Pokemon GO is kicking things back into high gear. Schools are letting out, colder climes are warming up, and the augmented reality monster-hunting game is waking from a relative slumber to capitalize on its one-year anniversary. Today brought with it a slew of announcements from real-life events to rumors about some actual gameplay additions, so there’s reason to be excited even if I’m as cautious as always here.
The first event is the previously-leaked fire and ice-themed “Solstice Event,” kicking off June 13. Relative to what it seems like we’ll be getting soon, the Solstice Event seems like a pretty standard iteration on the events that we’ve been seeing ever since Halloween: increased spawns on fire and ice Pokemon, discounted Lucky Eggs and, interestingly, “huge” XP bonuses for accurate Pokeball throws, which will throw a fun little wrinkle into the experience of actually catching the creatures. That’s about it for the relatively constrained Solstice Event, however.
After that, we’ve got the first-ever real world event, Pokemon GO Fest in Downtown Chicago’s Grant Park. There aren’t many details about just what the fest will entail, but my guess is that it will be more real life party than in-game event, because the game needs to be very careful about restricting rewards even so far after launch.
Tickets for that go live at 10:00 AM PDT on June 19, so expect those to go very, very fast. The Chicago event will be followed by a series of European events and a “Pikachu Outbreak” in Yokohoma, Japan. I’m honestly a bit more interested in the European events than the Chicago party: big-ticket festivals are fun and all, but the European events may provide a better framework for how these sorts of things will actually become an established part of the regular game.
There’s more news to come, including some sort of update to include “collaborative” gameplay into the gym system, which could range from the inclusion of PvP to the sorts of raids that we’ve been wondering about since well before launch. This summer could be a big moment for Pokemon GO, so keep an eye on what’s happening.