What Exactly is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is a brand new free-to-play game available for mobile devices.  It brings the diverse Pokémon franchise to a new platform and proves irresistible in its draw to see how many Pokémon you can collect.

In a nutshell, it is a game where players can use their mobile devices to track virtual critters, capture them, power them up, and then battle them.

Based on the extensive Pokémon anime and video game franchise, Pokémon Go brings an element of exploring, meeting new people, and discovering your local city to a very well rounded character lineup.

Millions of people are jumping in to play Pokémon Go. Launched on June 6th in the USA, Australia, and New Zealand, the game quickly surpassed the record-holding Candy Crush Saga. Since then, it has gone on to spike at having more active users than Twitter and to set several other important records.

People everywhere just can’t get enough!


Where to Download Pokemon Go App?

Grab your mobile device and you can easily install the app. However, be wary of apps pretending to be the real thing, since some fakes have sprung up.

Android: Legit Pokémon GO App
iOS: Legitimate Pokémon GO

The app is free to download and play. It relies on your phone’s built in GPS (“location”) and uses either Wi-Fi or your data plan to connect to the internet. It then syncs your present location with a cartoon-version of your real world, showing you where you are in the Pokémon universe and where other points of interest are.

After logging in for the first time, the player creates a semi-customizable avatar to represent themselves in the game world.  This avatar, when combined with your phone’s GPS data, then moves through the virtual world and encounters Pokémon in many fun and interesting places!

Pokémon are interspersed throughout the game world and once you are within range they will show up on your phone. You can then click on them in order to “approach” them and decide if you will attempt to capture them.  You want to collect as many – and as many types – of Pokémon as possible, hence the game’s tagline: Gotta catch them all!

Once captured, the owner (called a “trainer”) can do various things including power them up, evolve them, or use them to take part in competitive battle called “Pokémon Gyms”.   For this portion of the game, you want to have the “biggest and the best” Pokémon. However, you should also be aware of the skills and weaknesses of your Pokémon if you really want to succeed.

Technically speaking, Pokémon Go is classed as a location-based, augmented reality, geocaching, game.   It takes uses your GPS to align you with the Pokémon universe – which looks unsurprisingly like our universe.  Then the camera app is used to let you “see” the Pokémon in your own environment. You may find one sitting on your desk, napping on the sidewalk, or hanging out in a local restaurant!  In addition, you’ll want to pay attention to the markers within the game for PokéStops and Pokémon Gyms. Put on your sneakers because you’re going to be on the go!

Nintendo partnered with Niantic, the makers of an existing location-based geocaching game called Ingress, to provide the technical power that brings Pokémon Go to life.  Because Pokémon Go uses the existing Ingress location database, it excels for players that live in cities.  Players who live rurally are more limited but can submit feedback to Niantic that should go a long way towards helping them expand their PokéStops database.

Pokémon Go is a fun family-friendly game that kids and adults of all ages will enjoy playing together.