For twenty years we’ve wondered what it would be like to catch Pokémon in real life. Well now we’re about as close as we’re ever going to get.
It may not have been officially released in UK yet but it’s easy enough to find if you want it.
Pokémon GO essentially works the same way as the game; you’re just using your phone and your legs instead of your DS and sitting on your backside.
As a trainer you look for and catch Pokémon. Those creatures are then used to battle against others at Gyms. GO makes very clever use of Google Maps and geolocation to not only figure out where you are, but also to place Pokéstops and Gyms around you. They are generally found on landmarks (I’ve found churches to be very common places), with Pokéstops dispensing items such as Pokéballs and potions when you are nearby. Gyms are where you go to battle and test your Pokémon against whoever is currently top dog.
There are a few things you need to know.
- It will kill your phone battery. After 30 minutes I’d used 15% of my charge. There are ways to mitigate that though. They should sell Pokémon branded external batteries!
- All I’ve been able to fathom so far is that which Pokémon appear near you is random but does change as you begin to level up.
- The ins and outs of battling and gyms is nicely covered here. Tracking Pokémon is explained here.
- Lastly and perhaps most importantly…it’s really really dangerous.
It’s extremely easy to get distracted and lose track of where you are walking.
On the plus side you are walking. Today I walked for 2km around where I work looking for Pokéstops and Pokémon. I didn’t really notice either. So if you want rock hard calves this is the way to do it.
Keep an eye on your data usage too. I use Wi-Fi a fair bit but if you want to go hunting and catching them all you can’t avoid hitting the megabytes.
I’m not sure how long the fascination will last but so far GO has been great fun. I’ve been more active and I’ve spoken to people in public (do be careful where you end up). As a game there isn’t much to it but it is fulfilling (to some degree) the dreams we’ve all had.
Now I just need to get hold of a baseball cap to turn backwards…
Here are a few of the Pokémon I’ve caught so far!