Pokemon Go has been out in the UK in an official manner for a little less than a week. I’ve had about three days to play with it and I am ready to give my first impressions.
The initial setup process was fairly simple. I happen to have a Google account, so that made the entire process of getting set up a little quicker. The next bit was kinda cool for me in that you get to set up your character in the game with different types of clothing, decide what shoes to give it, what kind of hat you would like for it and all of that fun stuff.
Once your character has been set up, you have chosen the name for your in-game character it’s time to jump into it. You are basically thrown onto a map. This is basically the map of your real world location. When it finds a Pokemon near your location they will be displayed on the map. When you are in the vicinity of a Pokemon you can then tap on that Pokemon. If you choose to turn on your camera, then the Pokemon in question will super-impose itself over the area shown by your camera(as shown in the screenshot below).
You can then throw your Pokeball at it to try and catch it. Once you it goes in the Pokeball will then take a few seconds to come back down and stabilise. If the Pokemon does not come out you then it’s yours. It then gets added to your collection.
There are also PokeStops. These are locations that you can visit where you can pick up more Pokeballs or eggs. If you are going to catch a lot of Pokemon then it will be a good idea to remember where they are.
I have been watching my twitter and Facebook feeds blow up with lots of people showing screenshots from Pokemon Go showing pokemon in various locations. I have seen Pokemon appearing on the footpath, I have even seen Pokemon sitting on a chair inside my house!
Are there any drawbacks to this game? Of course there are. This game requires you to be constantly connected to the internet. If you have access to Wi-Fi then this is not a problem. If you are away from Wi-Fi connection and you are not on a mobile phone contract that gives you unlimited internet, then this may be a problem.
This game has also attracted some negativity as of late. there has been stories of people falling off cliffs whilst searching for Pokemon. There have even been criminals exploiting the game to lure people into being robbed. Am I trying to scare you into not playing? No! I am just making you aware of these things happening.
So far I have to say that Pokemon Go is a game that is pretty cool at the outset. It’s also a very interesting use of Augmented reality (where things from a virtual world are super-imposed onto the real world). It has been a while since I last played a Pokemon game. With that being said I have to say I have manged to grab one Pokemon(namely Charmander). I am in the position where my mobile phone contract has a limited data allowance so I can’t really play it on-the-go that much. However, the game has more users than Twitter right now and it’s quite easy to see why. Many of you might recall watching the cartoon on TV all those years ago where Ash Ketchum(the main character) went on a quest to catch all the Pokemon that he could. Now with Pokemon Go, all of us get to re-live his adventures.
On the other hand the game’s already had troubles. The servers crashed soon after launching. To make matters worse a group of hackers known as PoodleCorp has already attacked the game’s servers. As such, I think that Niantic Labs (the developers of the game) will have to ensure that the servers can handle so many people playing at once.
What are your thoughts on this game so far? Let me know in the comments.