Take a walk to play this popular game but beware of real-life danger
Pros & Cons:
Pokémon Go, an augmented reality game, needs you to take a walk in the real world. It uses GPS to detect your location, and when you move from one place to another, your avatar acting as a Trainer will move correspondingly to your actual location on the map.
To start with this game, you need to move around to discover and capture wild Pokémon with Poké Balls. In this version of Pokemon Go, it has a total of 151 species of Pokémon on the Pokédex for you to explore.
Capturing Pokémon needs some basic skills but it is not difficult in general. Swipe a Poké Ball towards the Pokémon encountered on the screen and catch it before it breaks free and runs away.
Each time you capture a Pokémon, you earn Experience Points (XP) to advance your level, while receiving Stardust and Candies to power up or evolve Pokémon and increase their Combat Power (CP).
The coloured ring around a Pokémon indicates the difficulty level of capturing it. A green, orange or red ring means the capture is of low, intermediate or high difficulty respectively. As you hold down the Poké Ball, the ring goes from large to small. The smaller the ring, the more XP you get for hitting it on target.
To earn extra XP, you can also drag and rapidly spin a Poké Ball in a circular motion before flinging it to a Pokémon.
As you earn more XP and level up, more powerful Poké Balls and other tools will be available in your Bag.
On the Pokédex, species of captured Pokémon are shown in color while those you’ve encountered but not captured are greyed out.
Battles in A Gym
When you have reached Level 5 in this game, you are qualified to join one of three coloured teams, either red, blue or yellow. Henceforth, you can train or battle against other Pokémon in a Gym. Tap a Gym, swipe left and right to explore the Pokémon stationed there before you start a battle.
At a friendly Gym that matches your team color, select one of your Pokémon to train and battle against a Pokémon of your teammate. Each Pokémon you defeat increases the Gym's prestige that can advance the Gym’s level, and each level up adds an empty spot for you to station a Pokémon to defend the Gym.
At a rival Gym not matching your team color, select up to six Pokémon to fight against rival Pokémon. Each Pokémon you defeat reduces the Gym's prestige that can lower the Gym’s level. When its level is reduced to zero, it will appear as a white unoccupied gym, which you can claim for your team.
In a battle, a Pokémon has three distinct moves: to execute a Fast Attack, simply tap your Pokémon; to dodge attacks, swipe left or right; and to perform a Special Attack, long-press your Pokémon. A Special Attack causes huge amounts of damage but its usage is limited by the number of blue bars that are charged by repetitively applying Fast Attacks.
Here’s a tip to win a battle: select a Pokémon with more CP than the average of the defenders and get a type of Pokémon that has a clear advantage over the other. For example, a Fire type can burn a Grass type and a Water type can get rid of a Fire type effectively.
You will receive XP whenever you defeat a Pokémon in a battle and earn a Defender bonus when you are able to station a Pokémon at a Gym. The Defender bonus is a shield at the top right of the Shop screen and a number in the shield represents the number of Pokémon you have stationed at Gyms. Remember to trade this Defender bonus once every 21 hours for free PokéCoins to exchange for premium items in the Shop.
Poké Balls for catching Pokémon are limited items of tools, but you can replenish them and gain XP by visiting PokéStops.
At PokéStops, you can also get other items, like Potion for treating wounds; Revive for rescuing fainted Pokémon with zero Hit Points (HP) after fighting, Razz Berries for making wild Pokémon easier to capture, Incense and Lure Module to draw Pokémon to a location, and Eggs for hatching into Pokémon as you walk a few kilometers.
These tools Stardust and Candies are rewarded each time you catch a Pokémon, hatch an egg, or earn a Defender bonus. You need both these tools to power up a Pokémon to increase its CP, and Candies alone to evolve a Pokémon into a larger form with higher CP.
You gain extra XP each time you evolve a Pokémon with Candies, which are specific to a species. You also earn a single Candy when you transfer a Pokémon, probably a weak one, out from a limited storage space to the Professor, who won't transfer it back to you.
Most of these tools are obtainable free, but you can also acquire them with real money through in-app purchases to accelerate game progress.
Moving Around with Caution
Playing this game does not need very high skills. Rather, it gets you out of your house, walk around gardens and public areas to look for species and challenges, and it brings people together playing the same game on Android or iOS mobile devices.
The game is fun and entertaining but it can pose danger and cause untoward accidents to players who are not wary of their real surroundings, despite the app reminding the players about the risks.
Pokémon Go was reviewed by Jojo Yee on