For those of you living under a rock, Niantic released Pokemon GO, an augmented reality game for iOS and Android devices this week, and people are FLIPPING OUT.
I am now one of those people, thanks to a push from my boyfriend and the knowledge that everyone close to me was living out their dreams of becoming a Pokemon master. If you have ever liked Pokemon, I have to admit, this is the game for you.
Pokemon GO links into the GPS on your phone and lets you venture out into the world and find Pokemon in areas you travel to every day, and some brand new spots! It’s fun because, without explicitly saying so, the game encourages you to explore new places and travel to areas you may have never been to before in the hopes of tracking down a Pokemon lingering nearby. One of the first things that pops up is a warning to be alert. I hate to say it, but this is definitely necessary. I am sad to report that I have stopped in my tracks in the middle of the street (it wasn’t a busy road, but still) to capture a wily Caterpie that was taunting me from the double yellow lines.
I would in no way consider myself a gamer, and even I find that I’ve been having a blast trying to capture Pokemon who sneak up on me at every turn. They are waiting on the sidewalk near my apartment, on my desk at work, and even in my bathroom. Hilariously, I’ve seen many other reports of people experiencing inopportune Pokemon encounters too.
One thing I really enjoy is, since the game uses your GPS, small icons appear on your screen as you walk that tell you about the area you’re in. You can see below that the blue blocks appearing on the screen indicate you’ve reached an area that is documented, and if you click on it it will tell you about where you are.
In the bottom right hand corner of the screen, the game tells you what Pokemon are in your general area. There are also little footprints below each, signifying how close that Pokemon is to you. The less footprints (it goes up to three maximum) the closer that Pokemon is to you!
I haven’t run into any yet, but I know there are also Pokestops and Gyms that appear in your area where you can fight and train the Pokemon you’ve captured.
The only thing I dislike about this game is that it really drains the battery life of your phone, and quickly. It also lags a bit, and there were 2 instances where I’d caught a Pokemon and the game crashed. It ended up not recording my catches, and I had to wait a while before the servers came back up. Understandable, considering how many people are playing at the same time.
All in all, this game is a real blast and will become your new obsession. It takes living out your childhood fantasies to a whole new level. The feeling of opening up the screen and seeing a Charmander right under the tree in your yard can be described as nothing but giddiness. So have fun! Keep your head up, stay alert, and become “the very best/ Like no one ever was.”