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Mobile Games Hotspot is a curated weekly roundup of the top stories in gaming on-the-go.
Pokemon Go is kicking off its largest event of the year with three weeks of bonuses, the release of the legendary Jirachi monster and the introduction of Generation 5 Pokemon to the mobile game.
A new special research task dubbed the “Thousand-Year Slumber” launched this week, allowing players to complete seven tiers of challenges that eventually unlock Jirachi, the long-awaited legendary Pokemon from Generation 3. Meanwhile, another set of bonuses and new releases will kick off Sept. 2, allowing players a chance to hatch the elusive Unown, a Pokemon that in the past has only spawned at specific events and conventions.
The second week of bonus content launches Sept. 9, when eggs received through friend gifts will have the chance to hatch region-exclusive Pokemon, including Farfetch’d from Japan, Kangaskhan from Australia, Mr. Mime from Europe and Tauros from North America. The shiny variants of these Pokemon may also appear. Raids will feature all four forms of Deoxys, a Pokemon that previously was only available through the invite-only EX raids.
Finally, for the third week, starting Sept. 16, Mewtwo will return to raids, this time with the special move Psystrike. A shiny variant will also be released for the first time.
While all the new upcoming Pokemon have not yet been revealed, this week will feature the release of the first Generation 5 Pokemon, including Patrat, Lillipup and Klank, each of which can be found as a shiny. All three weeks will double incubator effectiveness, meaning walking distances for hatching eggs will be cut in half.
Here’s what else is happening in the world of mobile games:
Shovel Knight Dev “Hopes” for Mobile
The next Shovel Knight game may see a home on mobile platforms. While speaking with Pocket Gamer.biz, Yacht Club Games’ James Chan explained a simple port of Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove would not work, as the precision needed with a controller would not translate well with a touch screen. He went on to discuss the difficulties of working on mobile and that they “do hope to eventually bring Shovel Knight as a brand to mobile.” The original Shovel Knight launched in 2014 and has since sold 2.5 million copies.
Gears POP! Launches Two Weeks Early
Although a release date of Sept. 2 was set back at E3 2019, Gears POP! bowed Thursday on both iOS and Android. Despite sharing the same characters and universe of its console predecessor Gears of War, Gears POP! takes on a cutesier art style while changing the gameplay to a top-down battle arena. Gears POP! is a lead-up to next month’s Gears 5, which is set to be released Sept. 10 on Xbox One and PC.
Donkey Kong, Is That You?
A brand-new mobile game released on both iOS and Android this week takes on a very familiar look and feel to the classic Donkey Kong Country series. In Banana Kong Blast, players take control of Banana Kong as he collects bananas, swings on vines and blasts out of barrels. Flipping between 2D and 3D is something the newer Donkey Kong Country games played with and something Banana Kong Blast doesn’t shy away from. The 48 levels do not feature any free roaming segments and instead focus on timed presses. This week’s release is actually a sequel to the original Banana Kong from 2013.
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