Pokémon Go Review
These days – especially these days – videogames are no longer for kids.
Now, no matter how old you are, you can join in on the fun with a game that will take you back to the good old days of Gameboys, playing cards, and that tiny little pixel cartoon-like character called Pikachu. If you are still uncertain as to the specific game this review is hinting about, then you must be a newcomer – which is fine too since you are bound to enjoy the fun.
This review would like to introduce you to Pokémon Go, which many technology sources are calling “the next leap forward” for the Pokémon brand (a Nintendo-owend franchise that exploded in the late 1990s) and its loyal and new followers.
Let’s review Pokémon Go and see if you should join in on the game and catch “Pokémania fever” all over again.
What is Pokémon Go?
If you’ve been watching comedy shows and news casters lately, then you’ve probably seen the lack of understanding revolving around the virtual creature cultural phenomenon, Pokémon Go.
To clarify, Pokémon Go is the latest game added to the Pokémon franchise and as some declare, it’s a game that has been 20 years in the making.
The game was released early July of 2016 and within a few days, its popularity has proliferated across the globe with all walks of life and ages have been partaking in the global game with great enjoyment and entertainment.
The game allows you to identify an avatar so that you can become a character in the alter-universe that you access through the augmented-reality application.
Once you choose your avatar and configure the game, you use your smartphone camera to scour the globe for Pokémon to add to your collection. For many, this is likely a dream come true that Pokémon characters are now real and have effectively and essentially inhabited our world.
Pokémon Go is a colorful, exciting, and hands-on game that allows you to access and became a part of the Pokémon culture and all of its wonders leveraging the world wide web (to put into perspective, it will surpass more active daily users than Twitter).
Free Android & iOS Smartphone Application
What’s interesting about this game is that despite the massive popularity worldwide, the makers are offering it for free for iPhone and Android users.
To access the Niantic Inc application, simply conduct a search using the terms “Pokémon Go” and download it to your application que.
Upon doing so, you’ll be able to get started with the game by setting up your avatar and enabling your GPS system, which is necessary for the game to work.
The Pokémon Terminology
To understand Nintendo’s Pokémon and Niantic’s Real World Gaming Platform star Pokémon Go, you need to have knowledge of the game’s terminology. For those who have never played Pokémon or have never heard of the game, the terminology can be a challenge.
Here are the main words that should help you through the game:
- Pokémon: The creatures that you view through your camera lens and try to capture.
- Pokéball: The tiny spherical objects that you target the Pokemon with in order to catch them. You can collect the balls at Pokéstops and as you enhance your levels, you receive more.
- Pokémon Gym: You collect Pokémon for a reason, which is to battle with other avatars at the gyms so that you can win prizes.
- Eggs: The eggs are unhatched Pokémon.
- Poliwag to Poliwhirl: you can evolve into different Pokémon Go species if you can not find enough ‘wild’
- Candles, Stardust, and Potions: These objects are extras in the game that can help you enhance your Pokémon levels and they can be used during battle too to improve your chances of winning.
Each of these items in the game helps you improve yourself as a trainer. By implementing the right strategies and by following the rules of the game, you’ll be able to grow your Pokémon collection and became one of the most powerful trainers in the alter-universe.
How To Play Pokémon Go
In all, Pokémon Go has 151 creatures in its catalog. As you explore your real-world surroundings via the mobile app, you will unlock and uncover hundreds of Pokémon species through your journey.
Here is how to properly play the newest App sensation:
- Use an incubator to start incubation of your egg
- walk to hatch your pokaeggs
- take aim via your smartphone touch screen
- throw Poké Balls to catch it
- look out for PokéStops (ability to collect more Poké Balls)
- customize and gain levels for your Pokémon Go Trainer
- control gyms
- add to your Pokédex
- capture Great Balls to get a better shot at catching Pokémon monsters
- join a team and battle together
- buy Pokémon Go Plus*???
As you can see, this is pretty intense and serious level of dedication and attention. This may all be about Pokémon Eggs at PokéStops, but some wonder whether or not this is a health blessing in disguise as more people are walking trying to find and locate these powerful, exotic creatures – could it rival some of the biggest house-hold fitness activity trackers in the future?
This is global gamification at its finest and appears to only be the beginning of a blossoming and booming blast from the past all over again.
No matter what Pokémon Go avatars you encounter, whether it be snakes, birds, rats, trees, swords, dragons, dinosaurs or rattatas, it is your job as a Pokémon trainer to travel the globe and tame these monsters by fighting against each other or handling business on your own.
We will also expand much more with our Pokémon Go Plus wearable device guide in the near future.
The Real World Connection
What makes Pokémon Go such a revolutionary game is that it blurs the lines between the real world and the game world. Unlike all other standard games, you are not integrated into the day-to-day. Instead, you stay glued to the screen, likely in your home or in another space.
Pokémon Go, on the other hand, provides you with literal real world connection.
That is to say, the fantasy can be seen and accessed through your smart phone’s camera lens as you look through it into the world around you.
For example, as you walk down the streets of your neighborhood, park, or anywhere else for that matter, you point your phone toward your surrounding space and see Pokémon everywhere. You’ll also see the virtual Pokémon mapped into the space around you.
To provide you with Pokémon locations, the application utilizes your GPS via Google Maps technology and Google Maps Pin. Therefore, you are required to disclose your location and if that is an issue for you, then Pokémon Go may not be a good option.
The Not-So Outstanding Qualities
Pokémon Go is a tribute to the nostalgic and exciting Pokémon brand and all of its loyal followers – but there are a few dark and unsavory points. One of the most common is that the game does have bugs, and many of them. For example, those who play the game have issues with the following:
- Poor connection to the server
- Lack of updates to the map
- The game is a drain on your phone battery
- Capacity issues
While these are certainly significant issues, they are also ones that can and will be rectified with time. Pokémon Go was only released on July 6 and there is a long way to go in terms of improvements and updates. Another thing to keep in mind is that the game is a significant departure from the old Gameboy version and of course, the playing cards.
Knowing the original 1998 Pokémon Red and Blue (Yellow year 1999 and Gold/Silver year 2000), Pokémon Go has came a long way when it comes to its technological advancements and gamifying-fun all over the world. You can customize your Pokémon Go avatar with cool clothes and accessories as well as do some Photo Fun with your camera feature when encountering wild Pokémon Go creatures so you can share on your social media profiles. The game has been trending all over Facebook and Twitter and will likely continue its meteoric rise to the most played app ever.
Players Tips, Tricks and Hacks Guide
With every game comes superior shortcuts to achieve greater status, understanding and playing levels – the easy way (maybe not so fair way). We know Pokémon Go will be no exception and there is a fighter’s chance you may have arrived here awaiting all of the secret tips and tricks to hacking the Pokémon Go game (tisk tisk but we understand what is at risk wink).
As the Pokémon Go game reveals itself to ‘Get Up and Go’ and walk around aimlessly like a zombie, many will wonder how others are increasing their steps (the lazy nerd way) without leaving the house (like tying your phone to the ceiling fan and turning it on high to track the movement and hatch your Pokémon Go eggs). Of course, videos have already surfaced of Pokémon Go gamers putting their phones on record players circling around and around so they can hatch their beloved eggs.
We will update our Pokémon Go hacks guide as soon as we get feedback.
The Ultimate Guide to Pokemon Go:
The Best Pokemon GO Tips and Tricks
Pokemon GO has officially taken over the world. Millions of people around the world are playing the game – even in countries where it’s not officially available (I’m looking at you, Canada).
Want to take over your local gym? Want to catch ‘em all? Want to know what exactly Pokemon GO is? Find out today in our ultimate guide to the world of Pokemon GO.
What is Pokemon GO?
Pokemon GO is an augmented reality game made by Niantic and Nintendo. You download and install the app, setup your character, then leave the app open as you walk around the real world. As you walk around your neighborhood, your city, or your hiking trails, you’ll encounter various Pokemon.
Your phone vibrates and a Pokemon appears on the screen. That screen is a picture of the real world, so the Pokemon appears to be standing on the ground, sitting on a log, or inhabiting some other part of the world. That’s where the “augmented reality” part of the game kicks in.
As you catch Pokemon, you’ll advance in levels. As you advance in levels, you’ll catch more powerful Pokemon. You join one of three different teams in the game, and then your team fights for control of local “gyms”.
Anyways, that’s the main idea behind the game. If you’ve played it for more than a few minutes, then you’ve already seen it all in action. Now, let’s take a look at our favorite Pokemon GO tips and tricks.
You Can Pick Pikachu as your Starter Pokemon
In the original Pokemon games, you could pick Charmander, Squirtle, or Bulbasaur as your starting Pokemon. Pokemon GO gives you a similar option, letting you choose from one of the above three.
But there’s a secret way to choose Pikachu as your starter – just like if you were playing Pokemon Yellow.
Right at the beginning of the game, when you are asked to choose one of the normal three starters, pick none of them. Physically run away from the Pokemon each of the three times. By the fourth time you do this, the game will get the message and you’ll be given Pikachu as your starter.
Anyways, unlike in the games, picking your starter isn’t as crucial. You’ll end up getting all four of these starters from eggs. But still, it’s a neat way to impress your friends.
You’ll encounter some terms throughout this Pokemon GO guide that you need to know about, including:
-PokeBall: This is the ball you use to catch wild Pokemon. You have a large number of Pokeballs initially, but you can also gather and buy more as needed.
-PokeStop: This is a marker tied to something in the real world – like a historical plaque or a monument. You go to a PokeStop, open the app, and spin the disc on-screen to gather items like PokeBalls, potions, and more. After you’ve gathered items from that PokeStop, it will turn purple and take 5 minutes to recharge before you can gather new free items again.
-PokeDex: This is the listing of all the Pokemon you’ve captured, plus any Pokemon you saw but weren’t able to catch. The ultimate goal of Pokemon GO (and every Pokemon game ever made) is to fill up your Pokedex with every Pokemon.
Tap and Hold the Pokeball
Capturing Pokemon is a bit of an art form. When you first start, it’s natural to just flick the Pokeball away towards the Pokemon. I missed the first 10 times I tried to do this.
A better method is to tap and hold the Pokeball, which causes a ring of light to appear around your target Pokemon. Aim for that ring of light, and try to get the ball to pounce off the Pokemon.
Turn Off AR to Save Battery Life and Make it Easier to Catch Pokemon
Once you encounter a Pokemon, you’ll see an option to turn off AR (augmented reality). This causes the Pokemon to disappear from the real world and instead appear on a cartoon world. It takes away from some of the magic of Pokemon GO, but it centers the Pokemon in the middle of your screen, making it easier to catch. It also saves battery life (because you’re not using your camera).
Throw the Pokeball When the Ring is at the Smallest Circumference
Up above, we talked about how a glowing ring appears around your target Pokemon when you tap and hold the Pokeball.
As you catch higher level Pokemon, you’ll need to refine this system even further. You’ll need to tap and hold until the ring around the Pokemon reaches its smallest circumference. That’s when you throw.
Your goal, regardless of the size of the ring, is to throw the Pokeball into the ring.
Note: There’s been some debate about this rule. It’s easier to throw the Pokeball into the ring when it’s larger, but this typically doesn’t lead to a higher success rate on higher-level Pokemon.
The Color of the Ring Indicates the Difficulty of the Target Pokemon
Rings in Pokemon GO have three different colors depending on the difficulty of the target Pokemon relative to your level. Green rings should be easy. Yellow should be a little tougher, and red will be very difficult.
Understand Basic Battle Strategy
Sometime in the future, I’m sure somebody will write a book on Pokemon GO battle strategy. Today, however, we’re only going to talk about the basic battle strategy.
When you enter a battle, the first thing you’ll start to do is mash the opponent’s face and repeatedly tap that Pokemon. This tells your Pokemon to attack.
At the same time, you can also swipe left or right to dodge opponents’ attacks, although this can be hard to pull off correctly.
But the most important battle strategy is to pay attention to your “special” meter and unleash those attacks frequently. To unleash a special attack, you wait for your special meter to fill and then tap and hold on the enemy Pokemon. You can unleash a devastating attack that does serious damage.
Pokemon GO Doesn’t Track Movement Over 12 to 15mph
In Pokemon GO, you need to walk to hatch eggs. The more you walk, the more eggs you can hatch. Higher level, rarer Pokemon take 5km to 10km to hatch, while lower level Pokemon take just 2km.
You might be tempted to leave Pokemon GO running in your pocket while you bike or drive around. But the game detects when you’re moving over a certain speed. Some say that speed is 12mph, while others say it’s 15mph.
In any case, you can’t cheat Pokemon GO egg hatching very easily. The best way to maximize egg hatching is to buy additional incubators from the Pokemon GO store (where they cost a few real world dollars). You also get incubators as you gain levels.
You Need to Keep the App Open to Play
Pokemon GO tracks virtually nothing when the app is closed. In order to enjoy any of the game’s features, you’ll need to have the app open and displayed on your screen. Otherwise, the app won’t track your steps, won’t alert you to nearby Pokestops, and won’t buzz when you walk past a Pokemon.
You’re Rewarded with Free Stuff when Holding Gyms
Gyms are scattered around the real world in places of importance. Pokemon GO teams (there are three teams) fight for control of these gyms. You place a Pokemon in the gym, then let your Pokemon defend the gym and gain experience.
The more you hold the gym, the more rewards you get. As long as you’re holding the gym, you’ll get a “care package” filled with useful Pokemon goodies. That package is delivered daily (you also seem to get a bonus when you first take over the gym).
If you’re in a city, you’ve probably noticed gyms swapping hands very frequently. It’s rare to see a gym held for more than one day.
Leading a Gym Versus Supporting a Gym
Holding a gym requires the coordination of multiple Pokemon and multiple trainers. There are leader Pokemon and support Pokemon.
Leader Pokemon are the highest CP Pokemon in the gym. Other Pokemon provide back-up support. You get bonuses for every gym that you either lead or support.
Catch All the Pokemon – Even the Ones You Have
You might already have 5 Pidgeys in your account, but you should still continue catching all of the Pokemon you encounter. Why? Well, unwanted Pokemon can be sent to the professor, which gives you a piece of candy you can use to evolve that Pokemon.
What happens if you already reached the max evolution for a certain Pokemon? Well, you should still continue catching low-level duplicates. Each evolution gives you 500XP, which is a lot more than the XP you get for actually catching a duplicate Pokemon in the first place.
Ultimately, catching more Pokemon doesn’t hurt you – it just costs you one Pokeball (or two or three if you have bad aim).
Each Footprint is a 100 Meter Interval
When you have the app open, you’ll see a list of nearby Pokemon. Each Pokemon has one, two, or three pawprints beside it.
This isn’t official, but it’s believed that each pawprint is a 100 meter radius. So you’ll need to walk up to 300 meters if you see a Pokemon pop up on the “nearby” list.
The tracking aspect of the game is still largely misunderstood. However, Pokemon GO does seem to be pretty generous with their radius, so if you’re within about 25 meters of a Pokemon, you should be able to catch it.
Different Pokemon Appear in Different Times and Locations
You want to know why you never see a Ghastly or Haunter during the day? Because they’re ghosts, and they come out at night. Certain Pokemon will only appear at night. Clefairy and ghost-type Pokemon, for example, come out at night.
If you walk by the ocean, you’ll find water-type Pokemon. Grassy fields are home to Rattatas and Pidgeys.
Understand the Most Popular Pokemon GO Items
There are all sorts of Pokemon GO items, but you really only need to care about a handful:
-Incense: Incense has a mysterious fragrance that continuously lures wild Pokemon to your location for 30 minutes. So you can stay in one place and catch them all instead of walking around.
-Incubators: Incubators hold eggs until they hatch. An incubator breaks after three uses, although you also get one incubator with an unlimited number of uses.
-Lures: Lures attract Pokemon to a PokeStop for 30 minutes, and everyone around the PokeStop benefits from the effects of the lure.
-Lucky Eggs: These eggs are “filled with happiness” and double XP for 30 minutes.
You Can’t Fight Friends’ Pokemon
At this point, there’s no ability to fight friends’ Pokemon. You can only battle other trainers in gyms.
You Don’t Level Up Pokemon Like You Think
In most Pokemon games, you level up Pokemon by training them in the wild or against other trainers. In Pokemon GO, you basically level Pokemon through items.
These items increase a Pokemon’s CP, or combat power. Be careful using items: I’ve used items to level a Pokemon, thinking that it had a bright future ahead of it, only to catch a Pokemon with higher CP a few hours later. A Pokemon’s initial CP is based on your level, so you might be better off stockpiling items and gaining levels before you start investing in Pokemon.
A New Update Has Mitigated Some Privacy Concerns
When Pokemon GO first launched, it came with a bunch of privacy concerns. Namely, those who signed in with their Google accounts were giving Niantic access to everything in that account – including emails and all your Google-related data. That’s why many Pokemon GO guides will warn you not to link your Gmail account to the game.
Fortunately, a new update has made sure that Niantic only has access to Google data that’s absolutely necessary. That’s still not great if you’re a privacy nut, but it’s not as bad as some people are making it sound.
Some of the Pokemon Are So Rare They Have Never Been Sighted
Think you can catch them all? So far, a number of Pokemon have no confirmed sightings. There are 151 Pokemon confirmed to be in Pokemon GO, although there are no confirmed sighting of any of the following:
I don’t know about you, but I caught a Dratini (147) when I was by the ocean the other day, and I think that’s relatively rare.
We’ll continue adding to our list of Pokemon GO tips as we explore the game and learn more!
The Verdict: Go for It
Overall, John Hanke’s Niantic Labs’ Pokémon Go gamification application is highly recommended to at least tap into the buzz and try it out for size. The game is an excellent social experience that you cannot miss out on and moreover, it is a trip back to the past, but with a modern twist. You certainly do not want to fall behind on the times and to listen to your friends ramble about all that they’ve done on Pokémon Go, while you meet their enthusiasm with blank stares. The game is worth participating in, despite the glitches in technology.
As the makers of the application explain, they are working hard to grow the application’s features and many updates are coming. As a result, the current starter version may be short lived, but only so that a newer, better, and more effective version can be rolled out for the world to enjoy.