If you have been online in the last couple of days there is no way you would have missed news of the Pokemon Go phenomenon. And, if you are wondering why the adorable cartoon character from the 1990s is suddenly the rage again, the answer is Pokemon Go, Nintendo's newest mobile game that has become an instant smash hit globally.
What is Pokemon Go?
Pokemon Go is a mobile-phone game based on Pokemon cartoon characters and augmented reality. Augmented reality refers to a real-time representation of any actual physical environment with certain elements that are highlighted or modified. In other words, a view of any real world environment onscreen with certain modifications. Developed by Niantic labs, this technology was released on 6 July on Android and iOS in selected countries. Pokemon Go players have to move around in the physical world to catch Pokemon, join gyms and battle with other players. Just as in the animation series.
How do you get it?
Pokemon Go has been rolled out officially in select countries, such as the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand. Currently the game is not available in India but you can download the APK or the Android Application Package, available. But beware, there are versions of the game carrying malware.
If you want to play the game on the iPhone, you need to change the app store setting to the US or the Australian store after signing out. You can make a new Apple ID with 'No Payment' option, specifying US as the country and then download the game.
How do you play Pokemon Go?
Well, you have to move around. A lot. So, if you are partial to lounging on the couch this just might be what you need. As you roam about in the real world, you will find Pokemon lurking here and there which you can catch. And you get goodies such as Pokeballs at Pokestops, which can also be found in the real world.
You have to get to level 5 to be able to go to the gyms and fight with other people. In order to achieve that, you have to gain XP. And, you can gain XP by collecting Pokemon and other items. Other actions that will have an impact on XP include making the Pokemon grow.
Some Tips and Tricks
If you don't want to roam around much to catch Pokemon, you could play the game while on the bus or in the cab. That should let you easily catch 4-5 Pokemons in a short time.
Also, there are security concerns related to the game. If you are using an iPhone, the game gets "Full access" to your Gmail account. Which means that the makers can read your emails. Nintendo has clarified that this is due to a bug that will soon be fixed.
If you are worried about your battery, the game has a battery saver mode that will turn your screen off when you hold your phone upside down.
Don't be disappointed when you catch a Pidgeta. This is the Pokemon which needs the least number of eggs to evolve. This will earn you more XPs later.
Pokemon Go has officially taken over Tinder in the number of user downloads. The players are spending almost 43 minutes on it per day, which is more than the time spent on Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter. A report in the WSJ suggests that the game will soon arrive on Asian shores. Happy playing!