Pokémon Go is finally here
So the Pokémon craze is back. Pokémon GO is an augmented-reality game developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. Released in Australia, New Zealand, USA and Japan on July 6, it has delivered on it’s augmented reality promise.
Download Pokemon Go APK for Android Here
However, since it’s still in the early phase of the rollout, it’s not available in South Africa yet (or any other country not listed above). But not to fear, you can download it here (if you use Android). Simply remember to disable installing from a trusted source. I personally run this apk on my HTC One M8 and it’s virus free.
Let’s get one thing out of the way: It doesn’t look as epic as in the promotional video. But, that is understandable. It’s not like the game is not fun however there is a lot of things that can be added and made better.
In Pokémon GO you walk around with your phone and catch Pokémon . The Pokémon doesn’t seem to be so much terrain related, however, I have found that you get
more Water type Pokémon near a water source. Probably because it’s easier to determine on Google Maps. The app uses your GPS location and Google Maps to render your area. Certain landmarks around your town will be converted to PokéStops that can be used for getting free items like PokéBalls, Potions, Eggs and other things.
Although you can catch Pokémon, this leaves a lot to be desired. There is no battle mechanism built into this. You literally spot a Pokémon, and throw Pokéballs at it, in an attempt to catch it. Catching Pokémon gives you Stardust and Candy that can be used to make your Pokémon stronger. Here is the catch, candy is Pokémon specific. So catching an Abra, will give you Abra candy, that can be used on either Abra, Kadabra or Alakazam. These candies can also be used to evolve your Pokémon.
|A claimed Gym||Exploring the free world||Damn server issues||An egg is hatching|
Gyms are the only place where you can have a Pokémon battle, and again, this isn’t what you expect. A trainer claims a gym by battling through the other trainers that has the gym. By beating the gym, you lower it’s prestige level. Should a gym be level 3, you would need to beat it 3 times in order to claim it, as every defeat a gym suffers, kicks out the lowest ranked Pokémon. A gym battle is literally just a screen mashing action, as it is not turn based as per the other games. It does take a lot out of the actual battle, as having a Pokémon that is stronger, doesn’t really amount to much if you don’t mash and dodge fast enough.
There are quite a few downsides. It’s very buggy. Be prepared to force close and restart this app a lot. It freezes for no reason and sometimes even gets no response from the server, meaning you can’t enter gyms, Pokéstops or find/catch new Pokémon. There also seems to be a lot of server issues at the moment, which is understandable as this is still a very new game, and is not even at a complete version 1 release.
There is no trading at the moment. Niantic stated that it will add trading between friends and strangers in a future release but when this will be no one knows. Personally, I’d like to see things such as turn based combat, fighting wild Pokémon and Pokémon XP make it’s way into the app first, before trading.
It’s a really fun game, and does make you get out more. I’m excited about the future of Pokémon GO and encourage you to get the app as soon as possible, even if you are a borderline Pokémon fan.