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Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go's Liverpool Safari Zone event was a slice of PokéParadise

The event featured exclusive Special Research tasks and extended durations on lures.

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With Covid-19 restrictions easing around the world, in-person events have started to return to Pokémon Go. This summer, Go Fest was held in more than 20 global cities and celebrated the mobile app's fifth anniversary, and this September saw the arrival of a new series of events known as Safari Zones. These Safari Zone events deliver a unique experience wherever you go, as they contain their own unique selection of Pokémon and Special Research. Over the weekend, I was lucky enough to be invited to the only UK version of this event which was held at Sefton Park in Liverpool.

Whilst the event took place for the entirety of the weekend, I ended up arriving on the Saturday and was blessed with a day of glorious sunshine. The first thing that I was impressed by was the number of attractions that were on display throughout the park to keep guests occupied. Fans could pose for photos next to a giant Snorlax, there were meet and greet opportunities with Pikachu and Eevee, and a merchandise tent was on-site housing branded t-shirts, backpacks, and hoodies. The park itself was just fun to explore too with its many twists and turns, and it looked absolutely gorgeous moving into the Autumn season with many of its trees being filled with golden leaves.

I was also pleased to see that there were Hydration Stations and Power Banks scattered throughout the park to keep players refuelled when Pokémon hunting, but I did run into a few difficulties. At the Power Banks, I was unable to charge my Sony Xperia 5 II using the USB-C cables provided, but I can't say whether this was the case for everybody. I did try multiple different Power Banks though, and this was the case regardless of which I used.

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When it came to the experience in-game, there was a variety of water-dwelling Pokémon that featured more frequently for ticket holders. This list included Poliwag, Wailmer, Horsea, Psyduck, and Krabby. None of these Pokémon are particularly that rare, but I loved the fact that players got a different experience depending on which Safari Zone they visited. Of the Pokémon spotlighted, I found it the most beneficial to farm for Wailmer candies, as it requires a whopping 400 to evolve it into its final form of Wailord. I'm sure other fans also appreciated that obtaining a Dragonite or Kingdra was made a lot easier here.

Pokémon Go

Just like Go Fest, Safari Zone Liverpool featured an exclusive list of Special Research tasks and the rewards here were pretty handsome. I did, however, find these tasks to be a little dull, and there were only two pages of them. The first of these required me to complete simple actions like catching and evolving a set amount of creatures, and the second saw me interacting with my buddy in different ways. As I mentioned though, the rewards were pretty worthwhile, as I ended up walking home with 200 additional Great Balls and a shiny Chinchou (which was exclusive to the Liverpool event).

Speaking of shinies, I ended up catching four throughout the event (Mudkip, Wailmor, Eevee, and Chinchou, if you're curious), and I probably only spent around two hours in the app. Safari Zone made for the perfect environment to farm for shiny Pokémon, as fellow trainers were forever placing down lures and wild creatures were popping up everywhere. The durations of incense and lure modules was also extended further assisting matters. I never found myself in short supply of berries or Poké Balls too, as Poké Stops were placed throughout the park, and I didn't walk two minutes without bumping into the next one.

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With a total of 20,000 trainers showing up over the weekend, it appears that Liverpool Safari Zone was a major success, and I can honestly say that I had a great time. Sefton Park at the turn of autumn made for a gorgeous backdrop, and it was pretty touching seeing fans of all ages and backgrounds come together and connect over raid battles and hunts for wild Pokémon. I do think that the experience might have been a little lacklustre, however, for those who didn't attend due to the dull Special Research tasks and lack of interaction with others, but in person, it was certainly worth the £14.40 asking price.

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