After a long wait and high demand, Niantic have finally released the Pokémon Go app in UK. This app allows people with Android and Apple phones to catch all the Pokémon again, right from the start, in a world which has meshed the virtual and real worlds. However, unfortunately Windows phone owners haven’t been as lucky, as they cannot use the app so far, but a petition may force Niantic to change their mind.
A relatively simple app to use, allowing owners to catch Pokémon all over the world in everyday locations on the side of the road or in someone’s house. The world is a virtual impression of real life, making gameplay only possible if you walk around with the app, and while you do you can get poke balls, along with other goodies, at poke stops all around the country. This has caused some funny incidents such as churches and shops becoming poke stops and getting more clientele through their doors. Although there has also been many incidents of trespassing, and people using the app when they shouldn’t such as while driving.
The battling aspect of the game happens in the gyms, where possession is fought over with Pokémon, giving you the opportunity to defend the gym much like a gym leader does in the traditional Pokémon games.
The catching of Pokémon is all about using your camera and seeing an image of the Pokémon integrated with your surroundings, by then flicking the screen to throw a poke ball you can catch your favourite monsters.
The app’s popularity has seen Nintendo’s share price rise, and with a lot of people using the in-app purchases they are gaining a lot of revenue from it. However, this seems like a temporary fix for an embattled developer who has tried to release the same characters in different iterations for years now. This seems overly hyped and may lead to it drop in users unless they can keep their numbers up via trading Pokémon and new iterations involving the new sets of Pokémon.
There have been a few unforeseen benefits of this app, one being that gamers who are traditionally armchair gamers get out in the real world and interact with other people and fellow gamers. With this I hear ‘lure parties’ are being planned in big areas such as Trafalgar Square and Grand Central Park. Another is that the app forces you to walk and in order to properly use it, meaning you naturally get more exercise whilst playing. Finally, people who suffer mental illness are seeing that playing the app encourages them to go outside more and interact with other people, which can alleviate their symptoms and can prove as a possible alternative to their medication.
Does anybody still use Angry Birds? That was a craze back in time; this app will need to do its best not to turn out like other apps which are constantly replaced by new ones.
Please Note: Logos on the screenshots are used to hide a personal username of a writer, all content is credited to Niantic and Nintendo.