Pokemon GO! Catch em All!

Pokemon Go the moblie phone app for Android and iOS mobile devices has officially been launched in the UK. It’s been long awaited and every old school fan of the original Pokemon games has rekindled the love they had for the pocket monsters and can now gear up, grab their phone and go Pokemon hunting. The real life adventure of Pokemon has begun!

So I may or may not have had a sneaky few days of Pokemon hunting before the official launch of the game in the UK. Having those extra few days did get me familiar with the game and overall the game is pretty neat but it does have some annoying possible bugs and snags.

To play you need a strong internet/data connection and GPS on your phone and do remember to charge up that phone if you want to get the best out of your phones battery. That is the biggest issue I have with the game. The battery takes a right beating! I got about a max of 2 hours gameplay which is not so bad, but most of that time was taken up by opening and restarting the app due to my next issue with the game, the GPS or internet signal and some times both. Any way more on that in a bit. So you start out as a Pokemon trainer with your new starter Pokemon and you guessed it right we start with the classics or if you are sneaky and already been online, there is a rumor that you can start with Pikachu…and your mission is to help Professor Willow collect Pokemon for the Pokedex. From there you have to travel and stop at Pokestops to top up on your Pokeballs, you are going to need tons of these! And sometimes you will get Pokemon eggs, with other items unlocked as you progress through the levels.

With your Pokeballs you can catch any Pokemon you come across while out on your travels simply by throwing the ball at them. There are some hints and tips all over the internet on how to make the perfect catch, Personally I believe it’s down to sheer luck. There are two modes you can chose from when catching Pokemon. One with the Pokemon seemingly in the real world which you may have already seen images of and that you can take photos of. Yes, I have discover Pokemon hiding in my bed and out in my garden. I even found an Eevee hanging about my wheelie bin! The other mode takes place in a more colourful area of virtual imagery. They say its easier to catch them on that mode but it’s not amusing.

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You level up by catching Pokemon and you can level up your Pokemon’s CP with candy and stardust, but you can only do that if you have enough candy and stardust from catching Pokemon, and it does become a bit of a cycle. There are gyms that can be found on your maps just like the stops where you can train if your chosen team is running the gym or you can leave a Pokemon to defend the gym there. If the gym belongs to another team you can battle them out. I found the gym battle style super weird and I did manage to lower the presence of the other team, later on different team member came along and we took over to then be overthrown again.Its hard work and again a cycle of up keep.

Hatching eggs is the other thing that you can do to collect Pokemon, My first egg was found at my first Pokestop and I hatched a Meowth. To hatch the eggs, put them in the incubator and well lets say you have a lot of walking ahead of you. So far mine have been 2 or 5Km.There are Lucky eggs in the shop too. You can pay for items if you want by exchanging real money for the coins or you can try and get by with the Pokestops.

My main gripe about the game is that sometimes when the connections are lost, you might be in the middle of catching or activating the Pokestops and that means you have to force close the game. Now I have done this and some times ONLY some times if you have caught any Pokemon it will save them in your collection when you return but again only sometimes! Its really annoying but I did notice if you didn’t get it, stay near by and the Pokemon reappears . It may have been luck on my side but I did catch 2 Pokemon by doing this after 3 times. The only thing with the Pokestops is you miss you chance on getting the items. I have not found a way around this yet so yeah, this is really annoying and more so if you are trying to cram a lot in with limited battery power.

The other small gripe is if you live in the middle of nowhere or a small village there is a lack of Pokestops an Gyms etc. Which means when you run out of items there’s not much around which leaves you in a rut with the game and that can be annoying as you need to keep the cycle going to progress through the game. However I have found out that you can request to put forward locations or suggested locations for new Pokestops etc. via the Pokemon Go website.

Overall the game is fun and addictive and is lots of fun when it works. It does feel like a nadventure and it for sure gets you outside. I have not met any others in my area playing the game yet but am sure I will eventually come across them. I do wonder what else may be added or supported next, I am sure there is more to what meets the eye in the game just waiting to be discovered. What would you like to see to have added to the game and what are your thoughts on Pokemon GO?!

Happy Pokemon catching! Catch em all!