Embark on an epic adventure to become a Pokémon master
Fill up your Pokedex by catching as many Pokémons as you can find
Test your mettle by battling other players’ Pokémons at gyms
Ever since Pokémon has captured the hearts and minds of both kids and adults from all corners of the world, there had been plenty of wishes made upon the shooting star for a chance – any chance – for us mere humans to be able to become a Pokémon trainer like Ash, Brock and Misty. Now, with this one-of-a-kind, augmented reality mobile game, Pokémon Go, you can now embark on your own Pokémon journey to be the “very best like no one ever was”!
To start your quest, you’ll need to create an avatar. You can choose between a male or a female and you’ll get to customize them based on different aspects ranging from facial feature and hairstyles to the clothes your avatar wears and the backpack it carries. Once done, you can then pick 1 of the 3 iconic and very adorable starter Pokémons, namely the Charmander, Squirtle or Bulbasaur. However, if you refuse to choose any of them, you can get yourself a Pikachu instead!
Ready to begin filling up your Pokedex? I’m sure you are! Wild Pokémon encounters are quite different than what you might be used to in other Pokémon games. Instead of needing to battle with the wild Pokémon, you simply need to play a mini-game of sorts. In this mini-game, you’ll need to aim your Pokeball and hurl it within the vicinity (marked by a white circle) of the Pokémon. There's even another moving circle within the white circle which will earn you some bonus experience points if you managed to hurl your Pokéball within its radius. Of course, if you performed a curveball, you'll also get more experience points as well.
Not to mention, with Pokémon Go, you can’t simply play the game in the comforts of your home. The app actually encourages you to go out into the real world and explore. This is mainly because Pokémon tend to appear randomly in different places and that the Pokémon detection range in the game is pretty limited. Whenever a Pokémon appears nearby, the app will vibrate your phone to let you know so you could stop and attempt to catch the Pokémon.
Each Pokémon has its own Combat Power (CP) too, and naturally, you’ll want to get a Pokémon with the highest CP. CPs can be improved by using upgrade materials like Stardust and Pokémon candy. Pokémons can also be evolved over time by catching duplicates to collect candy, and once you have enough candies, you can simply tap Evolve to evolve your Pokemon.
The best part about this is that currently, the game already has over 140 different Pokémons for you to capture and considering that the entire Pokémon franchise has a few hundred of them in total, you can definitely see yourself playing this game for quite a long time, especially if you’ve caught the “gotta catch ‘em all” fever.
Besides Pokémon, you can also come across Pokestops, which are usually situated in populated areas, where you can get some amazing freebies like pokeballs, potions and sometimes, Pokémon eggs. The eggs can be hatched by travelling a certain amount of distance to reveal new Pokémons that you can then add to your collection.
Battling other Pokémon trainers is also a critical part of any Pokémon game and this is an aspect that might be a bit of a let-down for hardcore fans of the previous Pokémon games. In Pokémon Go, you only get 2 skills per Pokémon to use – a basic skill and a special, charged attack. However, gym battles are pretty interesting in this game. Instead of fighting against NPCs, you can go head-to-head with actual players. To challenge a gym though, you’ll first need to join 1 of the 3 teams and be at least level 5 – Team Valor (red), Team Mystic (blue) and Team Instinct (yellow).
Being a free-to-play game, Pokémon Go offers plenty of purchasable items that you can access by visiting the game's in-app store. Here, you can buy lure modules which increase the chance of a Pokemon encounter, egg incubators, more Pokéballs and others. These items can be bought using Pokecoins that can be obtained by stationing Pokémon in gyms and collecting the daily free coins or by spending real money.
All in all, Pokémon Go is a well-developed and designed, augmented reality game that fills in the void many Pokémon fans have been longing for all these while. If you happen to love Pokemon or are simply curious to see what all the hype is about, be sure to give the game a try.