And how is Pokémon Wonder, anyway?

Tokyo-area theme park Yomiuriland caused a stir among Pokémon fans when they recently announced their newest upcoming attraction: Pokémon Wonder. A Pokémon-themed nature adventure, Pokémon Wonder is made up of about 4,500 square meters (a little over one acre) of untamed nature that has been left to grow wild for about 20 years. It really looks like scenery from the new Pokémon Snap game, where Pokémon could pop out at any time!

And that’s the whole purpose of Pokémon Wonder; to discover Pokémon and enjoy nature. When you start your Pokémon Wonder adventure, you become a member of the research team of Professor Kureso and use maps and hints to find over 50 different species of Pokémon.

By all accounts, it sounds like a blast! But our Pokémon GO-obsessed Japanese-language reporter P.K. Sanjun wanted to know more. Specifically, he was interested in whether the attraction would be a good place to play Pokémon GO.

Luckily, he managed to score an advance pass to check it out along with quite a few other members of the press. So did the new attraction prove to be a great Pokémon GO adventure as well as a natural one?

The answer is: most definitely not. The untamed wilds of Pokémon Wonder are not suited at all to playing Pokémon GO. For one, P.K. doesn’t think it’s safe. True to its advertising as a “nature adventure”, Pokémon Wonder aims to keep you as close to nature as possible, which means that the paths wind through a mountain forest. There was lots of climbing up and down and even some natural paths, so P.K. didn’t want to be looking down at his phone all the time for fear of tripping.

Plus, since it’s such a remote, natural area, very few Pokémon appeared. More people will be frequenting the area now, so this may change later, but there wasn’t much point in searching for Pokémon to catch there when P.K. went.

Even worse, as of July 1, there wasn’t a single PokéStop in the area, which made keeping a steady stock of Poké Balls pretty difficult. There’s a good chance that more PokéStops could appear as more people take photos around the park, but that won’t matter as long as there aren’t many Pokémon to catch anyway.

But in the end, P.K. said it doesn’t matter, because you’re going to need to devote all of your energy and attention to finding the real Pokémon in Pokémon Wonder! You might think that, because you pay to get in, it’s going to be relatively easy to find the Pokémon hiding in the bushes, but you’d be dead wrong. It’s actually really hard!

Though you get maps and hints to help you find the Pokémon, if you don’t pay really close attention, you won’t find any. For example, try to find the Pokémon in this picture.

Hint: you’re looking for Rowlet.

There it is!!

What about in this picture?

You’re looking for a Seedot this time.

Did you see it?

And this one?

There’s a Metapod there somewhere…

Do you see it yet?

Look closer!

Found it!

With the Pokémon hiding so thoroughly, it was clear that you really won’t have any attention to spare in looking for digital Pokémon when finding the Pokémon in real life is that difficult. Even if you’ve figured out the general area of where one could be, finding exactly where it is is even harder. P.K. actually thought that Pokémon Wonder would probably be too hard for children for this very reason.

That being said, P.K. still had an absolute ball! The sheer joy and accomplishment he felt every time he discovered a Pokémon made it actually quite thrilling. That’s the ultimate reason why P.K. recommends you turn off Pokémon GO while you’re in Pokémon Wonder: because Pokémon Wonder is fun, and you want to be able to fully enjoy it!

But don’t worry, you can turn it back on again once you’re back out in Yomiuriland’s main area. With tons of PokéStops and lots of Pokémon appearing, that place is awesome for playing Pokémon GO!

Pokémon Wonder is set to open to the public on July 17 and will cost an additional 4,900 yen (US$44.28) for adults (junior high school and up) and 1,800 yen for kids on top of the regular price of admission to Yomiuriland. Two groups of up to six are allowed in at a time, and you’ll get 90 minutes to find all the Pokémon–so make sure you put your all into finding them!

Photos ©2017 Niantic, Inc. ©2020 Pokemon. ©1995-2020 Nintendo/Creatures Inc. /GAME FREAK inc., ©SoraNews24
Screenshots: Pokémon Go(iOS)
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