POKEMON GO is the mobile app phenomenon that has every 90’s kid living their childhood dream of becoming a real Pokemon Trainer. It was released in some countries on Friday July 9th but the official release has yet to come to Canada, but someone quickly figured out a work around for both Android and iOS device. Which means you need to cancel ALL of your summer plans because all you’ll be doing is playing Pokemon GO.

The Gist:

Pokemon GO works like any other Pokemon game before. You choose your character and meet a professor. He introduces you to three starter Pokemon: Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle. Once you’ve chosen your journey to be the best there ever was begins! (I obviously chose Squirtle).

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The biggest difference from previous games is that the app uses your phone’s camera and GPS to catch Pokemon. This means you physically have to walk around your neighbourhood to find them. Your local monuments, shops and art installations are featured in the game as Pokestops where you can collect various items and even EGGS. Gyms are where you’re able to battle other trainers and choose a pokemon to help defend a gym based on what team you’ve joined (you choose between three teams once you’ve reached level 5).

 

Playing the Game:

Running around the neighbourhood finding different pokemon was A LOT of fun. Especially since certain pokemon types are found in their typical habitat, i.e. Horseas (a water type pokemon) are more likely to be found near rivers, lakes and oceans near your area… Or in my case, my bathtub #serendipity.

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It forces you to discover different parts of your neighbourhood that you would’ve never noticed before. You also get to meet new people. Since you’re physically at theses Pokestops you notice other players hanging around the area trying to catch pokemon as well. It’s also a great way to get some exercise in your day. This passed weekend I accumulated a total of 40,000 steps just from playing Pokemon GO.

With Pokemon GO EVERYDAY is leg day.

I suggest putting on a good pair of shoes and some sunscreen because who knows how long you’ll be out there! I tried to walk home a bunch of times only to be sidetracked because a new pokemon was roaming around in the other direction.

Tips & Tricks:

There’s a hack to get Pikachu as a starter instead of the other three starters. Once Professor Willow introduces himself and the starters do no tap on the three pokemon. If you start to walk around a Pikachu will appear. But be prepared to wait, gamers have been reporting up to 40 minutes of walking around before the electric mouse appeared.

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Use your index finger to throw Pokeballs, it might feel awkard at first but once you’re used to it it’ll be much more accurate than using your thumb, trust me.

Pay attention to a pokemon’s CP, or “Combat Points”. The higher the CP the stronger the pokemon and they tend to vary widely in the wild. Transfer pokemon with lower CP points to receive more candy and train the stronger ones.

Eggs range from rarity. The longer the distance needed to hatch them the more rare a pokemon will be. Be patient for those 10km eggs, they’re the rarest! And don’t try to outsmart the app and hop on a bus or car, the app will not track movement if you’re moving faster than 20km/hour.

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The app itself uses a lot of battery power. Like A LOT. So make sure to have all of our battery saving settings on. You might also want to invest in a portable battery charger for your phone if you plan on walking far.

On the bottom right there’s a tab that will show you the pokemon near your area. The number of steps lets you know how far away the pokemon is. The number of prints under the pokemon correspond to how far they are. Three being very far. Two is moderatly close. One is near. And if there aren’t any prints you’re practically on top of them.

Warning:

Other than draining your phone’s battery remember that the game is also using your phone’s GPS. So be aware of your data usage before you get a text notifying you that you’ve used 90% of your total data but it’s only the third day of your phone bill month…

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Happy Training!

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