It has been a few weeks since the launch of the phone app, Pokémon GO. There are passionate people on both the pro and con side about game-play, but I choose to play it responsibly and use some common sense. So far, I’m having a blast! (Guess that means I’m on the pro side.)
When you download the app to your phone, you choose a player name, team and a starting Pokémon. You are considered a Pokémon Trainer. Then it’s pretty much, throw the red and white ball at one and catch any you see.
Your camera will play a huge part in the game and it’s called ‘Augmented Reality’. This AR combines what we see through our cameras in real time and a computer generated ‘pocket monster’.
It also uses your GPS location to spawn new ones for you to catch with your PokéBalls. You can turn off the AR to make it easier to catch them.
Playing this game forces you to walk outside… a lot! You could also ride your bike to each destination. There are PokéStops, where you can replenish items, that you go around to in your area. There are eggs to hatch and the only way to do that is if you walk for kilometers.
PokéStops are located at public places like libraries, museums, recreation centers, pieces of art, historical landmarks, some businesses, places of worship, all kinds of parks and college campuses.
Unfortunately, at this time, no one has the ability to add or remove these PokéStops placed by the makers of the game. Cemetaries are also locations, but I hope people are respectful and choose other places to gather. (Also, please do NOT litter!)
Ok, so, you’re walking along the path in your neighborhood park and come across a ‘gym’. It’s a tower-looking thing that changes colors by whoever wins the fights. You have red, yellow and blue. Those are team colors.
Anyway, you can add a strong Pokémon that has a high CP (Combat Points) from your deck and assist teammates of the same color in keeping the gym from other players. This is where you fight other Pokémon trainers. Only the strongest of your team can be crowned.
Here’s an example of a public park with a gym and 5 Pokéstops located there. The dropping pink hearts means someone put down a ‘lure’ attracting Pokémon to the spot. Everyone benefits from the lures and catching them.
The blue PokéStop at the very top does not have a lure, but you can still get items from it. Once you collect the stuff, the PokéStop turns pink. They refresh fairly quick.
By the time you walk to one and back, the others will be blue and available again. This is how you can get a lot of Poké Balls, potions and lures.
The bouncing green leaves (top left) indicate a Pokémon is there and the bottom left (3 little pics) shows you the options that you might get. Click on it and you get a nearby list that shows the nearest 9 Pokémon.
Take your dog for a walk. Take your children to the park. Meet up with friends who play too. Either way, it gets you out of the house and into some fresh air.
Be prepared for more people at the various locations doing the same thing you are. Just follow the leader around in a giant circle.
By using the map, you can find these monsters and PokéStops. All that walking can only benefit you health wise! Explore your city and find new places you never even knew existed.
There is a PokéDex that tells you which ones you have caught and how many more you have to go. There is currently 142 and the slogan is ‘Gotta catch them all!’.
If you catch one, the very first one is registered in your PokéDex. If you can’t catch them, then it is outlined in gray (bottom) and marked seen.
There is more to the game than just catching them all. You gather XP (Experience Points) to level up your trainer and get higher CP Pokémons.
You have to gather enough of each Pokémon to get their specific coins in order to evolve them to their stronger, bigger versions using the star dust you’ve collected. You can see a few evolved in the PokéDex above.
You can carry 250 Pokémons in your bag and 9 eggs at max unless you upgrade them from purchasing things from the store.
Your Pokémon have different types… fire, electric, rock, water, poison, fighting, etc. One is stronger than another and can defeat the other better. An example… my Vaporeon (water) can take down my Ponyta (fire) with some ease.
So, the point is… collect all, evolve higher, grow stronger, train and fight harder. Repeat.
Don’t let the media paint all of the Pokémon Trainers as irresponsible idiots because of those few bad apples that can’t use common sense or respect!
Library book return drops have Rattatas harassing the patrons! Unsuspecting cats are dive bombed by Pidgeottos! Wee baby bunnies being chased around by Paras! It’s madness! 🙂
Good luck to all you Pokémon Trainers out there! Enjoy and please play responsibly!