Now available on Google Play, it allows users to play hundreds of songs from across the Pokémon games, create playlists, loop songs, create sound effects, and generally drown in their own nostalgia.
After my initial disappointment this wasn’t a Pokémon game for Android, hope was restored when I saw the app was free. I was planning journeys where I could stroll happily down the street to the jaunty main theme until I would get to the underground, where I could switch the music to the more fitting cave theme. I would enter this dark and dingy place, 8-bit notes perfectly encapsulating the eerie atmosphere. Suddenly, a wild commuter appears! Emma used glare. It failed.
My entire life was about to become a Pokémon adventure. But no. Pokémon Jukebox isn’t so much a way to facilitate nostalgia as it is a way to cash in on it.
Unlike Bethesda’s Fallout Shelter app which offers a free way to engage with the Fallout world and encourage people to buy back into the franchise, Pokémon Jukebox takes no such opportunity. The app itself is free and you can listen to some short songs on loop each day for no charge in the ‘special’ section. However, if you actually used the app regularly and limited yourself to these tunes, I imagine you’d eventually be humming them as you were wrapped into a straitjacket.
To keep the free songs, expect to pay 79p for a fairly short individual track (lasting about a minute and a half) and £1.49 for a medley. One of the most irksome things about the app, however, is not its Meowth-like greed for your coins, it’s that the songs are completely locked down, not able to be transferred across Android devices, or listened to outside of the app’s poor user interface. I can’t see any reason why downloading the YouTube app and listening to the songs there would not be better.
I won’t hold this against you, Nintendo, but do better next time.