Pokémon is turning 22 this year, which isn’t the most exciting birthday. (At least, it wasn’t for me.) The Pokémon Company managed to find at least a few nice ways to celebrate the franchise’s anniversary on Feb. 27, however, refusing to skimp on this year’s Pokémon Day festivities.
First up is a free application for Google Home- and Amazon Alexa-compatible smart devices. Pikachu Talk will give your hardware the voice of the most iconic Pokémon, which probably isn’t helpful for anyone who actually uses Alexa and Google to help out. Ask Pikachu questions, and it will respond with one of its little squeaks. If you never got the chance to have a circular conversation with a Pokémon before (like in the infernal N64 game Hey You, Pikachu!), here you go.
More intriguing for the selfie-takers among us is a new line of Snapchat lenses, which will let us become Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle. These filters will be available on the photo-taking app for a limited time, starting today. We have yet to see the real stars of the show in Snapchat form, but we can offer you this preview of Bulbasaur. (It’s better than nothing.)
Other special events include the return of birthday hat-wearing Pikachu in Pokémon Go, which will appear through Feb. 28 at 1 p.m. PT. The Pokémon TV website and app will also screen the series’ latest film, Pokémon the Movie: I Choose You!, for the full week.
Enjoy 22 while it lasts, Pokémon — because 23 ... 23’s a real doozy.