Whether you grew up playing Pokémon or not, chances are you have probably heard about the new game, Pokémon Go. This new game has completely blown up and become a worldwide phenomenon within the short 11 days it has been out. For those of you who have not played, Pokemon Go is a game you can download on your phone/tablet/whatever that allows you to catch Pokemon in real life. Pretty cool, right? It’s basically every 90’s kid’s dream.
So, a little about the game for those who have no idea what the game is about. When you log into the game, you see a map of your current area, Pokémon that are near by, and your trainer standing at your location. Now, depending on where you are in the city, you might see things popping up from the map. These are either Poké stops or Gyms. A Poké stop is a notable place in your city (schools, restaurants, statues, parks, etc.) that rewards you when you physically visit the location. You will receive Poké balls (how you catch Pokémon), potions (how you heal them), eggs (unhatched Pokémon), and numerous other things that help you play the game. There are 3 teams in the game: Valor (red), Mystic (blue), and Instinct (yellow). At some point, you will be required to pick one of these teams to represent. Gyms are places that players can go to train their Pokémon or take over the gym for their team.
Different locations around the city have more or less Poké stops/Gyms, depending on how popular that area is. For instance, UNM and Old Town are some of my favorite places to go when playing the game because they have an insane amount of Poké stops. Different types of Pokémon can also be found at particular places. For example, you are more likely to find water types around bodies of water, ghost types are more likely to be found near cemeteries or at night, and so forth. The game is literally one big adventure. There are 150 Pokémon that can be found at this point in time. Once you find a new one, it will get registered into your Pokédex, which shows you what out of the 150 you have found and still need to find. Players are constantly competing against each other trying to see who can find the most rare Pokémon and who can level up the fastest.
Personally, my favorite part about Pokémon Go is how it has brought everyone together in a way that has people getting out of their house and exercising. On my nightly adventures playing the game, I have met loads of cool people and made some great friends. It’s amazing what bringing people with similar interests together can accomplish. One of my best friends has been going out and playing every night after work and has already walked 57 miles! What’s better than getting a good workout while having fun? Not only is Pokémon Go getting people GO-ing, but it is also doing wonders for businesses. After all, higher traffic leads to more sales. There was a small business in New York that saw a 75% increase in sales OVERNIGHT because a Poké stop was placed at his restaurant! Something as little as a game release has people losing weight, meeting new people, and improving business for local entrepreneurs.
Coming from someone who didn’t play Pokémon too much as a kid, this game can be fun for anyone and everyone at all ages. I’ve seen young kids, older adults, and whole families walking around playing. It’s free, makes you exercise, let’s you meet new people and experience cool places around the city. It’s definitely a game worth checking out!
To learn more about this game and to see an in depth tutorial on how to play, visit here.