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Guardian Codex review

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
By Campbell Bird on November 8th, 2016
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: FINAL FANTASY MEETS POKÉMON
This free-to-play rpg may look a little generic, but it also has a special combination of systems to help make playing and progressing in it feel meaningful.
Read The Full Review »

Pokémon GO celebrates Halloween with candy, candy, and more candy

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

The folks behind Pokémon GO have some exciting things planned for their Halloween celebration, the first in-game event since it launched back in July. Starting October 26 and ending on November 1, trainers will be running into large numbers of spooky Pokémon while Candy will be extra bountiful. Let's check out the details.

Plants vs. Zombies Heroes and 3 other ultra-addictive CCGs

Posted by Jessica Famularo on October 20th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: A FAIR DEAL :: Read Review »

CCGs, or collectible trading card games, have pretty much taken over mobile games at this point. Everyone's jumping on the bandwagon, and who could blame them? CCGs are fun for players and hugely profitable for developers and publishers. There's a wide array of CCGs devoted to beloved pop culture franchises, so of course a Plants vs. Zombies iteration was bound to pop up.Plants vs. Zombies Heroes isn't just another marketing ploy, though. Underneath the fun PvZ illustrations you're used to is a heavy duty card game that actually requires quite a bit of strategy to master.

But maybe you've already mastered it, and are looking for the next challenge. Look no further--we've drawn up a list of four other excellent CCGs to kill your time.

Pokémon GO update brings changes to gym battles and more

Posted by Jessica Famularo on October 11th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarhalfstarblankstarblankstar :: POCKET MONSTER :: Read Review »



Pokémon GO
just got a new update today as part of Niantic's continuing efforts to support the game. Before you ask, no, they still haven't added a tracking feature, and no, people are not very happy about that. However, Niantic has thrown in a few new fixes that will make the lives ofpokémon trainers worldwide a touch easier. Let's take a look, shall we?

Why the next Pokemon GO update needs to get here now

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on September 4th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
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
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
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
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
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
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
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.

How does Go Radar stack up against other Pokemon GO tracker apps?

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 4th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

If it seems like there's a new Pokemon GO app to help you track and locate Pokemon every day, that's because it's pretty close to the truth. Niantic and Nintendo may have carved themselves out a big chunk of the mobile gaming industry, but the cottage industry that has developed alongside it has been even more fascinating to watch.

Go Radar is the latest of these apps to surge up the App Store charts, using crowdsourced, real time info to help gamers locate Pokemon. How does it compare to previous apps of the same type? We gave it a spin while on our nightly Pokewalk (yes, we're pretty sure that will be an official word soon if it isn't already) to find out.

Did Pokemon GO make Pokemon harder to catch?

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 3rd, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
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.

Why crowdsourced Pokemon GO apps are now the way to go

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 2nd, 2016

Rest in peace, Pokemon GOunofficial companion map apps. And long live those same apps.

The run enjoyed by apps like GO Gear and services like Pokevision.com was a fun one. They worked by using Niantic's API for Pokemon GO, essentially peeking behind the curtain to determine exactly where different Pokemon would spawn and how long they'd stick around.

While some players decried them as cheats, there's no doubt that having the info they provided made the game a lot more purposeful than simply stumbling around and hoping to find pocket monsters you'd never encountered before. But as the saying goes, all good things come to an end, and with the game's most recent round of updates, Niantic more or less neutered those apps, explaining that the extra strain they added to the game's servers was hindering the experience of the masses.

Thus, Pokevision has gone from essential to useless just like that, and apps that worked in similar fashion have also been cut off at the source. What hope is there now for Pokemon location apps?

Pokemon GO update: 3 things you need to know

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 1st, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
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.

Is GO Gear the Pokemon GO map app you've been seeking?

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 29th, 2016
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad

Now that we've settled into something of a Pokemon GO status quo, the number one desire of most players can best be summed out by modifying a quote from Rod Tidwell of Jerry Maguire: "Show me the Pokemon!"

That's because we've reached the point where many people have gotten the basics down and are out to track down specific Pokemon for leveling purposes or simply to acquire some they haven't encountered to date. Wandering around aimlessly and visiting new places can help, but it's much better to have more information at your fingertips.

Unofficial Pokemon GO map apps have been proliferating to fill that need, and a new one has entered the fray from Celadon Software, the makers ofPokéBuilder. GO Gear is a paid (99 cents at the time of this article) map app that does what several free apps do, but also adds enough important features to make a potential purchase very interesting.

Why you should never power up Pokemon in Pokemon GO

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on July 28th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
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.