Full Review of Pokémon GO – The legend from your childhood
If you’re old enough, then you probably remember all the hype around the Pokémon franchise: the plush toys, animated TV-series, colourful chips and much more…
But you don’t have to be 20+ years old to enjoy playing with those adorable (but deadly) beasts since the Pokémon made their epic comeback in 2016, conquering almost 1 billion mobile Android/iOS devices throughout the planet.
I caught Charmander…
The odds are high that you have heard about Pokémon GO at least once. It’s been featured on the news so often that you might get an idea that those blasted Pokémon are omnipresent.
And you aren’t far from the truth: they are everywhere, right this moment outside your house, on your lawn. All you need to do is to install this reality-augmentation app and get on your own Pokémon-hunting spree.
You start off with a tutorial provided to you by legendary professor Willow. He explains the basics of the game and offers you a “beginner’s Pokémon”:
Everyone’s all-time favourite Pikachu isn’t offered to you, but you can go after him yourself:
- Wander away from your home.
- Wait until the Pokémon’ position gets reset for the 4th time.
- You’ll see Pikachu – throw the Pokeball at him!
Remember that every Pokémon belongs to a certain area, according to his natural element. Water Pokémon dwell near a riverside, fire Pokémon possibly near a firehouse, grassy Pokémon can be spotted in a park and gassy Pokémon… well, sometimes it’s better not to think about things.
The revolutionary feature of the game is the exercise you’re doing outside getting a lot of fresh air for your lungs and vitamin D from the sun rays. The fact that it’s the augmented reality makes you forget everything in the world, even that people around observe you with both curiosity and caution.
Pokéstops and gyms
These are two main in-game locations that can be found at your local cafeterias, burger joints, churches, schools etc. Whatever the special Google Maps/GPS-based algorithm deems appropriate.
Now, what these locations do:
- Pokéstops – these are the places where you can get pokeballs, Pokémon magic eggs, candy and other vital thingies.
- Gyms – these are mini-gladiator arenas for the Pokémon. The Pokémon trainers are fighting for those, and up to 6 Pokémon can be ordered to guard a single gym. Remember that your Pokémon needs “motivation” to protect the turf – otherwise, it’ll keep on losing battles one after another and then will desert its post.
Each Pokémon can be leveled up – there are more health and combat points to earn. Anyhow it’s a tedious process because the upgrading requires precious resources called “candy” and “stardust”. It can be done by either donating the Pokémon you don’t need to professor Willow or investing real-life money in Pokécoins – the in-game currency. The prices vary from 99 cents to $100. Sounds like a rip-off but without lil purchases, you’ll spend weeks and weeks grinding in the streets…
The combat mechanics involve swiping to divert an attack (works poorly) and tapping to produce a strike – simple, laconic and brutal fun.
Catch ‘em if you can
Since 2017 there’ve been numerous updates:
- Catching a legendary Pokémon is possible during a limited period.
- You can catch Mewtwo.
- There are speed limits – over 30 m/h = no Pokémon for you.
- Battery discharges slower.
- Your name can be changed only once etc.
- So far there’s no PVP or Pokémon-trading though.
All in all, it’s the healthiest game in the world. You get a lot of social experience, you stay fit and of course, you finally have your childhood dream materialized: a real Pokeball with the real Pokémon to catch. Just be careful on the road.