Inventory

“Inventory is evil” is what my supply chain management prof always used to say. Inventory is your money being tied up so you can’t use it. Inventory is risk – risk that you’ve put your money into making that product, but maybe you won’t be able to sell it or it will get stolen or eaten by rats or go past its expiry date or become obsolete. Inventory costs you money because you have to store your inventory somewhere. “Inventory is evil” is something I’ve been experiencing vis-a-vis Pokémon1.

In the Pokémon game, you get 250 storage spots for all the little pocket monsters that you catch (or hatch or evolve). But when you live and work in heavily Pokéstopped areas, you end up catching lots and lots of Pokémon – way more than 250, though lots and lots of them are multiples of ones you have2. Since the objective of the game is to catch each different type of Pokémon, you need to have enough room in your inventory to store all the different types, but given how often you just keep catching the same type you already have, you quickly run out of space! You can “transfer” your Pokémon to the professor in exchange for candy (which frees up a spot in your Pokémon inventory) but (a) that requires the hard work of tapping icons and words on your screen, (b) many of the Pokémon are sooo cute and I don’t know what the professor is doing to them (but it can’t be good), and (c) my pack rat tendencies. It’s actually mostly (a). I tend to catch Pokémon as I go about my day – walking to the Skytrain station, on the way to the grocery store, etc. – so it sort of fits with the flow of my day, but cleaning up my inventory requires concerted effort just focused on playing the game, and since I’m not typically a gamer, this is not something I’m used to. Once you fill up your storage, you can’t catch anymore Pokémon until you either transfer some out or pay money for more storage spots. This is where my cheapness overtakes my laziness3!

I mostly do my Pokémon inventory management on my Skytrain ride. I sort the Pokémon by name so that I can see which ones I have multiples of, check out which one is the most powerful (or which two if I’m keeping an extra one around to evolve4.), and then transferring the superfluous to the professor. It’s a lot of work! Also, while doing this important work, I’m often interrupted by my phone vibrating, which signifies that a new Pokémon has spawned where I am so I have to get out of my inventory box and go catch it. Since my Pokémon are sorted alphabetically by name, I often clear out my extra Caterpies and Drowzees, but less often get to my Spearows and Zubats. Case in point, I seem to own all of the Tauroses5:

All the Tauroses

Or I did. After I took that screen shot, I transferred a bunch to the professor and now I have a tonne of Tauros candy – I used as much of the candy as I could but apparently cannot power him up anymore until I become a stronger trainer.

In addition to my Pokémon storage, I also have a limited inventory for carrying around items in your bag – Pokéballs, Megaballs, and Ultraballs used to catch , plus Revives and Potions used to heal your Pokémon after you force them to fight at a PokéGym6. This used to be a problem for me, as my I kept getting messages that my bag was full – again, you could pay for a bigger bag, but I’m way too cheap. I often throw out Revive and Potions, because I don’t fight at PokéGyms that much, so I’d rather have room for more balls7. But in the past week or so I’ve found that not having enough inventory room is not my problem – my problem has been that I keep running out of PokéBalls! Which is probably because I keep running into situations like this one:

All the Pokémon

I ran into this gaggle of Pokémon outside my pet store when I went to buy food for the kitties. I ended up catching 11 Pokémon in a row there! Hence why I keep running out of Pokéballs!

So, yes, it seems it’s feast or famine when it comes to PokéInventory – either too much or too little. Inventory really is evil.

  1. Yes, I’m still playing Pokémon, even though everyone else is so over it. Because I have a bad case of completism and I’ve still got 38 Pokémon that I haven’t caught yet! []
  2. You have to catch multiples of the same type of Pokémon because (a) catching Pokémon gives you experience points (XP), which is how you level up (which makes you more powerful, lets you catch more powerful Pokémon, and gives you useful objects) and (b) it also gives you candy, which you need to evolve or level up a given Pokémon. []
  3. My friend Cath and I (the only two people I know who are both still playing, made a solemn vow to not spend any actual money on this game. We only get items through either getting them for free at Pokéstops or getting them for free when we level up or earning PokéCoins for free by putting our Pokémon on gyms. []
  4. Or extras if I’ve given them a particular name, like my Meowths, which I named after my kitties – an idea I stole from Cath []
  5. I appear to have a Tauros nesting ground right outside my home and right outside my office so I catch them all. the. time. []
  6. If this is your first time at PokéGym – you *have* to fight! []
  7. Although, I have this feeling of guilt for throwing away perfectly good Revives and Potions because it feels wasteful….. even though I’m entirely away that they are *imaginary* and I got them for free at PokéStops! []