Pokemon Go – Augmented Reality At Its Best

Published by richard sands on

One of the biggest games around at the moment is Pokemon Go

 

If you’ve not heard of it…shame on you!  If you have heard of it and you’re not a fan, we’re about to convince you of its awesomeness!

After a few years of development, the Nintendo owned Pokemon has become fashionable yet again – after first becoming popular in the late 1990’s.

Augmented reality!

The difference is, 1990’s Pokemon was all about trading cards, Gameboy games and the iconic TV show. But times have changed and Augmented reality is now here!

Basically, augmented reality uses your phone’s GPS and clock to detect where and when you are in the game, then makes Pokemon ‘appear’ around you (on your phone screen) so you can go and catch them.

The idea is to encourage you to travel around the real world and find rare Pokemon in various landmarks within your area (and beyond). You’ll also be able to find less rare types a little closer to home.

Nostalgia and memories

What’s more, Pokemon Go fulfills a childhood fantasy. Many of those who grew up with the original TV series have now grew up (or so they say), so it not only appeals to their interests, it also opens the door to a whole new generation of followers.

   

The franchise, which was first created in Japan, was based on the popular hobby of bug catching in the country.

It began with 151 different creatures, but since then it has expanded to more than 720. Only the original characters are available on the game, but we’re pretty sure that will change in the coming years.

Since the original game and TV show, fans around the world shared a dream, and that dream was; ‘what if Pokemon were real, inhabited our world and we could catch them?’  (ok that was just us, but you get the picture)

Unfortunately we’re not there just yet, but technology has evolved enough to be able to simulate a world in which Pokemon are real on your screen.

Similarities to the 1990’s

Within the game, there are Pokémon, and you do catch them. There are also gym leaders and other trainers whom you can fight for fame, glory, and loot.

You can also customize your in-game character’s look and name. And there’s also a professor who helps get you started, particularly by giving you your first Pokémon.

21st century game changes

Besides that, the game makes some big changes. For one, the way you navigate the world is obviously different. In the handheld games, you simply use a controller to move around the in-game world the developers have made.

In Pokémon Go, you have to travel around the real word, and the game uses your GPS and clock to detect your location on the in-game map and decide which Pokémon appear around you.

What’s more, the game does a lot to make you explore your real-world environment at different times. For example, if you go out to a park, you’ll probably see more grass- or bug-type Pokémon. If you go near a lake or ocean, you’ll be able to pick up more water types. And if you go out at night, you’ll see more nocturnal fairy and ghost types.

This is further enhanced by PokéStops, which are essentially notable locations in the real world marked on your in-game map. You can go to these to nab items, including Poké Balls and eggs that can hatch into full Pokémon.

It’s also possible to install special items at PokéStops that lure extra Pokémon, which also make the stops glow pink on the map so players know that hanging around will attract extra Pokémon.

This need to travel is the game’s depth, essentially: To catch them all (and earn the medals attached to catching Pokémon), you’re going to have to explore far and wide, during the day and night — like Ash Ketchum does in the TV show. It’s the only way to become the very best, like no one ever was.

The game monetizes on this, too: You can buy items in the store with real money that help you lure Pokémon. Since Pokémon Go is free to download and play, this is how the developers are making money off the game. (They’ll also probably make money off all the data they’re collecting.)

Another huge change is the combat. When catching Pokémon, you don’t fight them with your own team of Pokémon. Instead, the battle is between you and the creature directly: You swipe to throw a Poké Ball — the device used to capture Pokémon — in their direction, which then catches them.

In fact, there’s no traditional Pokémon battles in the game at all. When you fight gym leaders and other trainers, you don’t set up your team of six with four moves each and select among those four moves to outsmart your opponent, as you do in the handheld games.

Instead, battles are largely decided by your Pokémon’s combat power — a stat attached to each of your Pokémon — and you tap the screen to make your Pokémon attack the enemy while swiping to dodge enemy attacks.

Fitness!

With traditional games consoles, you are pretty much restricted to sitting on a chair and not moving from the house.

Obviously with Pokemon Go, it’s about being on the go – so you can get fit as you’re wandering around looking for Bulbasaur.

We would suggest however, that you are aware of your surroundings as you’re running or walking along. (to be honest we’d be very surprised if Pikachu is in the middle of the motorway, but be wary of the dangers around you.

Still not convinced? Why not hold a Pokemon party in your local area and invite the local community?

Here’s a fun list of things you can do on the day:

. kids (and adults) dressed as characters

. themed activities and food

. a fun fair

. awards for ‘rare finds’

. hiding actual Pokemon toys and teddies for the kids to find

. music

….Oh, and don’t forget to take some photos of the day.

You can have your favourite Pokemon feature on your phone with our custom phone cases

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