Phillip and I went to a Pokémon Scavenger Hunt today. This was not Pokémon Go, however. It was something similar – it was like Pokémon Go for folks without the app.
The event was hosted by Emerald City Games and Comics, in Burien, and sponsored by several Burien businesses. Neither Phillip nor I were familiar with the Burien area, and I used the Here WeGo app on my phone to navigate us there. (See, there was a “Go” in the day after all!)
Here’s how the game worked: There were 151 Pokémon (actually, small rocks with a picture of a Pokémon glued to it) hidden throughout Burien. Each team had to walk around town for four hours, finding Pokémon. Prizes were given to the best team costume (Phillip and I didn’t have a costume, but tried to dress as alike as possible) and, of course for finding the most Pokémon. We were encouraged to photograph each Pokémon we found, and write down where we found them, just in case there was any dispute.
Each participant was given a backpack, water, snacks, a notebook, and coupons from the sponsoring businesses.
At first, it seemed that we were the only all-adult team there. There were a bunch of little kids playing. (Why didn’t we see that coming?) We were both thinking of bowing out, but then a couple more all-adult teams showed up, and we stuck with it.
Emerald City had wanted to put a map of where the Pokémon were concentrated on the Facebook event page, but wasn’t able to. What they came up with was a paper map that each team could photograph and refer to.
Unfortunately, the paper map was late in arriving, so the event started without it. We were told to go out hunting Pokémon and then check back later for the map.
The woman in Emerald City gave us a hint: The Pokémon were mostly hidden around the sponsoring businesses, so look at our coupons.
We wrote down those businesses’ addresses, and I picked out the farthest one, suggesting that we start from there and work our way back. Phillip agreed to that. The farthest one, judging by the address, seemed like it should be about five or six blocks away. (But, remember, we don’t know Burien.)
We walked and walked, and kept walking. At first, we were walking on opposite sides of street, looking at every storm drain, light pole, and bush for Pokémon. Then we agreed that those little rocks wouldn’t be dropped in residential areas, so we stopped looking and kept walking.
It seemed like we should have been there by now. I turned on the Here WeGo app to guide us there. It was actually a .9-mile walk to that business, but it felt like a lot more. We found a couple of Pokémon, and then agreed to go back to Emerald City, photograph the map, and get the car.
On our way back, we recognized another business on the list, so we went over, found a couple of more Pokémon, and found our way back to Emerald City. I was getting discouraged, and I think Phillip was, too. I’d understood this event to be a walk around a small town – not a hike.
The map was there. Areas were outlined where the Pokémon could be found, as well as number of Pokémon to be found in that area. And, it turned out, we had stated with the worst area we could. With that one exception, all the Pokémon areas were within a block or two, and all concentrated in the downtown Burien area. We regained our enthusiasm, left the car parked where it was, and set out with a photograph of the map.
The event started at 2:00, and was scheduled to last until 7:00. Around 5:30, we were both tired, and agreed to call it quits. We’d found 50 Pokémon, became familiar with Burien, met up with another team (two adults and five or six little kids), enjoyed free espresso drinks at Grand Central Bakery, and (despite a rough start) had an overall good time.
We both had our ResQwalk apps on the whole time. We’d walked between four and five miles today. (It’s a mystery why our two totals were off by almost a mile.)
When we checked back in at Emerald City, we learned that there were probably less than 151 Pokémon out there. Some non-players may have found some of the pretty little rocks and, not knowing they were part of a game, took them. (In geocaching, we call that “muggled”.) Plus, the people who hid them may have miscounted. So, we were told, finding 50 was pretty good.
We saw that two teams had checked in before us. One team had found 35 and the other 53. We didn’t stick around until 7:00.
Here’s a photograph of the map. That T-shape, with the 5, right above where the map makes the right turn, is Emerald City Games and Comics. The triangle, with the 3, is where we walked to that first business.