Pokémon Go Fest, the game's biggest annual summer bonanza, has now been fully detailed by developer Niantic. Fans can look forward to a new Mythical Pokémon, more Shiny species, and an intriguing tease for Alola's alien Ultra Beasts.
Specifically, today's announcement illuminates the event's June 4th and 5th components, which will be available to play wherever you are via a $15 ticket.
As previously announced, a subsequent finale event will then follow on 27th August - a bonus for those with a ticket. Lastly, there will be three in-person Go Fest events during July and August in Berlin, Seattle and Sapporo, ticketed separately.
On Saturday, 4th June, ticket holders will be greeted with a new questline leading to the Mythical Pokémon Shaymin in its Land Forme. Basically, it's a cute little grass hedgehog.
In a first for the game, and seemingly in response to past player criticism, you'll be able to choose difficulty levels in the research and set a particular focus. Options include Relaxed, Standard and Master difficulties, and Catch, Explore and Battle focuses, which come with different sticker rewards.
Four rotating habitats will be available throughout the day for all players, with an additional set of Pokémon available via Incense for ticket holders with a boosted Shiny chance. Global challenges will reward players as the game's community hits various goals in real-time, meanwhile.
New Shiny species will include Shroomish, Numel, Karrablast, Shelmet and the ultra-rare Axew - a much sought-after fan-favourite. From Incense, you'll be able to catch the regional creatures Torkoal and Tropius, plus Shiny-possible Unown letters G,O,U,B. Why U and B? This seems a tease from Niantic at the Alola region's extradimensional Ultra Beasts.
Indeed, Sunday 5th June will feature unannounced Pokémon in Legendary raids (what's the bet this is an Ultra Beast?) and a second new questline that sounds like it'll involve Team Rocket. Nine free raid passes will also be available to claim from gyms both days - making for 18 total. Is all that enough to tempt you for a ticket?
I found Pokémon Go Fest 2021 to be the game's best ticketed event to date, with some lovely storytelling flourishes that introduced disruption from the Mythical Pokémon Hoopa. I wonder if the Ultra Beasts will feature in a similar way this summer?