Trainers! It's time.
Last week, we asked you to submit your best mock-ups of classic Pokémon in a new 'Alolan' form (in honour of the Hawaiian-themed Pokémon Sun and Moon), in a competition to win one of five Pokémon Go Plus devices. The time has come to announce the winners - and some of our personal favourite runners-up, too.
Before diving in and revealing the five victors, though, it would be wrong not to take a moment to thank you for your submissions. Eurogamer received over 100 emails for the competition - some even containing multiple designs - and it was a genuine pleasure going through them all. The Pokémon fans here in the office are already well aware of the community's enthusiasm, but receiving scores of applications from all ages and locations served as a fantastic reminder of just how deep Pokémon's roots go.
It's safe to say there were quite the range of designs, and since we admittedly left the parameters of the competition somewhat vague, it's been fascinating to see how you interpreted the brief - no matter how 'interesting' (hilarious) the direction some have you might have taken.
Judging the submissions, we found we were usually impressed either by the overall concept, artistic execution, comedy factor, Pokémon knowledge, or just downright cuteness. So we've tried to roughly pick a winner representing each of these categories.
There were also a number of submissions that we loved and believed worthy of an honourable mention, so we've included a selection of our favourite runners-up alongside their corresponding descriptions, too.
We'll leave it to you to figure out what it was exactly that we liked about each one...
Pokémon Go Plus Alolan Competition: The Winners
Lindsey K - Alolan Tentacool
Lindsey's tropical Tentacool is "based on the Portuguese Man O' War", and featured some frankly brilliant artwork and presentation. It even managed to make us fond of what has to be one of - if not the - most annoying Pokémon around, which is an achievement. There's also a believable-but-still-interesting origin story that would be right at home in Sun and Moon. Here's the description:
"Due to the strong currents and warmer waters of the Alolan region, Tentacool have evolved without the need to move, developing a sail-like body and letting the warm ocean winds and waves move them around. Their brightly coloured, slightly transparent body is incredibly hard to see in the water, and the poison in their tentacles is much more potent than their Kanto cousins. Despite their body size of around 1.5 feet, their tentacles under the water can grow from anywhere between 10 to 30 feet! They move in groups, and spotting one on the sand can be the reason for a beach closure, as there would be many more nearby."
Adrian Y - Fire Dancer Abra (and evolutions)
We were big fans of Adrian's artwork, which was remarkably true-to-form when held up next to the real thing. Fire dancing was a theme that came up a couple of times in submissions, but Adrian's use of the fire sticks to replace what would have been Kadabra and Alakazam's spoons was a great twist. It's another Alolan form that could comfortably fit into the Pokémon universe, too.
Just a simple description with this one. Adrian said: "It is a fire dancer wearing tropical garb the more he evolves."
Noah - Solrock and Lunatone
Alright, no guesses for which entry struck us for it's cuteness then. Nine-year-old Noah drew both of the celestial pair - which bends the rules, but we'll allow it. We were particularly impressed with his reference to the overall theme and mysteriously offset day/night mechanic that will be unique to Pokémon Sun and Moon.
According to Noah: "The tropical weather has made them burst out of their rock shells to become Fire/Psyschic and Dark/Psychic type Pokémon." Awesome.
Dary - Mysterious Mon
What can we say about this?
Not a lot, but hopefully when Dary's friends ask how he came by the free Pokémon Go Plus he'll have to show them this picture that he made, and we like the thought of that. Here's Dary's description:
"After moving to the Alola region, Machoke gave up the fighting lifestyle to pursue a career in music, leading to an unprecedented evolution into Machamp and a celebrity career that, sadly, Petered out after he got into a jungle fight with 'Johnny' Rotten."
Justin S - Cutiki
With a believably melancholy backstory for a Cubone evolution (that's it's mum's skull it normally wears, you know), Cutiki is, accoring to Justin, the result of a Cubone finally achieving "inner peace". We like how Justin's managed to blend the new mask and fire staff into the textured appearance of the card.
There are style points for submitting in the form of an original Pokémon trading card of course, and we were big fans of the attention to detail, not only with Cutiki's origin story, but also on all the finer points of the card itself. A great all-round entry! Here's the description:
"CUTIKI! (Cyoo- Tiikii) This adorable island Pokémon is an alternative evolution to Cubone. If a Cubone is able to come to inner peace (most likely through a variety of island activities like surfing or dancing), he may be able to evolve into a Cutiki. He will lay his trademark skull mask into the ground and opt for a more festive appearance. This Pokemon is known to guard sacred sites like temples and graveyards and can often be seen at night performing complicated fire dances."
We had a genuinely tough time deciding the winners, and so we felt it only fair to put together a quick gallery of our personal favourites and close runners-up. Once again, great job to everyone who submitted, even those who aren't on the honourable mentions list - we loved every entry in its own way. Thanks!