Pokémon GO Tour | Logo

You can find out more about the upcoming Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Global Event, taking place February 24-25, 2024, here.

“I’m so happy here. I love this so much.”

I heard those words midway through Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles from a teenager to her mother on Saturday, and that really sums up my thoughts about this event. Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles was the smoothest, most fun, Pokémon GO event that I have been to yet, and I found myself with so much to do that I nearly could not finish it all during the event. If you do not read anything beyond this paragraph, then just know that I am extremely excited to see what Niantic, Inc., pulls out of their trainer caps for the yet unannounced- but absolutely inevitable- Pokémon GO Fest later this year.

Pokémon GO Tour | Event Map
Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles took place at Rose Bowl stadium. (Photo by author).

Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles took place at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California. The play area stretched from inside the Rose Bowl itself, around the stadium, across a bridge, and all the way down the connecting golf course. It was a very long, but narrow, play area, and I definitely got my steps in for the day just running all over to do everything in each of the areas. The ground was fairly level, and I didn’t find any real chokepoints to getting across the area other than potentially the large bridge that connected the golf course to the stadium area.

Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles was the debut of both Origin Forme Dialga and Origin Forme Palkia. The appearance criteria for these two Pokémon were quite interesting: for the first half hour of each hour, the normal versions of Dialga and Palkia would appear. For the last 30 minutes of each hour, the raids would switch out for the new Origin Forme versions. This ensured that everyone could get both forms of the Pokémon. I also really, really liked this half-hour switch off. This ‘break’ from Origin Forme made me not feel guilty for not raiding nonstop, as I could go do other things every other half-hour until the Origin Forme popped up again.

Pokémon GO Tour | Structure at event.
Scattered throughout the event were structures that showed off the Time-Space Anomalies that defined this event. (Photos by author.)

Pokémon GO Tour | Time-Space Anomaly.

The new Adventure Effects from the two Origin Formes- Spacial Rend (allowing a large encounter area for wild Pokemon) and Roar of Time (pauses most item timers for six minutes to extend their duration)- turned out to be nearly game breaking in the best possible way. I found myself frequently using Spacial Rend in order to see what additional Pokemon were around me, and I stacked multiple Roar of Time uses when I was doing multiple raids back-to-back with a Lucky Egg. When I first heard about these skills, I honestly didn’t think that I would use them all that much. Yet, they both turned out to be incredibly situationally helpful at Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles and I figure they will help out occasionally during raid hour or during future Community Days.

Of course, another draw of Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles are the rare Pokémon available to catch! The region-locked Pokémon (Pachirisu, Mime Jr., Chatot, Carnivine) were hidden inside eggs, and I found myself frequently getting them whenever I cracked eggs. I did pay for the Egg-thusiast ticket add-on to hatch eggs in one-fourth the distance, and I know that made a real difference for me. While none of them turned out to be shiny, I was still happy that I got enough of them to trade with friends in real life.

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There was an exclusive research and a lot of rare Pokémon to catch at the event! (Photos by author.)

The three Lake Pokémon (Uxie, Mesprit, and Azelf) were also available to catch at Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles. Interestingly, they all appear as random spawns on the overworld map. When I encountered them, I found that I only had time to use one item and Pokéball combo before they ran. I didn’t overly focus on trying to catch them during this event, as I had previously gotten them all in shiny form during a prior worldwide event thanks to me organizing a few international raid groups. That said, they were absolutely a welcome addition to the event.

Finally, there is the Unown spawns. At both Pokémon GO Fest events in Seattle and New York City that I had attended, all the Pokémon would turn into Unown for the last two minutes of every hour. At Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles, Niantic, Inc., dropped that mechanic and instead made Unown appear as incense spawns. This was admittedly nice, as I could focus on getting Unown if I wanted to instead of being forced to just catch them (and ultimately only shiny check) at the end of every hour.

Pokémon GO Tour | Pikachu hat distribution
There were Pikachu hat giveaways and you could mark where you were from on a board! (Photos by author.)

Pokémon GO Tour | Show where you live bulletin board.

The exclusive event special research was not that difficult to complete, other than having to fight Team Rocket GO during the final step. I liked that it made me visit all the different themed areas, and so I had to cross the entire area in order to finish it. That said, the Rotom research did not go quite as planned. I tried to AR scan a physical TV set that was placed in the play area, but nothing happened. I instead was told what to do by an event support staff employee next to it and that the AR scanning would not work. This was somewhat disappointing, but I ended up getting the Rotom research done regardless.

Pokémon GO Tour | Rotom TV set.
This was one of the spots where you could activate the Rotom event at. (Photo by author).

There were two meet and greets at Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles: meet the Pokémon GO artists and meet Notable Trainers (think internet-famous Pokémon GO players!). While I skipped out on meeting the Notable Trainers, I absolutely took my time meeting the Niantic, Inc., artists. When their lines were short, the artists absolutely took their time to talk about the game, their art, and what it was like creating different art pieces for Pokémon GO. The artists made me feel like they were genuinely grateful that I played Pokémon GO, and they even autographed a Pokémon GO card for me! There were multiple time slots for both meet and greets, and I did not feel like it was a blink-and-you-will-miss it feature of the event, but one that Niantic, Inc., took pains to make sure was available to anyone who wanted to do either meet and greet.

Pokémon GO Tour | Meet the artist booth.
Whether you wanted to meet famous Pokémon GO Trainers or to meet Niantic, Inc., artists, you had plenty of options! (Photos by author.)

Pokémon GO Tour | Meet Notable Trainers Booth.

Inside the Rose Bowl itself, there were two photo opportunities: at one end, you could take photos with giant inflated Palkia and Dialga Pokémon, and at the other side, you could get a photograph with Eevee! I was happy with both of these photo opportunities, but I was shocked that Pokémon GO Battle League didn’t have a battle arena set-up between the two photo opportunities in the middle of the Rose Bowl itself. I was really hoping that I could take on other Trainers inside of the gridiron, and it was something of a disappointment that I couldn’t.

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There were photo opportunities inside of the Rose Bowl itself. (Photos by author).

The biggest new activity to do was the party challenges. It is no secret that Niantic, Inc., wants trainers to interact and work together to achieve things. I ended up approaching multiple people to join up in parties at the event to complete different party challenges ranging from catching six steel Pokémon to using 25 berries while catching Pokémon. These challenges were simple, but onerous enough that we all ended up actually participating in completing all of them. The rewards- being able to guarantee catch Regice, Registeel, Regirock, and Regigigas- were well worth the incentive of talking to strangers to get the party challenges done.

Pokémon GO Tour | Squirtle Cosplay
There were a lot of cosplay present at Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles! (Photos by author).

Pokémon GO Tour | Trainer Cosplay

There were also activity tents scattered throughout the area. At these tents, there was a lot of Pokémon trinket giveaways, trivia contests, and opportunities to create signs for what Pokémon you needed or had available to trade. This was also where a lot of people congregated for trading and socializing purposes. These areas were fun, but I didn’t spend too much time in them because I had a lot to try to complete during my playtime. There were also small other things to do like fight Team Rocket GO members, spin Pokéstops, try to find Spiritomb Pokéstops, and post on Campfire, at the event. All of those were fun, but fairly standard fare.

Pokémon GO Tour | Event Tents
Instead of individual Team Color tents scattered throughout the play area, all of the teams were brought together under multiple tents. In this photo, there is a Pokémon trivia contest! (Photo by author.)

The highlight for me, though? I finally found someone willing to trade me a ‘?’ Unown. I had been hunting for a reasonable trade for that Pokemon since my first in-person Pokémon GO Fest, and I was able to finally make it happen. That particular Unown was only available for Pokémon GO Fest 2018: Chicago for two days, and it has not appeared since. Niantic, Inc.: Please bring back the ‘?’ Unown for people to get in the future!

Not everything was perfect, though. Despite the debut of White-Striped Basculin in Routes during Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles, there were surprisingly no Routes available inside the Rose Bowl event itself. I actually ended up not getting one at all during this event because of it. There was (as I mentioned earlier) no Pokémon GO PVP events at Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles. This was very surprising, as we are in the middle of Pokémon GO: Timeless Travels Battle League as we head towards Pokémon World Championships 2024 in Hawai’i later this year. These PVP events are a major part of Pokémon GO, and so it was more than a little surprising that it had zero representation at Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles.

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More photos from the event! There was so much to do and see. (Photos by author).

Another thing I noticed was that the various ‘areas’ of the event all blended together at the golf course part of the event, and I only knew that I had changed areas when there were different Pokémon spawning. While this was surprising, I am not surprised because golf courses are often quite persnickety with how you utilize the course for events, and they may not have been allowed to fully dress up the areas like they did previously at Pokémon GO Fest 2022: Seattle.

Finally, there was no merchandise tent at Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles. In fact, the only merchandise sold at the event was the event t-shirt that you could pre-order when you bought your ticket. The event t-shirts that they had for sale on-site almost immediately ran out of everything but small and medium t-shirts within the first half-hour. Every time I’ve attended a Pokémon GO Fest, the merchandise line has always been wrapped around the building and down the block. People love their Pokémon plush, and it was surprising that they weren’t available for the sale.

Pokémon GO Tour | Tee shirt sales.
You were given the option to pre-order a shirt when you bought your event ticket online, but I was still surprised at the lack of shirts available to buy in all sizes on site. (Photo by author).

Despite all of that, Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles was absolutely an amazing event to attend. My issues, other than the inexplicable lack of Routes at the event itself, were fairly minor and did not truly take away from my overall enjoyment of the Tour event from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday. If anything, it makes me wonder how Niantic, Inc., will be able to fit everything into the shorter time blocks that Pokémon GO Fest normally run in, as they usually run two Park sessions a day during that event. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again: If you play Pokémon GO and you’re at all obsessed with it, you need to attend the in-person events. The teenager that I quoted at the top of my article was right about how happy playing Pokémon GO at an in-person event was, and I left with a giant smile on my face.

Pokémon GO Tour | ? Unown
I was able to trade for a ? Unown at Pokémon GO Tour: Sinnoh – Los Angeles! (Photo by author).

If you can come to Pokémon GO in-person, then you won’t regret it. You will absolutely catch some new Pokémon that you would never be able to get otherwise, and I wouldn’t be surprised if you also make some new friends too.

Have you attended an in-person Pokémon GO event before?

What is your favorite Pokémon? Are you planning on participating in the upcoming Global event?

Let us know in the comments below!

Quentin H.
I have been a journalist for oprainfall since 2015, and I have loved every moment of it.