Pokémon GO Event Review: Mischief Unbound Event 2021

Mischief Unbound closed out Pokémon GO's Season of Mischief with a weekend of special Raid Hours and Spotlight Hours. Did this special event make the season's final weekend worth playing?

Hoopa Unbound in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic
Hoopa Unbound in Pokémon GO. Credit: Niantic

What worked in this Pokémon GO event

  • Hoopa Unbound: We knew this was coming from the way that Professor Willow alluded to it in the season-long Misunderstood Mischief Special Research. This is truly the culmination of the first-ever time we've seen a season focus on a "story" like this, where previous seasons have instead built toward a major event at the end. The Season of Celebration ended with Pokémon GO Tour: Kanto, the Season of Legends ended with Luminous Legends X & Y, and the Season of Discovery ended with Pokémon GO Fest 2021. Your mileage may vary on whether or not this season compares to previous ones positively, but when talking about the release of this Hoopa Forme, the fact that the entire Season of Mischief led to Hoopa Unbound gave this release a bit more hype than a standard species drop.
  • Bonus Raid Hours & Spotlight Hours: A great surprise! The Mischief Unbound event didn't have spawns because the current spawn pool is taken up by the boring Water-focused Ed Sheeran event. Niantic managed to make this a busy and fun weekend without event-themed spawns by delivering a bonus Raid Hour and Spotlight Hour every single day that the event was live.

What didn't work in this Pokémon GO event

  • The consistency question: When Furfrou debuted the Form Change mechanic during the Season of Mischief, it was obvious that Niantic would use this mechanic for Hoopa Unbound. It does create a bit of a consistency problem when comparing Hoopa to previous species with Formes that were treated as different species like Altered Forme Giratina and Origin Forme Giratina. I get the change, but I think we were spoiled by being able to have a Living Dex of all these various Formes. Hopefully, one day, we can get another Hoopa encounter for the Living Dex collectors.
  • The Swords of Justice: Cobalion, Virizion, and Terrakion were just in raids, so it's unusual that of all the available Legendaries, they would be the ones to occupy one of the bonus Raid Hours during this event in Pokémon GO.


Mischief Unbound was a fun event with surprisingly engaging bonus Raid Hours and Spotlight Hours that ended up saving the last week of Pokémon GO's Season of Mischief from the boring Ed Sheeran Event.

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About Theo Dwyer

Theo Dwyer writes about comics, film, and games.
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