The Pokémon Go app is taking over
If you find yourself incubating eggs, battling at the gym or looking for Pikachu, you know you’re in deep with Pokémon Go.
The augmented-reality app has swept the world and is responsible for encouraging kids—and adults—to switch off Netflix and actually get outdoors. The app places various Pokémon across cities, near oceans and even in the woods, so walking and exploring is a must.
Pokémon Go was released last Tuesday and quickly became the No. 1 free app in the US iTunes app store. It’s also surpassed installs on more Android smartphones in the US than the dating app Tinder and is projected to surpass Twitter, as well.
There’s no need to know the history of Pokémon to enjoy the game, all you need are a good pair of walking shoes and the ability to let your curiosity run free.
What exactly is Pokémon Go?
To begin, the term Pokémon is a combination of terms “Pocket Monsters”, which look like cartoony versions of rats, snakes, dragons, dinosaurs, birds, eggs, etc.
The free to download app uses GPS to create a cartoon-like map of neighborhoods and once you begin playing, you become a trainer.
It then becomes your job to catch Pokémon, so that you are able to advance to higher levels, thus enabling you to catch more powerful Pokémon to complete your Pokédex—or a catalogue of sorts that displays information of the Pokémon you have already caught.
How to play Pokémon Go
Once you set up your character, or trainer profile, you will be able to catch your first Squirtle and visit nearby Pokéstops. The Pokéstops look like a blue floating cube and allows you to collect potions, incense and Pokéballs to name a few items, which are everything you need to complete your Poké hunt.
The app will alert you when there’s a Pokémon in range and that’s when you can then throw your Pokéball to capture the little critter! Doing so over and over will allow you to gain experience as a trainer.
Once you’ve reached level 5 you are ready to battle at the gym. Gyms are easy to spot, because they tower the surrounding area and usually have a large Pokémon sitting on top of the large structure.
“You don’t need to worry when you first enter the gym,” says Isabel Ramos, an avid Pokémon Go user. “The app will automatically pick your strongest contender and you must keep tapping the screen to win the battle.”
Claiming the gym as your own will take multiple battles. Battling an enemy gym means you will need to wear down its prestige level, which reduces how many Pokemon it can house. Then when you battle the next time, you will need to defeat one less Pokemon, making the battle easier. You’ll then be closer to a final victory.
What do they really look like?
There are Pokémon that are considered to be wild and will appear only in certain locations. For example, some water-type Pokémon may only appear only near bodies of water, such as lakes and oceans. Be sure to stay alert for Pokémon you wouldn’t normally encounter when you’re away from home!
Here’s a list of Pokémon, both common and rare, you will see in the Pokémon Go app:
Here’s a look at the game in action:
What are the dangers?
As with anything in life, yes, there can be dangers. The app begins by offering a message to be aware of your surroundings. It’s been mentioned in on the news that one girl found a dead body and that teens have been lured to locations to later be robbed.
As a safety reminder:
- DO NOT drive and play
- DO NOT use the app late at night alone
- Do not visit private properties
- Be alert while biking and playing—colliding with cars will hurt
- Look up while crossing the street or near intersections
Have you joined the world of Pokémon Go? Leave a comments and/or questions below and Happy #PokéHunting!
Photo credit: Pokémon characters, Isabel Ramos