Hello there! Welcome to the world of Ketchup!

I’ve been playing Pokemon games for about as long as I can remember. It all started for me with a copy of Pokemon Yellow on a translucent purple GameBoy Colour, and I’ve been hooked ever since. The Pokemon games are built around a rich sense of exploration, with vibrant worlds full of these fascinating creatures that captured the hearts and minds of so many children like me. 

They were the first open world games I ever played, and they instilled in me a deep desire to explore every corner, unearth every secret, and of course, to catch every creature (I blame Nintendo for making me a video game completionism and impacting my productivity for decades to come). 

The original Pokémon games started with a roster of 151 creatures which has now grown to over  1000, each with it’s own stats, evolutions, abilities and moves. And that’s only scratching the surface. There’s a huge amount of information to make sense and keep track of if you want to get the most out of the games and become a Pokemon master.

And that’s where Ketchup comes in. For years, I’ve wanted to build an app to help make sense of it all. A few other apps are out there, and of course all the information you could ask for exists on the web. But they each have some inherent flaws when it comes to navigation, and that’s a big part of what I wanted to address with Ketchup.

Websites like Seribi and Bulbabedia have a wealth of knowledge, but it can be tough to sift through at times, and can leave you with dozens of tabs left open that you have to jump between and eventually remember to close. These websites are also no help with in comes to things like tracking your progress at catching every Pokémon.

The apps are the inverse, they can be nice to browse, and some let you track your captures, but it’s hard to view many pages quickly without popping up and down the navigation stack. It’s not that it’s a bad experience, but I wanted something that I could explore as quick as I could think. 

That’s no small feat. Here’s how I’ve tried to tackle that problem:

A New Way to Navigate

When working on Obscura, and when helping Casey Liss with the design of Callsheet, I’ve always strongly emphasised having all the most important controls within easy reach of your thumb. I think it has an enormous effect on how comfortable and responsive the app feels. With Ketchup, I wanted to make it easy to navigate in a number of ways: search, recents, and pins to handle the information pages, and a standard iOS tab bar for accessing all the features of the app. 


All these controls are contained in a system sheet that can be dragged upwards to see a full list of your recents. It’s fast, fluid and makes for a fun little fidget toy too. It looks simple, but it took a lot of work to get this to behave exactly the way I want to, and I hope none of that effort shows and it feels like a native UI component that’s been around for decades. 


Creatures Come First

Enough about UI, let’s talk about the reason you’re here: Pokémon. Ketchup has gorgeous pages for every creature, each tinted to match their type, full of all the most relevant information. You can see how creatures evolve and quickly jump to their evolutions, check their type matchups, see their hidden abilities and what games they can be caught in. 

You can track whether you’ve caught a creature, including its ultra-rare Shiny variant, and filter the list of Pokémon by catch state, and also mark your favourites.


Moves, Items & Abilities

The creatures may be the star of the games, but they’d be nothing without the battles. Each move has a variety of stats and properties, can affect one or more creature and can have secondary effects. Making sense of the battles requires understanding all the possible moves and their effects. Ketchup’s got your back. 

Ketchup also shows you items from the Pokémon games. There’s still a little bit of work to do here to account for differences across the games, but I think it’s a good start and hopefully proves useful. Some items are required for a Pokémon’s evolution into a new form, and those items will show the relevant creatures beneath.

Each Pokémon also has an ability, most of which have some effect on battles, and there’s a list of all of them in Ketchup. You can also see a list of which Pokémon can have a specific ability on the Ability’s page.


Aether - Type Calculator

Last year I launched Aether, a type calculator to see which Pokémon types are effective against each other. I’ve rolled that into Ketchup to make it a one stop shop for all your Pokémon needs. It was too perfect a fit not to include.


Who’s That Pokémon?!

The Pokémon anime used to have this little quiz during ad breaks (only 90s kids, etc), where the silhouette of a creature would be shown and you’d have three minutes to guess it while you were blasted with the most obnoxious ads imaginable. Inspired by that, and the craze for Wordle-like games over the last few years, I’ve built that kind of quiz right into Ketchup. It’s silly, but it’s fun. And if I can’t have a little fun making an app about tiny critters of mass destruction, what’s the point?


Ketchup is free to use, and you can enjoy all the features of the app but you’re limited to seeing data to just the original 151 creatures. To see the rest, you can pay for Ketchup+ which is $9.99 (and there’s an optional $19.99 option if you’re feeling generous. I feel like this is a pretty good balance of letting you get a good feel for what Ketchup is like to use, but still has a clear incentive of why you’d want to pay. 

That’s It

Ketchup has been such a delight to work on (some struggles with SwiftData aside) and it’s great to finally get these ideas that have been swimming around my head for years out into the world. 

So after all that, I hope you’ll dip your toe into Ketchup.. I mean give it a whirl. I’m not responsible for what you do with your condiments. Maybe consider buying Ketchup+, leaving a review, and sharing it with the biggest Pokémon geek you know.