A collaboration between The Pokemon Company, Nintendo and Niantic, it's impossible to log on to the internet without encountering something about Pokemon Go at the moment. Offiicially released to the UK yesterday on the App Store, Pokemon Go brings a unique experience to both the familiar Pokemon experience as well as mobile gaming.
So, should you join the masses and download Pokemon Go? Well, check out our guide to all of the Pros and Cons, and then decide.
It Keeps You Active
Nintendo have been trying to get their customers to be active for years now, with the release of the Wii showing them take this new direction for the first time. However, they've truly made this with Pokemon Go. The app doesn't really work at home. You'll need to wander around outside in order to visit Pokestops (to collect Pokeballs, eggs and items), visit gyms (and compete against people to win the ownership of the gym) and discover Pokemon. The app uses your phone's in-built GPS, so your routes are entirely based on your real-life map and locations. A lot of the Pokegyms are actually located at landmarks and bigger buildings, such as churches and museums.
It's Actually Pretty Social
Not only does it get you out and about, but you'll also be a lot more social too. Who would've thought we'd be writing that about using a mobile app! But its true. Pokemon Go has already seen large increases in groups meeting up together to enjoy the game. With only one day since the release date here, we're seeing a lot of people out and about who are playing Pokemon Go, just like we are. No doubt you'll be able to strike up a conversation with them if you all end up meeting in the same spot!
A Refreshing Take on Pokemon
So, this is a lighter version of the Pokemon many of us have been used to on Nintendo consoles, but it's definitely a worthy addition into the series. This lightweight version swaps all of the RPG-style exploration and Pokemon battles for this GPS walk and exploration game. With a flick of your finger, you can launch a Pokeball at a Pokemon on screen to (hopefully) catch it. Visit Pokegyms to fight for the title of owner, and unlock items by visiting the Pokestops that are littered in various places throughout the map. I'm sure the thousands of people playing this right might be obvious, but this truly is a fun game.
It is a real battery drainer!
If you plan to take an epic Pokemon quest, then pack a portable battery charger with you. You're going to need this! When we tried it, we found that the battery dropped from 89% to 30% in just over 3 hours. This is due to the games graphics, reliance on GPS at all times and the use of the phones camera. It also requires to be open at all time if you want to walk to hatch your eggs or catch more Pokemon, so you might find yourself using it a lot more than you thought. Just as a side-note, this doesn't work in the background when you're not playing it!
It's Not 100% Responsive...Yet
So the guys behind the app really weren't expecting Pokemon Go to be the big hit that it has been. Since it launched over a week ago in America, the app has grossed over $40 million, making this the highest grossing app in the App Store. Pretty good going! However, because they weren't expecting numbers of this enormous scale, the game is having a little trouble accomodating for this rush of wannabe Pokemon trainers.
This means that unfortunately, Pokemon Go isn't short of it's bugs at this time. It'll often crash, kick players out of the app entirely, the servers keep going down and GPS at times fails to connect. However, we don't think this is forever. Niantic are hard at work at fixes, so expect a match that irons out all of the kinks once the initial hype of these past few days have died down.
It's Encouraging A Few Accidents
Not everyone playing Pokemon Go is aware of their surroundings. Whilst the app pops up a warning about being aware of where you're walking, etc, there's already been a few accidents. This is due to people's attention and gaze being fixated on their screen, instead of looking where they're going. This is a friendly reminder to have fun with the app, but of course...look where you're going!