Pokémon Go is a free-to-play location-based augmented reality mobile game developed by Niantic and published by The Pokémon Company as part of the Pokémon franchise. It was released worldwide in July 2016 for iOS and Android devices.
The game allows players to capture, battle, and train virtual creatures, called Pokémon, who appear throughout the real world. It makes use of GPS and the camera of compatible devices. Although the game is free-to-play, it supports in-app purchases of additional gameplay items. An optional companion Bluetooth wearable device, the Pokémon Go Plus, is planned for future release and will alert users when Pokémon are nearby.
The game quickly became one of the most used smart device apps after launching, surpassing the previous record held by Candy Crush Saga in the United States. Pokemon Go was a boon to the stock value of Nintendo, which owns a part of The Pokémon Company. It was praised by some medical professionals for potentially improving the mental and physical health of players, but attracted some controversy due to reports of causing accidents and being a public nuisance at some locations.
It uses your GPS. You play by walking around the real world catching cutesy little virtual monsters like Pikachu and Jigglypuff in places near your phone location and training them to fight each other.
The monsters in it were first popular in the 1990s when they started on the Nintendo Game Boy. Trading cards were a huge hit in school playgrounds well before Minecraft, but after yoyos and, well, marbles.
Pokemon has been out on Game Boy and DS, it’s been a cartoon programme and it’s been a low-tech trading card game, but this is the first time it’s been a smartphone game.
Dave Lee, tech reporter: Pokemon Go is a monster mobile hit
- Pokemon = pocket monster
- Pokestop = landmark
- Pokeball = a supply that you can throw to capture Pokemon for training
- Gym = a location where Pokemon battle each other
- Pikachu = the most famous Pokemon and an icon of Japanese culture