After staying dormant for a few years, Pokemon is back with a bang; and this time, in the form of a free to play augmented reality mobile game named Pokémon Go. It has been developed by Niantic, a software development company which is best known for developing Ingress, an augmented-reality massively multiplayer online location-based game. Pokémon Go officially released in its beta version in USA, Japan, Australia, New Zealand on July 6,2016.
Pokémon Go uses your internet data and location allowing you to catch various varieties of virtual Pokémons as you explore your surroundings. As you move around, your smartphone would vibrate to give a signal that you are nearby a Pokémon. Once you find a Pokémon, take aim on your phone’s touchscreen and throw a Poké ball to catch it. Also! Look for PokéStops located at interesting places such as temples, churches, tombs, monuments etc, where you can collect more Pokémon balls and other items. You can also find a Gym stop where you can battle with the gym leaders.
What’s more, the game does a lot to make you explore your real-world environment at different times. For example, if you go out to a park, you’ll see more grass- or bug-type Pokémon. If you go near a lake or ocean, you’ll be able to pick up more water types. And if you go out at night, you’ll see more nocturnal fairy and ghost types.
According to research firm App Annie, since its release last week, the game has become the most downloaded and the top-grossing app in iPhone app store. According to online analytics firm Similar Web, by its second day, it was already installed on some 5% of Android phones, putting it ahead of dating app Tinder. The game is apparently matching Twitter in terms of daily user numbers. SimilarWeb says APKMirror received around 600,000 visits on July 5. That number jumped to 4 million on July 6.( ApkMirror uploaded Pokemon Go app to their servers since the app hasn’t been made officially available worldwide, which made users looking for it there).
It became so popular within a span of few hours of its beta launch that it overloaded Nintendo’s servers, causing the game to crash and become temporarily unavailable for users.
In fact, the game’s response has led to a surge in the market value of Nintendo by a whooping $9 billion. But the big question is “Will the company be able to keep its users interested in Pokemon Go?”
A big downside of Pokemon Go is the battery usage. Having a game like this on at all times can really drain a phone’s battery.
As per the trailer of this game, the multiplayer feature of the game was advertised meaning we were anticipating a battle with our real friends or trade the Pokémons with them. However, this feature is not available in the initial game launch.
There are also notable risks with attaching a video game to the real world as people are going into places where they are not supposed to go at a particular time. Also, while playing the game, the concentration level of the player might get affected which might cause him injuries due to lack to attention to the surroundings.
Online criminals are also attempting to lure unsuspecting Android users into downloading fake versions of the game loaded with malware—something to keep in mind if you resort to an unofficial download in a country where Pokemon Go hasn’t been released yet.
Still, if played with precaution, it is a fun game especially for people who grew up being involved with the franchise in some way, and also, it’s a great way for people to get out, explore places they never would have, and meet new people.
There is something compulsive about catching all the creatures of Pokemon. That’s probably why everyone’s motto is “gotta catch ‘em all.”