POKÉMON GO SOLSTICE EVENT INCREASES FIRE AND ICE-TYPE ENCOUNTERS

Much of the gaming industry may be gathered in LA this week getting bombarded with trailers for E3, but the rest of the world remains populated by Pokémon, like always. Pokémon GO is beginning a ramp up toward big one-year celebration event with a fire and ice-themed “Solstice Event” that starts tomorrow, June 13 at 1 PM PDT. The event increases spawns for both Fire-type and Ice-type Pokémon and offers discounts on Lucky Eggs, as well as XP bonuses for accurate Pokéball throws and some kind of blanket XP bonus for other activities. The event ends on June 20, one day ahead of the actual solstice. From the blog post:

With summer quickly approaching in the Northern Hemisphere and winter approaching in the Southern Hemisphere, we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the upcoming solstices than with a Fire-type and Ice-type Pokémon GO event. From 1:00 P.M. PDT on June 13 to 1:00 P.M. PDT on June 20, 2017, Trainers around the world will discover more Charmander, Cyndaquil, Growlithe, Houndour, Ponyta, Swinub, Vulpix, and their Evolutions. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for Sneasel, Magmar, Cloyster, and other Fire types and Ice types!

All in all, it’s not a particularly hard-hitting event. I always like the events that switch up spawn rates, but there isn’t much else going on here besides that. I do like how it seems like it will encourage you to go for accurate Pokéball throws in a way that the game doesn’t quite do already, bringing a bit more excitement to the actual catch experience. Other than that, however, there aren’t a whole lot of rewards on tap to make this one of the more valuable events, which is a bit odd considering it’s meant to begin the process of kicking the game into a higher gear.

What comes after the event is bound to be much more interesting. Niantic is promising some kind of mysterious “collaborative” gameplay update that somehow affects gyms and isn’t necessarily tied to the long-awaited PvP and legendary updates. It’s a big time for the game: not only are kids getting out of school with little to do besides roam around and catch Pokémon, but the one-year anniversary provides a convenient punctuation mark that Niantic seems to want to use to bring some new gameplay features to bear. We’ll see: there have been big events in this game’s past that haven’t really gone anywhere, so let’s hope that the developer can get things together this time.