Parent reviews for Pokémon GO

Common Sense says

Exciting, active game marred by privacy and safety issues.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 58 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 57 reviews
Adult Written byeditormum75 July 15, 2016

Recommended for a family experience

There are so many positive benefits to this game that I believe they outweigh the issues noted by others. That said, I'm not sending my kids out to play by themselves – we're doing it together, walking the neighbourhood and taking turns to "catch 'em all" and enjoying ourselves. I've found the kids have no trouble figuring out what to do every step of the way with the interface, and there's always online help at the click of Google! Hopefully the server issues will be sorted out after the initial teething problems.

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Parent of a 7-year-old Written bydejahh July 15, 2016

This game is like an illicit drug to small children...very addictive

I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I signed my 7 year old son with ADHD and behavior issues up to play Pokemon Go on my phone. He struggles enough with stopping fun activities like video games or YouTube, but this game took it to a whole new level. He instantly became obsessed with it, running around our apartment complex catching "real" Pokemon. He also got a lot of positive social affirmations from other kids and bought into all the hype on YouTube. After the third meltdown trying to get my phone back from him, I deleted it from my phone. What a scene. He hated me and felt his life was over. I showed him some examples of how adults are having a hard time making smart choices when playing this game and he is starting to come around. I really wish I would have come to commonsense media before downloading this game. It would have saved me a lot of trouble.

This title contains:

Privacy & Safety
Parent of a 9 and 12-year-old Written bymychza July 15, 2016

Has a few glitches, but really fun.

I think if you have privacy concerns you may want to download the app to your own phone and have the account. They are constantly upgrading to make it better so hopefully the glitches which are very frustrating will go away soon.

I let my 10 year old have it on his own but we go out together to parks and places to walk around. When it works, it's great. It motivates the kids to do chores and things so they can go out to parks and catch pokemon while also encouraging them to be outside and see nature. The people we have all meet have been nice and willing to talk when he wants to ask them what level they're on or how they learned the curve ball.

It's a great way to get out and explore your city and meet people and have family time doing an activity that is pretty fun for everyone and free. You don't have to buy anything if you don't want to. I definitely wouldn't let them go play it on their own without supervision.

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byTiasAllard July 16, 2016

Literally the worst game I've ever played

The game's philosophy of "there are just some places where this game isn't supposed to be fun" is not just irritating, but downright maddening if you happen to both live and work in one of these areas. Rather than encouraging you to get out and walk, you're expected to drive if you just happen to live in one of these "designated no fun zones." No game, free or otherwise, has ever made me this angry in the space of a week.

And even if by some miracle you find a pokemon other than zubat, pidgey, rattata or spearow, you cannot evolve it or power it up without finding dozens or even hundreds more of the same pokemon.

Garbage game made by garbage people who just want to punish some areas for not having played their previous game Ingress enough.

Save your time and don't encourage this piece of crap grindfest of a game.

This title contains:

Parent of a 14 and 16-year-old Written bykirstint July 15, 2016

Getting Teen Boys Outside

Great app for teen boys who are "gamers" or really like video games as they are at the age when they like to play games online with their friends and instead Pokemon Go gets them outside, meeting up with friends, and learning about new things in your city. One of our boys told me all about the people at a local park who had Memorial Benches. Without this app /game he would have never noticed the memorial benches let alone learn about the people who were memorialized. There are tons of educational components to it. Yes, safety and wise judgment are concerns but if friends are playing together, and parents emphasize safety tips, it is inherently a great scavenger hunt type game. Our family has met so many neighbor's we didn't know simply being outside in the neighborhood in a different way.

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byMixyplixl July 15, 2016

Like Pokemon "geocache" - fun with supervision

Lots of fun, just be sure to supervise activity and make sure kids know to walk safely. I love that it gets my kid out and walking, plus learning about landmarks. Note that it is addictive, and you can even play in the car, so you will want to set time limits. Site is hard to get into at first because of popularity. Also, I was unable to set up a child account because the Pokemon site is overwhelmed. Instead I set up an adult account through my email.

This title contains:

Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byReiven July 9, 2019

They hate low SES users

Played this game since it first came out. Loved it until they made this recent update that is incompatible with slightly older than brand new devices. They are descriminating low SES users and forcing new smartphone purchases to enjoy their app. Very disappointing company and does not efficiently discourage driving and playing for younger folks.

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Parent of a 12 and 15-year-old Written byIrene_dsc July 25, 2016

Use common sense and it is a lot of fun

The CommonSense review has a lot of incorrect information. The biggest myth is that you can see where other players are in real time. This is completely false. The only time you see another player's name is if they have a Pokemon at a gym. (I will mention that unlike other Pokemon products, they do not censor names, so I have seen some inappropriate user names). Basically, if you use some common sense, pay attention to your surroundings, and don't go to places you would consider unsafe ordinarily, you should be fine. I only gave it 4 stars since it is still very buggy and crashes or locks up a lot, so it can be annoying at times. But, it has gotten my 12 year old daughter out and walking, which is awesome. Plus, being able to go out and catch Pokemon yourself is pretty cool. Younger kids definitely need to have self control - if you don't trust them to not run off into the street ordinarily, probably you shouldn't let them have your phone and chase Pokemon with it. If you are confused about any of the game mechanics, there are plenty of articles around to help you figure it out. is a great resource for any Pokemon related information, and has an entire section on Pokemon Go statistics. A couple more things - it really doesn't use much data. My weather app uses more data than Pokemon Go! But, it does drain the battery very quickly. The battery saver mode has the screen go dark if you hold the phone down, and it will vibrate if there is a Pokemon nearby. However, it won't let you know about PokeStops or gyms (but you can figure that out easily). Another tip - if you want to play together as a family, choose the same team so you can take over gyms together.

For those who are curious - the origin of the game was from a couple years ago when Google did an April Fools event with Google Maps, where you could find Pokemon all over the world with Google Maps. It was combined with the game Ingress, which was part of Google, and then spun off as Niantic. Ingress had players create portals all over the place - most of those locations became PokeStops and gyms. Nintendo, Google and Niantic all worked together to create Pokemon Go.
Adult Written byKarensAreStupid August 1, 2020

Amazing game

Dont listen to the karens saying its extremely innappropriate ts a good game and is good for people who want to exercise and have fun

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Adult Written byBaummy July 16, 2020

boring as hell don't download

boring as hell R team are way hard to defeat as there pokemon are CP more than you're get to the point boredom and thinking of deleting it

This title contains:

Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byKiddo3p June 29, 2020

This game needs to be fixed!

I do not like the fact that through the LAG of the game during a battle your opponent is able to cause damage to your Pokemon without it even being out of its Pokeball and is able to kill it (lets say team rocket came and challenged me) we both through out a pokemon..but my screen lags just a bit and my guy ends up throwing his pokemon, At a slower rate then the opponent. And the fact that happend makes it so my pokemon dosent even get to attack and is fainted even befor i have a chance to have the lag pick-up on myside to defend myself witch is increasingly frustrating each time it happens which is deterring me from liking this game more. It needs to be fixed i dont think im going to be playing until the next update because of this i have no pokemon left..
Adult Written byRoberto Benitez May 13, 2020

Pokemon go is not a bad game if you use common sense

People keep on talking about haw angry they are that they don,t have cars so they need to walk. are you kidding that is the whole point of the game to go outside.
Adult Written byMobileGamerYT April 12, 2020

Unstable, with a side of cheating

Spoofing is the only way ive found to be able to play this game and have the app function 100%. The Pokemon games attracted a specific type of player, who may or may not break the game with how many exploits they choose to use. Be prepared to stare at people with 3 100% max legendary creatures everytime you start a battle, and do something else till theyre done.
Adult Written byThemombomb April 10, 2020

My kids snuck out, mainly to play this with their friends

The game is promoting our kids to disobey us and the government. I turned off their phones.

This title contains:

Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byJerryriggin April 6, 2020

Pokemon Go sit on your PC and Spoof location

The game is fun but far too easy to cheat. The whole simulation is worthless, if it can be done for free by some jerk on his PC without moving around. Its bad enough the kids have to fight for gym credits against adults.
They put a child friendly skin on a casino and hide the hooch.
Adult Written byGreeshma February 2, 2020


I have been playing this crap since the initial debut but I keep getting crapped on everytime with the eggs and pokemon stats all the time that I have broken down multiple occassion due to the game while my brother keep getting lucked every time.
Time and dedication is not even on my dictionary anymore. I have given up and unintstalled this stupid junk.
Adult Written byJonnyDoesGood January 31, 2020

Ruined by cheating, but a good try

The game is dominated by people who GPS spoof their location, while spending money on everything. My youngest son hasnt been able to get gym credit in our town for awhile thanks to a group of kids at his school. They seem to take it very personally he and anyone else does not use the gyms in town. Overall it can be good for a community and bad. The game promotes group vs group mentality, but if its mature enough itll bring everyone together.

This title contains:

Violence & scariness
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byAnnabelle9791 November 7, 2019


General Complaint: Issue Why do we have to spend more money to get less coins?? 100 pokecoins is 0.99 cents, yet 550 coins is 6.99, 1200 coins is 13.99. The dollar amount should decrease when you buy in bulk or the # of coins should increase. The only deal is on the 100 coin buy and 14, 500 buy with $5 off. Otherwise the game is fun & enjoy playing with my son. I think its fun for parents to play with younger kids but for kids to play on their own would be at the age when they can own their own cell phone...and each parent is different.

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Adult Written byMotherHen48 September 30, 2019

Great Fun for Family Activity and getting kids out of house

My 13 year old daughter and I play Pokémon Go and really enjoy going out and battling in the gyms and catching new Pokémon. We do not however buy any items. We work only with items we win. I've made it clear to my daughter that she is never to buy any items in order to keep playing and always be aware of her surroundings. She has done great at following the rules. I enjoy this game as much as she does.

This title contains:

Ease of Play
Privacy & Safety
Adult Written byKit143143 September 29, 2019

Thief's and glitches and only good for few small areas

They will take your money, make u think you can win or collect all pokemon, when purchase discrepancies happen they do nothing! Absolutely nothing! They don't explain the game clearly at all in one spot it takes at just a year to figure out the hidden secrets to get ahead. Meanwhile there is no possible way one could EVER win without being willing to spend hundreds yet they offer no real challenges to earn an amount of coins that could make a difference. Don t even start playing unless your middle to upper class. And when they came a mistake in buying u twice they do nothing to refund you or apologize or fix the problem. All about the almighty dollar and catering to the well off. Don't get hooked!