Pokemon Go: A brief history of the games that led to the craze

Before there was Go, there were Blue, Red, Yellow, Snap, Stadium and more.

Morgan Little Senior Director, Audience
Morgan leads the teams managing CNET's presence and content across social media, news platforms and more after stints in the marketing world and LA Times. Eventually his last byline on the site will be about something other than Godzilla
Morgan Little
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Watch this: A (rough) evolution of Pokemon games

Once upon a time, if you wanted to catalog, document and capture Pokemon, you had to do more than whip out your smartphone. To truly catch 'em all, you'd need to buy batteries for an original Nintendo Game Boy, struggle with the Nintendo 64's unconventional controller, and often purchase two (!) separate Pokemon games -- to trade Pokemon with yourself!

For those freshly indoctrinated into Pokemon by the wild success of Pokemon Go, it may seem ridiculous, but the olden days of Pokemon were a different time.

Pokemon Red and Blue's most memorable moments

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In celebration of the spreading Poke-fever, we took a look at the early, seminal releases in the Pokemon canon. Though their time has passed, the DNA of those games can now be found throughout Nintendo's new smartphone app.

Take 1999's Pokemon Snap. It not only allowed for users to take weird pictures of Pokemon ( a fundamental part of Go), but those pictures could also be shared. The catch was you'd have to actually go to a Blockbuster video store to print the photos because 1999 was the Stone Age.

Pokemon Stadium, on the other hand, had a single-minded focus on the traditional Pokemon games' battle system, which surfaces in a simplified form within Go's gym competitions.

And that's just the beginning of Pokemon's evolution to today. Who knows -- in a few years, we could be talking about a revived Pokemon: The Movie craze. Or Pokemon cards -- those were definitely a thing.