I suspect people are now sick and tired of hearing about Pokémon Go. At first, I wasn’t going to get onto the hype train, but I forgot about one thing – peer pressure. OK, that’s a strong word – none of my friends threatened to slaughter my family if I didn’t fake an American iTunes account to download it as soon as possible. But I remember coming into work the morning after it was released and one of my friends had download it. That’s when I caught the Pokémon Go bug. Within a few days, I downloaded the app and began playing too.
I haven’t looked back.
Pokémon Go is a augmented reality mobile game (meaning it has a live or indirect use of the reality surrounding it) for iOS and Android. You get an introduction from fake Professor Oak (he’s actually called Professor Willow – still in the tree theme), create a character and then set out in the world. The point of the game is to physically move so your avatar can to – the more you move, the more likely you are to encounter a pokémon. There are PokéStops registered as landmarks around the world as well as Pokémon Gyms. You can procure items such as Pokéballs (and Great Balls when you reach level 15), potions, lures, incense and eggs. Eggs can be hatched in an egg incubator (you get one for free when you start up) but walking a certain amount of distance (it can range from 2 – 10 kilometers). It also seems that certain types of Pokémon can be found in certain areas – for example, I’ve encounter many Magikarps near bodies of water yet I visited a nearby city last week and ran into mainly of Electric type Pokémon.
Here’s a list of items that you can get by either regularly visiting PokéStops or buying them from the shop.
Speaking of Pokémon Gyms, they are a little tricky. For instance, you can pick one of 3 teams (Valor, Instinct and Mystic) and battle various Pokémon that players have used to take over that Gym. But you have to continuously weaken it to take it over – it isn’t taken over with just one battle.
On the left shows want Gyms look like in the AR world and one the right is what Gyms essentially look like
Pokémon can be evolved and powered up by candy that are attached to them and stardust. Another example – I needed around 15 or so candy to evolve my Rattata into a Raticate (as the ones I had been trying to catch kept running away). the trick was to catch multiple Rattatas (I think I captured around 6 in total), transfer them to the Professor so you gain one candy back. Eventually, you can group all your candy up and evolve it. Or you can use candy and stardust to level it up. I actually really enjoy this system compared to the simple battle Pokémon and get EXP to level them up and evolve at a certain level. It makes I don’t have to capture just one Rattata or one Pidgey and be done with it.
An example the candy-induced power up and evolve system
As you can imagine, this game has it’s ups and down. On one hand, it’s encouraging to get outside and walk around instead of staying indoors and playing Pokémon on a handheld console. It even gives you the chance of meeting fellow Pokémon Go players. However, it has also caused a nuisance – some people can crowd around certain landmarks for PokéStops or a certain Pokémon. It’s also incredible addictive – as Pokémon always has been – meaning some people will go to extreme measures to capture Pokémon or get items, such as playing it while driving or even crossing busy roads without looking. That, and consumer outlets are using the game to get people hooked even further.
Above image is example of players in Alaska together, the below image is example of a photo I took at my local shopping center
I for one see it as a positive thing – it’s helped me to get more exercise and even socialise (me and my friends at work often go on what we have dubbed as “Poké Walks” at lunch time together). But I also understand that I can’t distract me from other things, such as crossing roads or completing my course I’m currently taking. That and it has micro transactions and often crashes (to be fair, the servers haven’t been down for a while).
The two dreaded screens of any Pokémon Goer
If you’re like me and your childhood consisted of Pokémon Leaf Green (or Fire Red, your choice), watching Pokémon Indigo League and the first Pokémon, collecting Pokémon cards hugging a Pikachu plushie, then this is a game for you. But please be careful when playing it – remember to take breaks (even if you’re chasing a Pikachu at night in a park like I did) and be aware of your surroundings when playing. And don’t get too addicted.
A sign from Minnesota at a wildife park
Currently, the original 250 Pokémon are available to catch but updates seen indicate the ability to trade with other players as well as battle them (only Gyms are currently a place of battle now) and more generations will most likely be added. You can’t catch ’em all yet.
Some screen shots from my iPhone of my current progress – I had a massive transfer haul recently. That, and no data.
But please excuse me – I have to buy some more data for my phone for a Poké Walk later today.
Thank you for reading, hope you enjoyed! As always, take care until next week – especially my fellow Goers.
And one more thing – join Team Valor!