August 3, 2016
As an avid player of the Pokémon series, I fondly remember Christmas morning of 1999, receiving my very own Game Boy Colour and a copy of Pokémon Red. The original game allowed me to experience many adventures during my childhood as I was able to trade my pocket monsters with friends as well as battle with them to see who was the very best (coincidentally, this was always me).
Fast-forward 17 years later to the completion of my 7th Pokémon game – Alpha Sapphire for those interested – from the illustrious series. On the countdown to the 20th Anniversary of the series, fans have been treated to a whole new kind of Pokémon game. This of course, being the ‘social media phenomenon’ which has taken over the globe, Pokémon GO.
The latest addition to the renowned series is a free-to-play, augmented reality (AR) game available across Android and iOS devices. The objective of the game is simple; players walk around their surroundings on the search for the recently discovered batch of Pokémon found to be wandering Planet Earth.
“Gotta break ‘em all!”
As a registered Pokémon Trainer on the app since 14th July 2016, I was initially doubtful whether the app would catch on with mobile users as this isn’t your ‘typical’ Pokémon game – How wrong I was.
With an estimated total of 75 million downloads across all available app stores since release, Pokémon GO has shattered records and statistics in a very short period of time.
• The app was downloaded more times in it’s first week of release than any other app in history on the Apple App Store
• The app was downloaded 50 million times over a 19 day period (Popular apps like Fortafy Games’ Colour Switch reached 50 million over a 77 day period)
With these impressive statistics, perhaps the greatest of them all is that the app was only released on the 6th July 2016 – a mere 20 days of this writing.
Essential tips that every Pokémon Trainer needs to know
As a regular player of Pokémon GO, I have been able to spend a handful of lunch breaks and weekends wandering around local areas visiting Pokéstops, Gyms and expanding my ever-growing collection of pocket monsters.
Using my experiences with Pokémon GO and other titles, I’ve created a short Trainer Handbook to help all fellow trainers make the most out of their adventures and most importantly, stay safe.
• Stay in your elements
Rule #1 is simple. Always stick to areas you are familiar with.
Pokéstops and Pokémon Gyms will usually be landmarks and other various points of interests. Pokémon themselves however, will appear in any random location.
When looking for pocket monsters, it is advised that you stick to areas you are familiar with.
If you wouldn’t go there without Pokémon GO – Why would you go with it?
• Be aware of your surroundings
Rule #2 is to ensure the safety and wellbeing for all Trainers.
When using the app, you do not need to always look at your device. There are many options available in the app to setup notifications via sound or vibration when Pokémon appear so that you can enjoy your journeys without needing to look at your device constantly.
You may also want to invest in the Pokémon GO Plus wearable which alerts Trainers when Pokémon are nearby.
• Explore with Others
Rule #3 in the Trainer’s Handbook is to bring others on your adventures.
Not only will you have a lot more fun and adventures when searching for pocket monsters with your friends, you’ll also be a lot safer when travelling in numbers.
• Have Supplies Available
Rule #4 is to ensure that all trainers are supplied for adventure.
In the Pokémon games, trainers would always travel with a bag full of different items in the event of an emergency (i.e. injured Pokémon).
If travelling long distances with Pokémon GO, players should look to carry supplies such as water and snacks. Players should also take regular breaks if walking long distances.
• Keep Valuables Secure & In Sight
Rule #5 is to remind Trainers to keep an eye on their belongings.
When you go to Pokéstops or Gyms, trainers will normally spend an extended period of time there so they can stock on items before their next journey.
If you decide to place any of your backpacks or items down around a group of people, be aware of their location at all times.
Hopefully, by using the Trainer Handbook, all players can contribute towards a safe and fun environment when playing Pokémon GO.
All in all, Pokémon GO is without question a trailblazer for AR and I’m eager to see what the future holds for augmented reality.
Please leave your top trainer tips and Pokémon catches in the comments.