You can download Pokémon Go on Android or iOS devices only. It’s an augmented reality game designed for outdoor play in the real world and as such there is no desktop version available. Simply open your device’s app store (Google Play store for Android or App Store for iOS), search for “Pokémon Go” (never mind the accent on the ‘e’), and tap the ‘get’ button or whatever the equivalent is on your device. The app will begin downloading and there is no installation required.
Once the game has downloaded, simply tap ‘Open’ or find the app on your home screen and tap it to get started.
Upon opening Pokémon Go for the first time, the app will prompt you to register, which you can do easily via Facebook or Google. Don’t worry, linking Pokémon Go to your social media account won’t allow it to post anything; it’s just a convenient way for you to register and sign in to the app.
Now that you’re signed in, you’re ready to play. Your phone needs a consistent internet connection as you will need to walk outside and go far from your wifi, so ensure that you have a good data package and plenty of battery life before you step outside. Simply tap the ‘play’ button to get started and see how the in-game map resembles your local area (first pic). The character in the middle represents you, and your task is to catch the various Pokémon displayed on the map.
When you’re close to a Pokémon, tap the Pokéball icon (the red and white ball) at the bottom of the screen to switch to augmented reality mode and find the Pokémon through your phone’s camera (middle pic). Swipe up on the Pokéball to throw it at the Pokémon and attempt to catch it; be careful because you have limited throws per day and you need a direct hit to ensure you catch it in one throw.
That’s the game in a nutshell. Now you should be ready to start levelling up your account (last pic) and following the Pokémon mantra: gotta catch ‘em all.
In the game, there are 151 unique Pokémon that can be captured. Each of these creatures has its own background story and evolution path; they resemble animals with magical powers in a fictional world (except for Pikachu and a few other oddballs).
Pokémon is a video game franchise created by Nintendo and Game Freak in 1996, where the Pokémon (short for ‘pocket monsters’) are creatures that can be trained to battle other Pokémon or human opponents/trainers. Many of these characters have become very popular over time– with Pikachu being one of the most popular Pokémon.
Some of these creatures are based on animals that already exist, but some seem to be completely out there– and possibly even mythical or extinct creatures from Earth’s history. One such creature is Dragonite: a giant dragon-like Pokémon with leathery wings; it looks like a cross between a fire-breathing, scaly Komodo dragon and the Loch Ness Monster.
Pokémon Go brings the classic monsters of the original series to the real world via augmented reality; you go out and explore the real world with your phone and hunt Pokémon in local areas such as parks, schools, and malls.
Unlike other Pokémon games that you play on your Nintendo consoles, Pokémon Go is strictly an augmented reality smartphone app and not a main series game of the franchise. It has no story mode and is purely an augmented reality app with gamified elements and a microtransactions marketplace.
This game is really fun to play in the real world because it encourages exploration and exercise; that said, there are some issues with this app: notably its servers being overloaded/crashing regularly (which has become a sort of meme at this point), and the fact that you can spend real money to get items and other benefits.
On top of this, there’s some controversy among parents about whether or not their children should be playing Pokémon Go– because if they don’t realise how dangerous it is for them to walk into traffic/leave home at night to hunt for Pokémon, they may end up getting hurt.
But is the game fun and rewarding to play or is it just another fad?
The game is great fun, but it’s a little bit glitchy. The Pokémon Go Plus wearable accessory (which allows you to play the game without having your phone) doesn’t always work right and sometimes can take up all of your battery life very quickly– so if you don’t have a charger, you might be screwed.
Also there are a few minor bugs in the game where Pokémon don’t spawn; this is due to Niantic having server issues (and some could just be glitches). All things considered though, it’s a fun game and is definitely worth getting; as long as you don’t get too addicted of course.
Pokémon Go is a lot of fun, but it’s not perfect. The servers are very glitchy and Pokémon often spawn in unconventional places; on top of this the game doesn’t have any actual “gameplay”– you just wander around looking for stuff to catch (which can be kinda boring if you don’t have friends to play with).
The game is worth getting though, and it encourages people (especially children) to get outside and walk around. You can even meet other players that way. Overall I give this app a 5/10– because of the server issues, glitches in the game, and the fact that you have to pay real money for items.
As for the microtransactions side of things, the game is fairly generous with the amount of free content it offers and you don’t need to spend a penny on it to have fun. However, you can pay for additional features and get a leg up on your friends– but it is not necessary.