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Zubat Is The Worst: Our First Day With Pokemon Go

Oh, another Zubat? How great.


I'm sick of you, Zubat.

And I'm not very fond of you either, Doduo. Both of you have appeared an overwhelming number of times in my early goings in Pokemon Go, following me around like stink on a Muk. But Zubat is the especially annoying one. You're small and fidgety, flapping around my iPhone screen and making yourself difficult to catch--or at least more difficult than a low value, good for nothing, "only want to catch enough of you so I can evolve you to a Golbat" Pokemon should be.

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Nearly every other Pokemon I've encountered so far seems to be quite happy to be easily caught on the first try: swipe up to throw a Pokeball, hit the Pokemon, and boom, Pokedex expanded. You're pretty much the same, Zubat, at least when I eventually land a Pokeball on your eyeless noggin. I've used almost more Pokeballs on catching three of you than I almost have in catching the rest of my Pokemon crew (42 so far), and it makes me cringe. Pokeballs are precious, and I'm trying to see how long I can I last before having to spend real world money to buy more.

I'm sensing a pattern...
I'm sensing a pattern...

Luckily, supply hasn't been an issue so far. Living in San Francisco's Bay Area, there are Pokestops on every corner. Walk close by to one of these and you'll get some supplies--usually Pokeballs, but sometimes items (such as Revive) and Pokemon eggs. You can use these Pokestops pretty frequently (every five minutes, it seems), so if you're lucky enough to be right on top of one during your workday or at home, supplies should be plentiful.

Me, I'm not that lucky. I'll actually have to get up off my seat a few times today and walk past some Pokestops, as well as see what Pokemon are around for the taking. It's actually the thing I'm enjoying most about Pokemon Go right now--it's nailed that obsessive collection aspect that was so strong in the original games, and tying actual, real-world locations to Pokemon and gyms makes it even more exciting. It's wonderful how different Pokemon inhabit different locations, and it's making me actually want to go for walks and explore locations to see what creatures can be uncovered. A Squirtle popped up on my Pokemon-near-you screen at 11pm last night, and I was very, very close to leaving the house in my pajamas to try and find it. I didn't, and I can only hope I can live with the regret.

Damn it stop following me Zubat.
Damn it stop following me Zubat.

But as well as the stalking Zubats, there are other things that have been irksome so far with Pokemon Go. It is very obtuse, giving you little in the way of explanation of how it all works. There are different gradings to how well you throw a Pokeball, for example, but the game doesn't tell you exactly how those are achieved (you can also do different types of throws, like a curveball). The whole system to evolve in Pokemon Go--you have to catch multiples of the same variety and use the candies they carry to transform them--seems like it could be exhausting. Catching a Zubat, for example, will net you three Zubat candies, and you'll need 50 of those candies before you can evolve to Golbat. So far I have nine. It's also annoying how the game needs to be active on your phone in order for new Pokemon to pop up. But that seems to be an entirely deliberate move, given there's an attachment that will go on sale soon that'll inform you when Pokemon are around without your phone having to be active. And yes, everything you've heard about how the game sucks battery life is true; a few hours of play last night drained my iPhone 6s.

But I'll continue to waste my Pokeballs on Zubat, because the collection aspect of Pokemon Go has me hooked right now. I need that Golbat, just as I need that Squirtle I didn't pursue last night, just as need to have at least one of every Pokemon out there. And there's more to this game I haven't really explored yet, such as battling and retaining gyms, and even encountering better Pokemon as my character level progresses (right now, I'm only on level 6). So Zubat, I'll continue to suffer you. Until a Golbat pops up of its own accord, anyway.

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