Pokemon Playhouse: Gotta start 'em young

Although initially intended for young gamers, Pokemon quickly became a grownup's playground. Especially with "spinoffs" like Pokemon GO. In trying to bring the game back to its roots, Pokemon Company might have gotten carried away. The latest addition to its line of mobile games, Pokemon Playhouse is meant for those too young to play the actual video games but would still enjoy, but definitely not all, of the cute critters and maybe learn a thing or two about raising pets and responsibility.

Although it may have seemed like it at first, Pokemon has hardly been about "raising" your Pokemon the way you raise pets. Though a bit of grooming and breeding eventually made its way into the game, Pokemon is, through and through, a collecting and battling game.

Pokemon Playhouse, in contrast, is like Pokemon meets Tamagochi (for those old enough to remember the latter). You get an egg and take care of it until it hatches and beyond. And, of course, that egg is one of the less frightening species of Pokemon. Raising the Pokemon like a pet involves visiting different areas of the Playhouse, feeding it, and playing games. Sadly nothing about cleaning up after your Pokemon.

As you might have already guessed, Pokemon Playhouse is for the very young, or maybe even the very young at heart. The Pokemon Company bills it as a game for those aged 3 to 5 and doesn't require any reading comprehension, as a human character narrates and guides children through audio and visual cues.

And since this is for the extremely young, the creators took great care to make sure that there are no in app purchases and that it doesn't collect personal information. The game is completely free to play, available on Google Play Store and the iTunes App Store. Maybe when they're older, they can graduate to "Hanero! Koi King", a.k.a. Magikarp Jump, which does have IAPs.

SOURCE: The Pokemon Company