Released to the Japanese iTunes store last month, The Pokémon Company’s official iOS version of the legendary pocket monster guide, the Pokédex, comes to North America for Apple’s mobile devices. This iOS version of the Pokédex supports Retina display for it’s cavalcade of 3D rendered critters, search functions using multiple criteria (Egg Group, Ability, type matchup, and learnable moves), and a ton of stats for planning your perfect party.
Sadly, this first official iOS release for a Nintendo affiliated company comes with a whole list of caveats. Pokédex for iOS, a $2 app, only includes the latest batch of Pokémon (#494 to #647). Other Pokémon are broken down by region and come via in-app purchase at an outrageous SIX BUCKS PER REGION. Want the original, classic Pokémon like Pikachu? Kanto region (#1 to #151) is $5.99. What about those Johto adventuring buddies like Togepi (#152 to #251)? You guessed it. ANOTHER $6. Want to complete your Pokedex? Duh. Gotta catch ‘em all, right? That will cost you a nickel short of $26!
Even moving past the price tag, Pokédex for iOS can’t help but be a disappointment for those expecting a real-life version of the the legendary encyclopedia prominently featured in so many games, television shows, and movies. This app eschews the traditional bright colors and personality for a bog-standard presentation that only the most generic of app construction kits could produce.
Finally, a quick warning of the system requirements is in order. This seemingly simple encyclopedia of childhood delights states that your Apple device needs to support and be updated to iOS 6.0 (or later).
Nintendo has finally brought one of their biggest IPs to a platform other than their own. It should be a joyous time for both the young and young-at-heart. Unfortunately a bland presentation and outrageous pricing scheme makes us wish they hadn’t bothered.