Ever want to "catch them all" in real life? Now you can.
For anyone age 30 or younger, Thursday, July 7 was a dream come true. It was the day Niantic, Inc. officially released Pokemon Go, a mobile app game that brings Pikachu, Charmander and so many more fantastic creatures into the real world.
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It’s taken the gaming world by storm, with people everywhere burying their faces in their phones, checking to see which Pokemon, Pokestops or gyms are near them.
Pokemon Go has already separated itself as a video game phenomenon, in many ways transcending the genre. Here are a few reasons why:
1) Explore New Environments
You’ll figure out pretty quickly that only a small handful of Pokemon will appear in certain areas. If you want to catch them all, you’ll have to go exploring.
It’ll be very easy to find yourself in new parts of town as you’re chasing down whatever Pokemon has been eluding you.
Once you eventually run out of Pokeballs or other helpful items, you’ll need to traverse the immediate area to find Pokestops, which will help replenish such items.
2) Gets You Out The Door
You won’t get very far in this game by sitting on your couch. While older versions of Pokemon games allowed you to play on a handheld Nintendo console, Pokemon Go forces you outside.
Video games have long been branded as an addiction that breeds anti-social behavior and a resistance to exercising, which makes Pokemon Go a refreshing change of pace.
Rather than sitting alone in front of a TV, gamers are urged to actually romp around outside, as a real Pokemon trainer would.
3) Tricks You Into Exercising
The hardest thing about exercising is getting the motivation to do so. You’ll suddenly feel like going for a walk, however, when you have a Pokemon egg that requires travelling 5 kilometers —that’s a little over 3 miles — to hatch.
One of the greatest strengths of Pokemon Go is that it encourages walking. Not only do you have to walk to hatch eggs, you have to walk to find and capture new Pokemon. That’s walk — it’s not recommended that you try to drive and catch a Pikachu at the same time.
Besides, it’s a nice bonus to find out that after chasing around a rare Pokemon, you accidentally walked that 3 miles you needed.
4) Brings People Together
Pokemon Go isn’t just a single-player game. Since the gameplay takes place in the real world via GPS tracking, you can share the joys of rare Pokemon and useful items with your friends.
After you reach level 5, you can join one of three teams — from then on, once you battle, you battle on behalf of your team. And potentially against your friends, if they choose a different team.
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It’s a surprisingly good time to grab a couple of your friends, head out with phones fully charged, and go track down Pokemon you still need in new areas or stock up on Pokemon you already have in a trusty part of town.