Back in the day it was trading cards, but Pokémon Go has revolutionised childhood memories. The past week has seen real grownups running around catching Pidgeys as some early adopters found ways to install the world’s fastest growing game on their smartphones. At the start of the year, we brought you news of a revolution coming this way and today marks the launch of Pokémon Go in Ireland – though the servers seem to be struggling.
What is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game which uses your smartphone screen and camera to allow you entrance into the world made famous by Ash Ketchum and Pikachu. The goal is to catch all 150 Pokémon, which are kind of like wild pets, train them and win battles with them in gyms. Traditionally, this needed a little more imagination as it was mainly trading cards and Gameboy games, but thanks to Pokémon Go it’s creeping into a whole new reality.
How does Pokémon Go work?
Pokémon Go is an augmented reality app, which means you need to combine the power of your smartphone’s screen and camera. The camera absorbs the real world you can see, while the smartphone then places animations over the real world. The result is effectively immersing you into a world of Pokémon. The best part is that you must move around to local points of interest which seems to be aligned to Google Maps. When you reach these points, you spin a large circle to unlock items like Pokéballs, potions and eggs.
What’s the point of Pokémon Go?
This the question being asked primarily by non-Pokémon fans. The main goal is to catch all the Pokémon – that’s 150 of them. Once caught, you build your Pokémon up, even catching duplicates and trading them to get candies and build up your primary Pokémon more. While Pokémon Go has already gained a bit of a reputation for being a little bit nerdy, it deserves some credit for recreating the notion of gaming to involved fitness. There are a lot more people walking around the streets in the last week thanks to the game and here’s why.
Is Pokémon Go a fitness app?
It’s not being marketed as a fitness app, but to play the game in a stationary position is pointless. As we mentioned already, you must move around to different points on the map to receive items like potions and Pokéballs, so already there is a massive incentive to get off the couch. You’ll likely forget the distances you are walking or running because, well it’s fun! It’s a huge motivation to keep moving as there is always that wonder about what Pokémon you will find next. I myself found this week that rather than sitting in a car and watching SkyGo while waiting for someone, I’d get out and have a wander around for Pokémon.
The second section of the game that contributes to it being great for your fitness are the Pokémon eggs. You carry an incubator with you at all times which has to power to hatch the eggs you earn at various points on the map. Here’s the really smart bit – in order to hatch the eggs, you must cover a set amount of distance dictated by the egg. This will be either 2km, 5km or 10km. You must also stay below about 16kmph (to stop drivers taking advantage) although there are calls for the limit to be increased for cyclists.
When will Pokémon Go be out in Ireland?
It’s out now! Much to the dismay of many early adopters as the servers are seriously struggling to keep up with demand. With that said, creators Niantic will likely be investing in that as the game has been earning the company almost one million dollars per day since launch.
If you are in the Dublin on July 30th, be sure to partake in the Pokémon Go Pub Crawl which is sure to be a bit of craic! You can download the game for Android and iOS now, but bare with it as it stabilises under the huge demand. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram where you’ll be getting the latest Pokémon tips and updates from our Pokéman – Jon.