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Can I buy 'Pokemon' for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Android phones?


1999 (L To R) Pikachu, Psyduck, Togepy, Squirtle In The Animated Movie 'Pokemon:The First Movie.'
Getty Images/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Question: Can I buy 'Pokemon' for the iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, or Android phones?
Answer: At this date, you cannot buy official Pokemon games for any device that's not a Nintendo game system. That means you can't buy official Pokemon titles for your iPhone, your iPad, your iPod Touch, or any kind of smartphone. If you see a Pokemon game for sale on the App Store or the Android Market, be assured that it's a fake that somehow managed to slip through the approval process.

That said, there are some official Pokemon-related apps available for download on the App Store and Google Play! These apps are not full-fledged games, but if you're a PokeFan, you should still get some use out of them. Try: Pokemon is one of Nintendo's most popular game franchises, so it's natural that we'd want to play the games on our smartphones. Unfortunately, the combined popularity of Pokemon and the high user base for Apple's App Store has led to some unscrupulous people releasing "new" Pokemon games in hopes of making some quick money. After all, someone who isn't knowledgeable about the games industry but simply enjoys Pokemon titles might search for "Pokemon" at the App Store and buy whatever's there without realizing that Nintendo does not distribute games via Apple's marketplace.

These counterfeit Pokemon games rarely provide what they advertise. Buyers typically wind up with an image gallery, or with a bugged title that crashes upon loading.

Nintendo is extremely protective of its franchises. If news broke about a planned (official) Pokemon adventure on the iPhone or any smartphone, it would create quite a ruckus. And, needless to say, I'd write about it on this Guidesite!

In the meantime, if you're not sure about the legitimacy of any game on the App Store or the Android Market, always take a look at the user reviews. They can usually help clue you in as to whether or not a game is genuine. As a rule of thumb, though, if a Pokemon game is being sold on a digital market that doesn't belong to Nintendo (like the Nintendo 3DS eShop, the DSi Shop, or the Wii Shop Channel), it's not the real deal. Worse, you'll wind up paying for a piece of software that doesn't deliver what it promises.
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