Would you like to be, in Roppongi, in a Pokémon GO AR Garden, in the shade?

Although I enjoy Pokémon GO as much as your average player, there are two things I have never used: the AR function and the sound. It’s not that they’re bad, I’m just more concerned with not getting hit by a car, and honestly don’t really want to draw any more attention to what I’m doing than necessary.

But now a place has opened where Pokémon enthusiasts may roam about free of judgment and safe from vehicles while enjoying all sounds these wonderful creatures have to offer: Pokémon GO AR Garden will be open from 12 to 21 October in Roppongi Hills’ Mori Garden. To learn more we sent the Russian Roulette Bread loser himself, Takashi Harada.

As you can see, visitors to the garden receive a bunch of special gear. First, everyone plays with a special loaner smartphone attached to parabolic microphone. On the smartphone display, Professor Willow explains that ten Pokémon are roaming the park and you must use your mic to find and identify their calls. However, approach carefully or you may spook them.

Even though the Pokémon GO AR Garden is developed by Niantic this game was in no way connected with Harada’s normal Pokémon GO game. They may work out a way to bridge the two adventures in the future, though.

Players are also given a special earphone that clips onto the outer ear. This allows you to hear both in game sounds as well as ambient noises for a more realistic feel. It’s also a little less skeevey than using earphones that’ve been inside other people’s ears.

Harada walked around the garden with his microphone, searching for the sweet sounds of Pokémon. Once you notice the call of a certain monster, it becomes louder the closer you get. When their cry reaches a certain volume you will then be able to record it, which is essentially like catching the Pokémon.

Harada caught an Exeggutor (Alolan), Snorlax, and Aerodactyl before realizing he could only catch three and the game ends. If you happen to play yourself, you might want to explore a little more and not catch Pokémon right away.

After the hunt, Harada was able to have a little free AR time on the lawn with one of the Pokémon he discovered. “Snorlax, I choose you!” he shouted as he pulled back his arm and dramatically tapped the appropriate icon on the smartphone screen.

The sleepy giant plunked down in front of the Asahi TV building and posed for some cute pictures.

Also in the garden was a special VR section where people could climb the Mori Garden Gym and encounter various Pokémon along the way. There’s a version that corresponds with each team in Pokémon GO and contains a unique surprise depending on which color you choose.

Since the Pokémon GO AR Garden has no influence on the regular Pokémon GO game, it can easily be enjoyed by all kinds of Pokémon fans or by people who want to  simply enjoy an innovative augmented and virtual reality attraction.

This is also just one section of a wider Innovation Tokyo 2018 — AR Playground with Niantic event which includes games based on their previous hit Ingress. Best of all, admission is free for most activities. So be sure to head on down to Roppongi Hills before its too late, and answer the call of the Snorlax.

Source: Roppongi Hills
Photos: SoraNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]