Ever since the announcement of the Augmented Reality mobile game Pokémon Go, the world has been taken by a storm. The premise of the game is very simple: explore the world around you and capture Pokémon with your phone. It lets you create an avatar that can catch, train, trade and battle Pokémon characters inside the game. Pokémon Go, though, is actually the work of a start-up, Niantic Inc., which was created inside Google and spun out of the company last year. Niantic Labs, partnering with Nintendo and Pokémon Co., launched the game for free to download on both Android and iOS. It has only been launched in the US, New Zealand and Australia but pretty much everyone in every part of the world appears to be playing it.
What makes this game unique is that it uses your phone’s location services and camera so that you can catch Pokémon in real world. That is, when you walk around the streets of whichever city or town you live in, your avatar moves inside the game. So finding new Pokémon and checkpoints for the game actually requires you to get off the couch and walk down the block. There is a lot of walking involved here?—?this is as much a fitness app as it is a gaming app so put on your walking shoes.
How does it Work?
The first part of the game is to find Pokémon. It’s like a hot and cold treasure hunt?—?characters don’t appear on your map until you’re close to them. When one pops up on your map, you tap on it to start catching it. It relies on a unique capture system where the player must throw a Poké Ball with the right force and at the right time to make a successful catch. The game switches you to an augmented reality mini-game where the character appears in front of you through your camera.
Once you have caught your Pokémon, you are awarded two types of in-game currencies: Candies and Stardust. A player can use stardust and candies to Power up the Pokémon or Evolve the Pokémon. However, only candies are needed to evolve a Pokémon. Powering Up requires a mix of Stardust and Candy. Stardust can be used for any Pokémon whereas Candy is species specific. Powering Up will usually require a single Candy, but will require more depending on how close the Pokémon is to reaching its full potential, regardless of its evolution stage.
To evolve your Pokémon you must have the specific type and necessary number of Candy, which will enable the evolve button. Evolving your Pokémon is a sure-fire way to drastically increase your Pokemon’s CP in one go, but this could require quite a few captures. Evolving your Pokémon has a few effects besides making it stronger. Your newly evolved Pokémon will be fully healed, and its moves will be randomly re-selected.
Why has it gone VIRAL?
- Pokémon has been a hugely popular for two decades. The game was launched in an attempt to hit the nostalgia element amongst the fans, helping to boost its popularity.
- The game has always been about exploration?—?traveling through fields, towns, mountains and other areas in search of rare Pokémon to catch?—?and Pokémon Go gets people out and about. The opportunity to do some real-world exploring makes it appealing to many fans.
- Unlike most games, which engage only your thumbs, Pokémon Go requires you to walk, run, and even jump — all great forms of exercise. It’s a huge health fad right now. Check out these tweets from self-reported users:
— Sam (@Samakonda) July 12, 2016
Day 3 of Pokemon Go:
My legs are on fire.
— Jeb (@Jeb_R) July 12, 2016
Just walked at least 8km the past 3 hours, nice to have such a great motive to do cardio exercise now #PokemonGo
— Rhys ???? (@Kylo__Renn) July 12, 2016
- With the phone’s in-built GPS tracker they can also get in-game items that will assist them in their quest by visiting real-world locations, and take control of certain points known as gyms, where they can battle other players.
- According to TechCrunch, the game has gone viral globally, and surpassed the daily active user numbers of Twitter. Gamers are spending more time on Pokémon Go than on other popular apps like Facebook and Snapchat. The app is even seeing notable numbers of active users in countries where it hasn’t even been released yet, thanks to users locating and installing the Android APK file.
- It’s become so popular now that different business ventures are placing all sorts of signs to encourage people to come in their establishments.
- The game is seeing obsession from around the world and has become one of the most successful mobile apps of all time. Go-themed crawls are being planned and executed around the world. Also, the internet has been taken by storm with some hilarious memes that perfectly describe what it’s like to play the game.
Here we have the crazy stats behind the latest and biggest mobile game by BargainFox
Whether the Pokémon Go craze lasts is an open question. Only time will tell what’s in store for the future of this game.