The exciting world of Pokémon enters the real world with its mobile release of Pokémon GO which serves as the much awaited game that combines augmented reality with location based mechanics to encourage players to explore the real world in the hunt for their favourite Pokémon. With your childhood dream now a reality on iOS and Android devices for free players will travel their local neighbourhood, city and even country to find the Pokémon hidden within these locations while capturing them for your team.
Pokémon GO offers basic character customisation after establishing an account, after which you’ll be transported into the real world at your current location with the three starter Pokémon of Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle waiting to be selected and captured. Serving as the tutorial this is the first of literally hundreds of Pokémon that you will capture in augmented reality. This is particularly the case given the importance of duplicates to upgrade and evolve your Pokémon that means the diligent player won’t often pass up even the basic encounters.
While the game launched in 2016 with only the first generation of Pokémon it has continued to add new Pokémon and mechanics with successive game updates to create hundreds of potential capture opportunities through wild encounters and the various game events. This makes the Pokédex hunt a familiar one for fans of the genre that have played one or all of the handheld games in the franchise.
Capturing said Pokémon involves simply flicking Pokéballs similar to the popular paper toss games that once dominated the respective app stores. In traditional Pokémon style though wild Pokémon can flee from battle and also resist capture, although can be softened up with a Razz Berry that are obtained from PokéStops that are tied to real world locations.
These PokeStops also provide other in game items such as potions, revives, PokéBalls and eggs that can be collected every 5 minutes by walking past and spinning the PokéStop logo. More popular real world areas will of course have more PokéStop available which does make playing within rural locations difficult as your access to important resources will be diminished. Busy central locations also house more gyms where players can hold down a location for their team (Instinct, Mystic or Valor) and earn the premium Pokécoins currency for doing so.
With this mechanic and the fair design behind most of the premium items paying players won’t see any notable advantage translate directly over to gym battles but do speed up the capture process with things to lure Pokémon to your location and improve experience yield. Other mechanics in Pokémon GO include area based spawning (water Pokémon spawning close to water areas), evolutions, trainer battles and randomised combat power that is a central element to the combat power amongst other optimisations.
Whether you enter the free to play mobile game with the intention of filling your Pokédex, claiming gyms or simply joining the community focused events the experience will often be remembered as the first large scale augmented reality game given its reach to Pokémon and non Pokémon fans alike.
- Hunt Pokémon in the real world with augmented reality showing Pokémon at your location.
- Highly social experience with stops, gyms and events bringing other players together.
- Develop your team of Pokémon for battle or attempt to complete your Pokédex instead.
- From the same development team that brought you Ingress.
- Free for iOS and Android devices.
Review Platform: iOS