POKEMON GO is still one of the biggest mobile games in the world, with new challenges, creatures and missions bringing old players back into the fold.
To play many of the new activities, though, you need friends – and a new bar in Tokyo is looking to help you find some.
P-GO Izakaya Genkinokakera opened its doors last month, and has been doing a roaring trade as Pokémon fans down beers and sip sake while playing the game.
The bar is there to help some of the millions of grown-ups playing Pokémon Go get the most out of the game.
While it is possible to trade ‘friend codes’ online, players often need to be in the same location to get the most out of their friends.
Even for those with online friends, especially in Japan, the idea of meeting up with people you have never met can be quite socially awkward at the best of times.
That becomes easier after a few cups of sake – and chatting about what is a kids’ game is almost certainly easier in a bar that is themed around the popular pocket monsters.
The bar has a bunch of offers, including a £35 all-you-can-drink session that includes beer, plum wine and lots of different sorts of sake.
According to Japanese news site SoraNews24 the bar organises tournaments so players can get to know each other by pitting their favourite Pokémon against each other.
It’s also kitted out with plug sockets and chargers to ensure that you can keep on playing as long as the beer keeps flowing.
Helpfully, there is a Pokémon Gym and a Pokéstop in range of the bar too.
Gyms house the most powerful Pokémon in the game, and players need to team up to beat them and claim them for their own collections.
Because of how close the nearest gym is, it’s possible to fight those Pokémon with other drinkers by your side without ever leaving the bar.
As well as organising events, the bar owners make sure there is always a good supply of Pokémon to catch too.
Putting ‘lures’ on the nearby Pokéstop means lots more of the monsters appear than normal, and probably customers too.
As is traditional for this sort of bar in Japan they’ve got plenty of food options too.
These include the slightly creepy hard-boiled Pokémon eggs, painted in green, yellow and purple to match the eggs you can hatch creatures from in Pokémon Go.
Gamers are even helping decorate the place to make it feel more Pokémon friendly.
The bar recently held an AR photo contest where players used the game’s camera to take photos of Pokémon out and about, with AR photos now decorating the walls.
One customer even bought them a huge plush toy of popular Pokémon Lapras all the way from Taiwan.
MOST READ IN GAMING
While many pubs and bars across the UK latched onto the launch of Pokémon Go, there haven’t been many new openings despite the game’s resurgence in popularity.
Seeing the success of P-GO Izakaya Genkinokakera, as well as the ongoing success of gaming bars up and down the UK and of Detective Pikachu, it’s surely only a matter of time before someone gives it a go for UK Pokémon fans.
Younger fans, of course, have the option of the Pokémon Cafe, where as well as Pokémon-themed food and drink you can even get a picture with Chef Pikachu.
Visitors to the café also get the chance to meet chef Pikachu[/caption]
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