On September 16 (my birthday!) my boyfriend and I were in Paris for the first Pokemon Go Safari Zone event. I’ve been loving Pokemon Go since it first came out and when we heard there was a special event being hosted on my birthday, we decided we had to be there!
Now I’m back in England I’d like to write a little review on the whole experience. As you might have heard, the first Pokemon Go event didn’t go very well. During Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago, people were unable to connect to the game and the servers were breaking down. Players did get a refund on their ticket and 100 dollars in Pokecoins to make up for it, but it seemed like a big failure. This did make me a little worried about the Paris event. But it ended up being an amazing event! In my opinion, it was a big success.
Safari zone event?
The Pokemon Go Safari Zone events were supposed to be happening a bit earlier. Dates in August for cities as Amsterdam and Prague were postponed to October after all the connection issues the game experienced in Chicago. Luckily the Paris event wasn’t postponed and we still got to go.
The events were held in shopping malls and they were free to attend. However, you did need a registered ticket to take part in the Safari Zone. Without a ticket, you were still allowed in the mall, but you couldn’t get access to the Safari Zone extras in the game. We got super lucky being able to get tickets for the event. The 4000 tickets were gone within less than ten minutes.
These in-game extras contained a lot of lured Pokestops (and when I say a lot, I mean A LOT), special Pokemon spawns like Mareep, Larvitar, Chansey, Unown, Shiny Pikachu, Shiny Magikarp, and Australian exclusive Kangaskhan. Players also got access to special 2KM eggs during the event. These eggs contained rare Pokemon like Snorlax, Mareep, Dratini and many more.
In order to make sure the game worked better, all raids were disabled during the event. There were no raids anywhere near the mall all day. They returned at the end of the event at 8 PM.
What was the experience like?
The event was supposed to start at 10 AM and we arrived around 9 AM to queue up. At first, we were a little bit intimidated by the length of the queue but everybody got inside pretty quickly. Outside the mall, I got a little worried because it seemed like the game was very glitchy and when I tried to click on a certain Pokemon the game would give me an error sign. I was also a bit worried about the amount of Pokestops that were visible inside the mall from the outside. There were only about four or five stops, surely that wouldn’t be enough!
When we got inside the mall they checked our tickets and we got given a little “Trainer Kit” which included a wristband, a QR code, a map, and a little poster. The glitches and errors disappeared as soon as I scanned my personal QR-code. I received an in-game medal saying I attended the event and suddenly all the special Pokestops appeared!
We spend our entire day at the event. Walking from Pokestop to Pokestop, catching lots of rare Pokemon and hatching as many special 2KM eggs as we could. The atmosphere was amazing! It gave me so much joy seeing that many people getting together to play the game we all loved. I loved meeting other people who traveled to Paris to play the game, just like us.
My boyfriend and I both managed to get lots of new Pokemon that we hadn’t managed to catch yet and we gained lots of XP, too! But besides having done really well in the game, the experience itself made traveling down to Paris totally worth it.
When the event was over, all the Pokestops around the mall were suddenly lit with Pokestops for everybody, including players without a QR-code. The raids were back too, including some legendary Entei raids. Because there were so many people around after the event ended, there were tons of people to play with! It was one of the best experiences of the day. We spoke to so many people from all over the world and battled Entei with them. It made my birthday come to such a good end!
Things that I liked
The whole event was much better than I could’ve expected! The internet was running smoothly, the game was working without crashing or glitching and even though the mall was busy, it wasn’t overcrowded like I expected it to be. There were some events going on throughout the day on the stages. They seemed fun but we were too busy catching all the amazing spawns to really pay attention to them. The thing that I liked most about the event was seeing so many people come together and having such a great time. I don’t see a lot of people playing the game when I’m out and about. Knowing that all these people were playing too was so much fun.
Things that could’ve been improved
I haven’t got a lot to complain about, to be honest. The event was very smooth and enjoyable. There were a couple of things that did disappoint me a little bit. The Safari Zone Event was supposed to end at 8 PM. While they had shown and talks on the main stage all day, there was no “end-show”. The only announcement that was made about the end of the event was from the mall itself telling us they were closing the shops. It would have been nice to have a little “thank you for coming out today!’ from Niantic on the main stage, cause it felt a little bit incomplete.
Another thing that I heard a lot of people complain about was that we didn’t get a special raid at the end. I was hoping for a Mewtwo raid at the end of the day. After having spoken to a few people, I know wasn’t the only one. The Entei raids were really fun, but I think we all expected something more special in the end.
I’m very happy I made the effort to travel down to Paris for the event. It’s been lots of fun and I got to stack up on lots of rare Pokemon candy and filled up my dex a little more!
Have you been to one of the Safari events?
Let me know if you’d like to go to one!
Thinking about buying a Pokemon Go Plus? Make sure to check out my article on the pros and cons!