The Pokémon Company and Niantic Labs have started to roll out the much anticipated augmented reality game Pokémon Go on iOS. It’s currently only available in Australia, New Zealand, and some US markets, but that should expand soon.
The free-to-play game enables players to find and catch more than 100 different Pokémon in their own real-world surroundings, using the iPhone or iPad camera. When you move through the world around you, your device will vibrate to alert you that a Pokémon is nearby. You can then try and catch it by “throwing” a Poké Ball on your device screen. Poké Balls and other useful items can be picked up at PokéStops, which will be located in interesting locations such as public art installations and monuments.
As with all Pokémon games, gameplay is not just about catching and collecting Pokémon, it’s also about using your Pokémon team to battle other trainers in Gyms, which can also be found in the real world.
Judging by some of the hilarious Instagram images already posted by Kotaku that have been taken by people who have already got their hands on the game, and have found the mighty Magikarp turning up on their dinner plates or in the middle of the road, Pokémon Go is doing a great job of capturing the silly humour of the Pokémon world. And judging by the early reviews, also on Kotaku, catching Pokémon in real-world environments is every bit as addictive as in the original Nintendo DS games.
Sources: Pokemon Go rolls out to iOS App Store, available in select US locations