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Understanding Pokemon Go: Fascinating facts about the new game

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Pokémon GO, described as an immensely enjoyable experience, is a location-based augmented reality mobile game that involves players traveling around the real world to catch Pokémon in the game. It was developed by Niantic and has been received by a large number of audience world-wide threatening Facebook, twitter and Instagram. The app which was published by The Pokémon Company, and part of the Pokémon franchise  was initially released on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, for iOS and Android devices in Australasia and the United States. It has been released in Europe and other parts of the World.

The game, which was the most downloaded smartphone app in the United States in its first three days of release, has seen a positive improvement in stock value of Nintendo, which owns part of The Pokémon Company.

By Tuesday, July 12, 2016, the average daily usage of the app on Android devices exceeded Snapchat, Tinder, Instagram, and Facebook.


How to play the game

Pokémon Go is a game that uses your phone’s GPS and clock to detect where and when you are in the game and make Pokémon “appear” around you (on your phone screen) so you can go and catch them. As you move around, different and more types of Pokémon will appear depending on where you are and what time it is. The idea is to encourage you to travel around the real world to catch Pokémon in the game (This mix of a game and the real world interacting is known as “augmented reality).

After logging into the app for the first time, the player creates their avatar. As narrated in Wikipedia, the avatar is displayed at the player’s current location along with a map of the player’s immediate surroundings. Features on the map may include a number of PokéStops and Pokémon gyms. These are typically located at popular meeting places, such as memorials, places of worship, parks and tourist attractions

As players travel the real world, the avatar moves along the game’s map. Different Pokémon live in different areas of the world; for example, water-type Pokémon are generally found near water. When a player encounters a Pokémon, they may view it either in augmented reality mode or with a pre-rendered background. AR mode uses the camera and gyroscope on the player’s mobile device to display an image of a Pokémon as though it were in the real world. Players can also take pictures, using an in-game camera, of the Pokémon that they encounter both with and without the AR mode activated.

Players in Pokémon Go do not battle wild Pokémon to capture them. Rather, the game relies on a unique capture system where the player must throw a Poké Ball with the right force and at the right time to make a successful catch. After capturing a wild Pokémon, the player is awarded two types of in-game currencies: candies and stardust. The candies awarded by a successful catch depends on what evolutionary chain a Pokémon belongs to. A player can use stardust and candies to raise a Pokémon’s “combat power” (CP). However, only candies are needed to evolve a Pokémon. Each Pokémon evolution tree has its own type of candy which can only be used to evolve or level up. The player can also transfer the Pokémon back to the Pokémon professor to earn one more candy and create room for more Pokémon.


All Pokémon are displayed with a combat power. A Pokémon’s combat power is a rough measure of how powerful that pokemon is in battle. Not all Pokémon of the same species will have the same CP. Generally as a player levels up they will catch Pokémon with higher CP.

Players earn experience points for various in-game activities. Players rise in level as they earn experience points. At level five, the player is able to battle at a Pokémon gym and join one of three teams (red for Team Valor, which uses Moltres as their mascot; blue for Team Mystic, which uses Articuno as their mascot; or yellow for Team Instinct, which uses Zapdos as their mascot) which act as larger factions within the Pokémon Go world. If a player enters a Pokémon gym that is controlled by a player that is not part of their team, they can challenge the leader to lower the gym’s “prestige”. Once the prestige of a gym is lowered to zero then the player will take control of the gym and is able to deposit one Pokémon to defend it. Similarly, a team can upgrade the prestige of a gym under their control by battling the gym leader.



The game has received mixed reviews. Some claiming it’s a wonderful game, others praised it as an effective tool in keeping fit and reducing obesity, as players are required to move from one location to another.

The game, however, has seen strangers gather in different location such as graveyards, memorials sites, churches and different places all in the name of catching Pokémon. This has irritated residents of such places.

The game is free to download on the google play store. Revenue is generated from in-app purchase.

An optional companion Bluetooth wearable device called the Pokémon Go Plus, is planned for future release. This will allow users play the game without looking at their phones, by alerting them when Pokémon is nearby.

In a related development, Hollywood has announced their intention of releasing a  Pokémon Go movie.

Can’t wait to see how Nigerians will react to the game.

–    OlalekanOlonilua for


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