Pokemon Go Fest 2020 Review

July 27, 2020 at 8:10pm
By Jason Stettner

Niantic went global this year with a special Pokemon Go Fest 2020 event. I was able to check it out, and was actually quite hyped to do so. I put in some prep work collecting items and stocking up coins in order to catch as much as I could.

This was a two day event, on July 25 and 26, 2020. It featured time zones ranging from 8am to 10pm in whatever local time you’re in. I spent six or more hours across the two days hunting in what I’d consider to be our city’s most popular spot.

That being Prince’s Island, an area littered with Pokestops and creatures to collect. I have to say I was very much looking forward to this event, and by the end of it somewhat disappointed. I liked the idea of what they were going for, but I feel the cost didn’t quite match the value I got out of it.

I went out with another individual that I typically play the game with, while also chatting with another friend. That other friend felt they got a good value, whereas we weren’t too thrilled. I note that, to provide some different opinions with my other friend having slightly more time in the game than I do.

The first day was rather neat, hourly changes of different types. There were lots of Raids, and other bonus things going on. Even after that day I wasn’t necessarily too blown away. The second day was particularly worse just being Team Rocket battles that I could have easily knocked out at home.

I’ll build on what I did on these two days a tad further. The first day was interesting in that everyone was out and about. I was seriously surprised as I hadn’t seen that many people since the game released. Well, it wasn’t quite at that extent yet it was neat to see so many playing. Some had the print out hats, others were meeting people. It was quaint.
Pokemon Go Fest 2020 Day 1 game
The second day was really empty though, about a fourth of the numbers of people out the day prior. I really do think that was due to it being plausible to just sit at home and complete the second day. That in combination with it being purely lame Team Rocket battles. I had most of mine done before heading out, but I had hoped that an adventure into the area once more might have yielded something new.

That wasn’t however the case, and I felt I should have stayed at home or gone somewhere closer. I think perhaps combining the first day’s events and the second’s goals would have been far better. I also would have liked more distinct goals. Maybe hitting so many stops, spinning somewhere new or finding a special Pokemon somewhere.

The end goal after battling a bunch was to just catch twenty different species, send gifts to friends and take a snapshot. That was different, but nothing too wild quite honestly. I get the state of the world at this time, but it still would have been nice to have something more oriented on exploration. I was just generally disappointed by what was present here, I had expected something with a bit of a wow factor.

That was also the case in the shiny department. Despite hundreds of catches and hours out, I got three shinies. A Pikachu, a Tangela and a Magmar. I did also get the special hat wearing Pokemon, but I really wouldn’t classify those as shinies since there were dozens of them. I did certainly fill my Pokedex a tad more, and this felt like just a quicker way to work through the game if that makes sense.
Jason Stettner Pokemon Go Fest 2020
I didn’t feel a sense of it being a must play sort of thing, which with the cost of $20.99 CAD that should have been the feeling. I know it’s a bit of chance, but even my companion who fared better than I ended up with I believe five or six shinies. I just thought I’d get something really unique and new, or a good stack of shinies. Just something fresh, as this mostly condensed the experience of regular playing into a weekend. Instead of spending a lot of time out catching stuff going forward, I suppose I don’t need to as much after this so that was beneficial.

I did like the Raiding in the sense that others were present, but even those weren’t anything too wildly different from regularly playing Raid events. I’m not honestly too sure what more I would have wanted, but I left feeling disappointed each day. I was actually just sort of emotionally drained going into that second day after the first. I really do feel they could have done some slight adjustments to make this very compelling. Perhaps the style of the first day, with challenges and a slightly lower cost point.

I would be happy to engage in that a few times a year, if that were the setup. This did however sort of just leave a sour note. It was just worse because I was so interested in this and after catching the same water type over and over, or the same fire type over and overI became terribly bored of it. I’d like to see them try this again sometime though.

It was nice to see people playing it again, and I think the idea is there. I’m not sure veteran players would get much from this, but if you were a newer player this would have been very helpful to start with. Whatever the case, it was an intriguing time. With that, there’s a spots to catch guide below, and the Pokemon Go hub for further game coverage.

Read our Pokemon Go Calgary Best Spots to Catch
View our Pokemon Go Hub

Gamerheadquarters Reviewer Jason Stettner