.

Pokemon GO update: Nearby feature returning soon?

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 8th, 2016
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Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

It's hard to remember one aspect of a popular mobile game that's caused as much hand-wringing as the 'Nearby' tab in Pokemon GO. Just in case you're one of the (very) few people who hasn't played the game or followed its coverage, the tab was supposed to offer a way for players to have an easy reference for which Pokemon were nearby and approximately how far away they were.

The phrase "supposed to" is the key there. It never functioned as intended thanks to what gamers dubbed the "three-step glitch," causing all the Pokemon to appear as if they were an equal distance from the player. Instead of fixing it, Niantic deactivated the feature altogether in one of the game's first updates, causing a predictable overreaction from some of the more passionate Pokemon GO enthusiasts.

The thing is, they had a bit of a point, in the sense that when paired with Niantic cutting off support for third-party tracking apps, gamers were left without a way to even know which Pokemon were around, much less hunt them down. The latest Pokemon GO update doesn't offer a fix, but it does provide a roadmap for how the developers might proceed.

Did Pokemon GO make Pokemon harder to catch?

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 3rd, 2016
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Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

There's been a lot of buzz going through the Pokemon GO community this week after the game received several small updates in the span of a few days. Most of the attention focused on the fact that Niantic removed the infamous three-step tracking feature that was supposed to tell players how close Pokemon were -- but didn't, as it never worked right.

While the debate over that change will likely continue to rage on, something else may have been slipped into the game without quite as many people noticing. Namely, it might now be harder to catch 'em all because it's harder to catch them at all.

Pokemon GO update: 3 things you need to know

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 1st, 2016
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Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

Forget big, splashy content additions for the time being. Pokemon GO received an update over the weekend, and it mostly came with a whimper instead of a bang.

That's not to say it wasn't welcome. The update, which hit both iOS and Android, fixed one of the more annoying things that didn't work with the game for most of its existence, made a key activity simultaneously easier and more difficult, and introduced some unintentional humour (we think) into the mix.

Why you should never power up Pokemon in Pokemon GO

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 28th, 2016
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Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

There's no question that candy is dandy in Pokemon GO. You need big quantities of it to evolve your Pokemon, and when combined with stardust, it can be used to power up your favorite pocket monsters as well, making them more formidable for the gym battles that await you.

But the dilemma facing many players is which of those purposes is best suited for your candy. Since it only takes a single piece to power up any Pokemon, using it that way doesn't seem too wasteful.

As it turns out, the consensus from people who have been playing Pokemon GO nonstop since launch is that even a single piece of candy devoted to powering up Pokemon is probably a piece of candy wasted. Here are some compelling arguments for why you should rarely, if ever, power up your Pokemon.

Win every gym battle in Pokemon GO

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 26th, 2016

Let me know if this scenario sounds familiar. You've got a Pokemon GO gym battle within easy walking distance, and you've visited it many times. Maybe you've even dropped one of your Pokemon there to help defend the place and reap the benefits.

Inevitably though, one of the other teams always comes and beats up your squad, flying its colors proudly. And since the Pokemon they leave there are impossibly tough, there's not a darn thing you can do about it.

6 Pokemon GO updates you can expect, according to Comic-Con

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 25th, 2016
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Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

Pokemon GO had a scheduled appearance at this year's San Diego Comic-Con for a while, but it was only relatively close to the show that it was upgraded to a spot in Hall H. That's the biggest venue at SDCC, one usually reserved for the largest movie and television panels.

Such is the runaway success of Pokemon GO that no one really batted an eye when the game's panel, which featured folks from the game's developer, Niantic, including studio chief John Hanke. While he and his team spoke this weekend about when has happened with the game so far, the big draw was everything they hinted at that is yet to come.

How to evolve Eevee in Pokemon GO

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 22nd, 2016

By now, almost everyone should be hip to how to evolve Pokemon in Pokemon GO (and if not, there's a guide for that). Just gather enough candy of the appropriate type, feed them all to the Pokemon, and evolution happens. It's a miracle that would astound Darwin.

For every rule, though, an exception lurks in the shadows. And when it comes to Pokemon evolution, that exception has a name: Eevee.

Pokemon GO: How to hatch Pokemon Eggs without walking

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 20th, 2016

Playing Pokemon GO without walking is sort of defeating the purpose. Nintendo wanted Niantic to help it create a game that would get people up and moving about, and darned if that isn't exactly what they got.

Nowhere is that more true than when it comes to hatching Pokemon Eggs. As we've told you previously, there are three kinds of eggs, each of which takes a different amount of walking to hatch. Or maybe we should say "walking" in quotes, because despite the developers' best intentions, there are ways around doing 10 km on the shoe leather express.

7 things we want to see in Pokemon GO updates

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 19th, 2016
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Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »

Clearly, Niantic and Nintendo don't need any advice on how to create a popular mobile game. Pokemon GO fever has swept not just the nation, but the entire world. Except Japan, ironically, where it's not out yet.

On the other hand, even the developers would have to admit that there are ways that the game can be improved. It's not the deepest Pokemon game ever, and since it's on mobile, content updates will be not just hoped for, but absolutely essential to keep it relevant for the long haul.