It’s been just a week since the United States, New Zealand and Australia have been flipped on their heads with the release of Pokémon Go, which turned millions of people into Pokémon trainers. If you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, Pokémon Go is an app that seamlessly merges the real world with the Pokémon universe through real-time mapping and augmented reality. Pokémon Go encourages players to go out and explore their surroundings in order to catch more and different Pokémon. PokéStops are located at real world locations and present items (and even Pokémon eggs) to trainers that travel to them.
Pokémon Go offers several different features for players in addition to catching and raising some of their favorite Pokémon such as trainer customization and Gym battles.
Customization: As like in the most recent generation of Pokémon titles, Pokémon Go gives users the opportunity to customize their trainer’s hair and skin color, as well as clothing. Although not an extensive selection, the customization is a welcomed addition to this game.
Gym Battles: What would a Pokémon game be without Gyms and battling? Although different from the main Pokémon titles, Pokémon Go offers its own spin on battling. Gyms are located throughout players’ real world surroundings. Once players reach level five they will be asked to join one of three teams, Instinct, Mystic, or Valor. After joining a team players will be able to claim previously unclaimed Gyms or challenge Gyms that have already been claimed. A Gym’s prestige increases or decreases with each win or loss. In addition to challenging a Gym, players can lend of their Pokémon to any Gym held by one of their team members.
Pokémon Go is free to play on iOS and Android devices but there are in-app purchases that can be made to make your gameplay a bit easier. Players can purchase PokéCoins to buy a variety of items including but not limited to PokéBalls, Incense (to lure more Pokémon) and Lucky Eggs to boost XP. These in-app purchases will undoubtedly make your gaming experience easier but they are by no means necessary. Luckily, players can get some free items by visiting the aforementioned PokéStops throughout their area.
Pokémon Go is an app that is both nostalgic and a breath of fresh air for diehard fans and newcomers alike. This wildly addictive game transforms players into not only Pokémon trainers but also explorers, discovering new Pokémon and places around their home. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend downloading Pokémon Go and making it your mission to catch ‘em all.