China Uncensored: Pokémon Go—Chinese Knockoff Edition

July 20, 2016 Updated: July 20, 2016

People in China love Pokémon. So with such a huge potential market, why isn’t Pokémon GO available there? Well, like Snapchat, time travel, and seductively eating bananas, Pokémon Go is banned in China.

Why? Isn’t it obvious?! Because it’s a secret plot by Google and the Japanese to discover the location of Chinese military bases! At least, that’s an actual conspiracy theory.

Nevertheless, a minor inconvenience like the game being banned hasn’t stopped people in China from figuring out how to play Pokémon Go anyway. But believe me, it’s harder than evolving a Magikarp. You can’t get it from Chinese app stores. So people have been buying IDs for Apple’s Australia-based app store. That can cost between 13 cents to 3 dollars. Then you need to figure out how to get a Google account since Google is also banned in China. Okay, use a VPN; no problem. Now you can open the game and see there are no Pokémon in China. So you then you need to yet another app that can mess with your GPS and put you in, say, Los Angeles. Now you can finally play…using a Los Angeles Map. Assuming these hacks haven’t filled up your phone with malware.

Or…if you don’t want to go through all that effort, there is another option. Simply play the knock off version of Pokémon Go, City Elves Go! There’s a professor that tells you to go out in the world and catch cute little monsters for research! Just like Pokémon Go. Only “research” in this knockoff Chinese world means beating the City Elves to death.

The City Elves professor gives you the choice of a fire, water, or earth based monster. Sound familiar? But unlike Pokémon Go, you don’t have to walk around to find Pokémon, or elves, or whatever. City Elves Go does away with that lame old augmented reality thing, because that’s not what you’re playing for, right? You sit at home and watch your monsters battle others. Seriously, you just sit and watch because you have no control whatsoever over the battles.

And the most shocking thing of all is that people are so desperate to play something just like Pokémon Go that City Elves Go is now the number one downloaded app in China.

So what do you think of China’s Pokémon Go knockoff? And where the heck can I find some better Pokémon? Seriously, New York is full of rats and pigeons. And New Jersey is mostly bats. Leave your comments below.