GAMING

Pokémon GO's Halloween Update is the Spooky Surprise We Needed

Gastly, Zubat, Meowth, oh my!

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If you're one of those who haven't opened your Pokémon GO app since the summer, now is the time to give training another shot. Niantic released an update yesterday evening with a ton of super dope Halloween-themed touches. As if we needed another reason to be excited about Halloween, the season of spookiness and candy has begun in the augmented reality world of Pokémon GO as well.

Apart from a creepy new loading screen, the temporary updates offers candy bonuses (double candy earned on catching, hatching, and transferring) and drastically increased prevalence of the spookiest of the first 151 Pokémon: Gastly, Haunter, Gengar, Drowzee, Hypno, Zubat, and Golbat.


This is what my sightings have looked like, constantly.

Okay, so maybe more Zubats doesn't sound exciting, but trust me, it's Gastly, Cubone, and Meowth that you're going to be seeing hordes of. While the official announcement only listed the seven above types, I have without a doubt seen a spiked spawn rate of other spooky Pokémon, namely Cubone and Meowth. Like, tons of them, everywhere, from Bushwick to Bryant Park. If this is a glitch, I'm not complaining. More likely than not, though, it's an unannounced bonus. Cubone and Meowth may not be ghost types, but they're certainly spooky in theme. Especially Cubone. Its species is listed as "lonely" and it has a history of hanging around graveyards, on account of having lost its mother or something? Which like, doesn't exactly make sense in the context of the whole Pokémon universe, but okay. It's kind of cute, in a sad/creepy way.

If you've been lagging behind on evolutions, now is the time to get back in the game, thanks to the double candy bonuses (double!!) and extra appearances. It's particularly exciting that the devs decided to include Cubone, which is not an extremely common Pokémon in this game. You can finally get your Marowak, no lurking around the cemetery in Lavender Town required.

Although, it was pretty creepy when this happened to my avatar. Glitch or ghost??

With interest dropping off from the game after the initial hype this summer, a Halloween update complete with gameplay incentives is exactly what Pokémon GO needed to draw some players back in. And sure enough, by this morning, Pokémon GO was back to the top of the app store. Once your Pokedex gets around 80 or 90, new catches and evolutions feel excruciatingly few and far between, so the candy bonuses and switched-up spawns inject some life back into a slowed-down game. Fingers crossed that this is a sign of more seasonal events to come...I'm dreaming of a Team Yellow Christmas.

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