Fake Pokemon Yellow app hits iTunes, promptly rockets up the charts

A newly-launched iOS app claiming to offer an iPhone version of Pokemon Yellow for 99 cents (via Kotaku) isn't affiliated in any discernible way with Nintendo or Game Freak. From the comments on the App Store's bank of 1-star reviews, it's clear the app doesn't even work: “This is a scam. Crashes after main screen.” Not that that's stopped the fake app from rising up Apple's Paid Apps charts around the world.

Above: If you were going to fake an unlicensed Pokemon game, you'd think you could at least fake something a bit newer

One-star ratings and disgruntled reviews grace the app's pages on various international storefronts – but the game's support page offers little assistance, manned as it is by neither Nintendo nor Game Freak but someone called Qeab. But you don't have to go that far for signs of the app's dubiousness. The iTunes Store credits the app to an outfit named Home of Anime, which in the same week released similarly dodgy-looking apps based on Digimon and Yu-Gi-Oh (properties of Bandai and Konami respectively).

At time of writing, the Pokemon app's in the top 10 Paid App charts for Australia, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg and New Zealand, all of whose stores display numerous 1-star ratings and comments demanding a refund for the non-working app. Qeab's page says the company's “working on a new build and we anticipate this will be completed soon, which should overcome the issue.” It doesn't mention the company's plans should Nintendo (who last year said it had no plans to support iOS) get wind of the app...


  • Superabound - February 22, 2012 6:30 a.m.

    And once again, Apple does absolutely nothing to curb the massive fraud and piracy that occurs on their own (highly profitable) service, leaving the App Store completely indistinguishable from a Shanghai back alley street market. I wonder how long until Apple starts selling fake Rolex's and bootleg DVDs?
  • losthero15 - February 21, 2012 4:19 a.m.

    Take this as a message nintendo, people want the original pokemon games on the virtual console, make it happen.
  • GameManiac - February 21, 2012 10:17 a.m.

    Damn right! But not before Nintendo sues Home of Anime into a coma.
  • jackthemenace - February 22, 2012 7:16 a.m.

    All I really want is a FRLG/HGSS style remake of Ruby and Sapphire. But, being able to play Pokemon on my iPod would be pretty awesome. If they could get this working, I'd buy it in an instant.
  • psycho ninja 4 - February 20, 2012 11:59 p.m.

    I was really exited when i saw this. then i checked all the reviews. Someone actually gave it a five anyway, despite it not working.
  • Fruitbat - February 21, 2012 6:27 a.m.

    A fake review to get those first day sales rolling.
  • AuthorityFigure - February 20, 2012 11:58 p.m.

    Seems perfectly legal, doesn't it?
  • TheZigMan - February 20, 2012 11:39 p.m.

    Lol...Thats why I have an android. I play pokemon all the time on it
  • g4m3rk1dd - February 20, 2012 11:27 p.m.

    "Above: If you were going to fake an unlicensed Pokemon game, you'd think you could at least fake something a bit newer" i would much rather play the old games than the new ones :( all of these weird ass type match up are confusing. for the record i still buy every pokemon game i can and i still want a pokemon game with all of the regions combined with ALL 649 pokemon in ONE game :|
  • joeycrump - February 21, 2012 12:08 a.m.

    as cool as that would be the balancing would be awful. remember gold and silver? you fought the E4, the "final bosses," at like level 40-50. Hilariously low compared to the other games. By the time you hit Red your pokemon were about the levels they'd be at endgame of a normal pokemon game. That was because it had 2 regions, thus the growth had to be slower overall so that you wouldn't be fighting level 90-100 pokemon for 1/3 of the game. now imagine that plus 3 more regions. that's literally 20 levels per region not counting the way it takes longer to level up a pokemon as it grows higher. so logically you'd have level ranges like 1-30, 30-50, 50-70, 70-90, 90-100. 10 levels for an entire region and that's assuming the last boss has level 100 pokemon, which he might not so it's easier to beat. as nice as this is on paper, in practice it wouldn't work at all. also how would you balance the pokemon on the routes? you'd really have level 50 zigzagoon in hoenn? you could reset the levels but then you'd have to force the player to lose their teams and nobody would want that. it just could never work, ever. there's no way it could be functional and not a huge mess.
  • JackOfAllTrades - February 22, 2012 7:44 a.m.

    While I do agree with that, there are always ways to work around that sort of thing, for instance in the tv show Ash always leaves behind the many pole one he's caught, leaving them with friends in that region as he went to the next! You might say its pointless to start over with pokemon multiple times in one game but I would love an end game where I could have legendaries from every region, starters from every region, and Pokemon in general from every region to all end up being the same level at the end of the game. Imagine beating the generation 6 elite four, then going back to finally be able to pick up your favorite Pokemon from the other regions to play around in the end game. And maybe pick up a starter or something who resets level each region of you so choose to take him with you. Sort of like dang, I'm gonna miss my swampert when I go to the next region, but the option to make him a level 5 mudkip or at least take an egg with you between regions so you could carry your favorite Pokemon throughout like Ash takes Pikachu that could be fun. (And I really hope the Pokemon you choose to take would follow your character.) Then I could for once have all the Pokemon on my ONE handheld and ONE cartridge without having to go through the painstakingly annoying process of transferring Pokemon from old games to new ones.
  • joeycrump - February 22, 2012 8:45 p.m.

    have you played pokemon platinum? you can literally get every non-legendary and non-starter pokemon from all 4 generations, barring DP exclusives. All of said legendaris and starters are widely available through the GTS, thanks to events and Pal Park. Same goes for the few exclusives. so you can have all the pokemon on your one handheld and one cartridge. also making the player work for something for hours then taking it away and saying 'start over" is very bad design. it puts a wall in front of the player that discourages hem, making them less likely to continue playing. now to do so 4 times? that's even worse. it ruims the essence of a game, the risk/reward system. why is it worth taking risks to make your team stronger if you'll just end up losing them in the end? something with this scale really can never happen and be functional, it's impossible.
  • Kakashi2672 - February 24, 2012 8:21 a.m.

    I think that if it was like pokemon yellow in the beginning and you start with pikachu it could work. so then when you go from kanto to johto or johto to hoenn, the only pokemon you could take with you would be your pikachu, and he would start back at level 5, be unable to evolve but retained all of the moves it learned before.
  • GhostbustTyler - February 20, 2012 9:36 p.m.

    As soon as I saw this on the app store on Friday I knew it was too good to be true. When I saw it was by some ghetto "developer" it was obvious it was fake. I don't want to sound like a jerk, but for god's sake, read the reviews for this kind of crap. All buyer beware aside, I hope these assholes get sued for this. Besides, GTA 3 was a buck this weekend and I'd take that over Pokemon any day. Also, League of Evil 2 is pretty good.
  • oshunanat - February 20, 2012 7:41 p.m.

    While I really do understand Nintendo's reluctance to enter the iOS marketplace, I think incident shows how much of a potential market they're losing out on. For every person that does buy some variation of the DS, there are hundreds, if not thousands more who have no desire to - releasing ports of classic games that people are nostalgic form would make them a ton of cash! I know I'd certainly have bought this if it were legit. Le sigh. One can always dream :P
  • joeycrump - February 21, 2012 12:18 a.m.

    yeah but i think nintendo's issue is that if they do put out an ios game, all the people who were on the fence about buying a ds won't and will get the cheaper ios game instead. to nintendo this basically means a >$5 sale instead of a ~$200 sale. it's pretty understandable why they don't want to do that. also i think they as a company are opposed to iphone gaming because they've always been focused on game consoles for gaming, not a device that can do other stuff, so the idea of a device that plays these games, combined with the inherent short and relatively pointless, shallow nature of most ios games, really turns them off of it. i'm the same way, i really can't see ios as a viable gaming device when 99% of the games are shallow crap that cost $2. infinity blade looks pretty okay, but if that's really the best an iphone can do it has a long way to go before it can really be a legit gaming device.
  • Maxstats69 - February 20, 2012 6:52 p.m.

    Download GBA iPhone emulator & Pokemon Rom... Problem solved
  • Skeletortilla - February 20, 2012 5:22 p.m.

    I saw this just last night when I was randomly browsing the app store, and it was 3rd on the top 25 at the time. Reviews aside, I can't believe people bought it when Nintendo wasn't listed on there anywhere.
  • RonnyLive19881 - February 20, 2012 4:52 p.m.

    DAMN STRAIGHT! Also Nintendo is going to rape dey asses raw!DON'T mess with the big N!
  • azureguy - February 20, 2012 4:28 p.m.

    They could've at least made an emulated version of the original Pokemon Yellow Version or some old-fashioned virus, but no it's just the laziest scam attemt I've ever seen in my entire life. You can say whatever you want about the "dying" type of handhelds like Vita and 3DS, but at the very least the games available there are actual GAMES.

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