Pokémon Snap: A Perfect Snapshot of the Pokémania Craze

As New Pokémon Snap revives a beloved spin-off, we look back at how the original game will always remind us of a time when Pokémon ruled the world.

New Pokemon Snap
Photo: Nintendo

This article is presented by Nintendo.

There’s nothing quite like Pokémon. For over 25 years, the Pokémon franchise has remained one of gaming’s most popular and impactful series. Whether you’ve actually played the core games, can’t stop collecting Pokémon cards, or fell in love with Detective Pikachu, Pokémon is the rare franchise that has found a way to stay popular across multiple generations while constantly exploring new concepts and ways to reinvent itself.

Regardless of when you started catching ’em all, there’s nothing quite like the first time you discovered Pokémon. But for fans who’ve followed this series since the very beginning, there is something truly special about Pokémon‘s first few years and the way the franchise took over ’90s pop culture.

It’s easy to say that Pokémon was everywhere in the mid-to-late ’90s, but you really had to be there to appreciate just how true that statement is. At a time when it felt like video games were still trying to break into the mainstream despite the fact that millions were playing them, Pokémon became this game that was not only beloved by gamers but celebrated in such a way that made it nearly impossible to turn on the TV or walk through the aisles of almost any store without seeing something related to Pokémon.

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Of course, the core of what could only be described as the Pokémon phenomenon were the games themselves. Pokémon Red and Blue (or Red and Green as they were called in Japan) were so much more than another division of the Pokémon empire. They were genuinely great RPGs that started a gaming revolution by virtue of their creativity, quality, and captivating characters and settings. If you ever find yourself wondering just why Pokemon became a cultural sensation, a few hours with either of the original games will answer most of your questions.

However, if you really want a sense of just how big Pokémon became after the franchise’s debut, the game you should actually play is 1999’s Pokémon Snap.

If it sounds crazy that a game about taking pictures of Pokémon could somehow convey what it was like to live through the height of Pokémon‘s popularity, then join us as we take a look at the many reasons why Pokémon Snap is the perfect snapshot of a time when Pokémon ruled the world.

Stay tuned for way more Pokémon coverage when New Pokemon Snap releases on the Nintendo Switch on April 30.