Since the announcement by Pokémon Go on the 13th of December that the game is officially released in South Asia, the ‘trainers’ have come out from under their rocks, and have taken over the streets of Colombo already. Yet, half the people are wondering what in the world is Pokémon Go while the other half is staring at their phones breaking into strangers’ houses. While everyone has a slight idea of what it is, here’re a few things about Pokémon Go so you could sound a bit like you know what you are complaining about.
1. What is Pokémon?
In 1990s, Satoshi Tajiri, a video game designer, decided to make a game to celebrate his love for insect collecting (eew), and to remind people what it’s like to get out of the house. In 1995, he came up with Pokémon – a play on the words ‘pocket monsters’ - and introduced 151 characters he drew himself. The first Pokémon was released on Game Boy, and a new cult was born.
2. How does it work?
The human who controls the Pokémons are Pokémon Trainers, and they have two goals. One is to collect all the types of Pokémon (thus ‘Catch ‘em all!’ was born) to complete the Pokédex and two is to train these Pokémons to compete against others owned by other Trainers.
The franchise grew over the years to include anime, manga, trading cards, comic books and toys.
3. What is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go is a game for your smartphone utilising your GPS data and camera (and a lot of battery and mobile data. Woo hoo!) Basically, the cool thing about is that it offers an augmented reality experience, and you can find your Pokémons sitting on your bed, in a river, behind a tree etc.
4. How do you download Pokémon Go in Sri Lanka?
Pokémon Go was officially released to South Asia on the 13th of December to App Store and Google Play, and if you were one of the APK players from before, don’t worry, your stats are intact.
5. How does the game work?
You build your Trainer character, and start looking for Pokémons. It’s really easy actually.
- Looking for Pokémons
You can either stay stationary until they decide to appear or you can walk around looking for them.
- Catching a Pokémon
Aim and throw your pokeball at the wild Pokémon. If you aim right, you catch it. (Quite different to the earlier version of having to battle Pokémon to catch them.
You start off with a few pokeballs, and then you can buy them at the shop or get them from Pokestops.
After you reach level 5, you get to choose between three teams: Instinct, Mystic and Valor. Choose wisely.
After you pick your team, you can go to Gym and battle with other Pokémons and take over the place.
Pokéstops are landmarks which offer you goodies. When you are in the vicinity, it’ll change shape. Just click on it to get things like Pokéballs, eggs, incense etc
There’s a whole lot more you can explore in there from the shops to the gyms, and the locations. Just get the game.
6. What is this about battery life, mobile data, and servers crashing?
Pokemon Go constantly uses your camera and that’s going to drain your battery. You can try all the tricks, but just remember to keep an eye on your battery counter if you have no charger.
This also constantly checks your GPS and transmits your location. Since you are moving about and not staying at a place with Wi-Fi, it’s going to switch to mobile data. Just be careful.
We are still not sure if the servers are crashing, but we are presuming not as they officially released the game to another billion people.
7. What else?
This is actually quite fun. When you go to a new location, the excitement of finding a rare Pokémon or one you don’t already own is quite an adventure. Even the Gym battles, and getting together with friends to roam the streets.
There is already a very active Facebook Group by Gamer.LK and Whatsapp groups dedicated to all players or just the teams doing these route takeovers. You can meet more players, and travel in groups for safety.
Remember the different types of Pokémons linger around different terrains. Water, grass, bug, jungle, desert etc are scattered all over the place.
One thing everyone should remember though is safety. Since the launch of the game there have been many accidents involving all kinds of methods such as falling into ditches, breaking into houses, road accidents, and even finding a dead body. So please, while you check for Pokémons, just keep your head up and be aware of your surroundings. Don’t act as I did today morning while crossing the road – when the bike came at me, I looked up from my phone, and stared at it until the guy decided he should just go around me, since I’m not going to be moving! (There was a Pokémon to catch!!!). Do not take unnecessary risks, even if there’s a Pikachu in the middle of Temple Trees.
By: Tia Goonaratna