Long gone are the days of frantically searching inside chips packets for another ‘Tazo’ to trade or play with, today Pokémon has left the two-dimensional realm to become one with the virtual living.

Pokémon Go, launched by Niantic Labs in collaboration with Nintendo, is a free-to-play game where players accept the challenge to embark on a mission capturing Pokémons either hanging or hiding out in the real world. The game uses GPS and camera to locate the Pokémon on a map, and players must then explore their local area to seize the different breeds.

Pokemon Go
Pokémon Go is now available in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. A worldwide release is expected within the next few days. Credit: GameSpot

What adds spice to this already exciting game is that some Pokémons are only found in specific locations. For example, the Water-type will only be visible close to bodies of water like lakes or oceans, meaning that if players want to collect them all, they would have to go on a potentially far quest. Also, the Poké Balls used to capture Pokémons are available for collection by historical landmarks such as museums and monuments, or they can be obtained the easy way: using cold-hard cash. Although the game is currently only available in Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, a worldwide release is expected within the next few days.

Android users can download Pokémon Go wherever they are in the world thanks to the APK being uploaded to APK Mirror, as long as the device is allowed to accept side-loaded apps (to do this, go to the security settings and enable “unknown sources” or something of that nature).

A small wrist device coined Pokémon Go Plus will also be released in combination with the game. This 007, super secret agent inspired wearable, going for $35, alerts players when a Pokémon appears without them having to go through all the trouble of whipping out their phone. Note: the device will be available for purchase at a later date, as not to deter from the game’s release.

Although some players have already become one with their augmented reality, many in the US are reporting that the game is not working as yet. Luckily, these players only have to wait a few days until they can also participate in the awaited Pokémon hunting season. Although the game itself is free, it includes microtransactions ranging from $1 to $100.

Location-based games have yet to receive significant popularity, however, due to the fact that this particular one is based on such a popular game, and television series, it may do just the trick for this genre of virtual reality gaming.

Granted, players may be perceived as insane throwing seemingly imaginary Poké Balls into what would appear to be thin air, while shouting “A-ha! Gotcha”. At the same time, it may be a great initiative to get children of today who often spend most of their time indoors, to go outside, stretch their legs and absorb some vitamin D from the sun while hunting the cunning Pokémon.

Source: GameSpot