Get your battery charged - you will be hooked on this game
orget Angry Birds and ignore Kim Kardashian’s latest selfie, there’s only one thing the cool kids are talking about.
That’s Pokémon Go, the new augmented reality mobile game from Nintendo and developer Niantic Labs.
Since it was released last week on iOS and Android in the US, Australia and New Zealand, the game has been topping the download charts and is even expected to take over Twitter in daily active users on Android.
Be warned though, it’s not officially out in the UAE until a probable date of July 27 - but when it is released, watch out. It’s going to be big. Very big. And all of your friends and colleagues will be playing it.
Despite it not having its official UAE launch, some people here have downloaded the app because they have a US or Australia App Store or Google Play account.
And because of this I was able to take a sneak peek of the game and get out in the 45C heat walking around the Gardens and Ibn Battuta Mall searching for the little critters.
Want to know more? Read on…
Yes. The Pokémon won’t come to you - you have to get out and explore in order to find them. So an obvious upside to the game is that players get more exercise than usual and can learn more about the historical landmarks incorporated into the game as Pokéstops. Digital signposts describe their significance in the real world.
Well, there have been a few injuries and accidents recorded (see box), but one positive is you cannot operate the game while driving. Pokémon Go requires slower inperson movement in the real world as it doesn’t count as walking if you’re going more than 20 miles per hour.
There have already been some cases of criminal activity around the game though. Police in Missouri, US, say four teens robbed victims after luring them to a specific location using the game.
On the /r/dubai thread on Reddit, there were lots of comments from players saying where they could find Pokéstops and gyms. One Reddit user said “Mall of Emirates is FILLED with pokestops!!” while another said “I’m in Deira with three Pokéstops and two gyms nearby and can CONSTANTLY see leaves rustling of nearby monsters”.
The Facebook Pokémon UAE group is also very active and the group admin has even shared a great list of safety tips - definitely worth a read. I missed out on the original Pokémon craze in the 1990s, so I was intrigued when a friend showed me the new game. I thought it was great fun and will probably give it a whirl once it’s out. It’s definitely one of those games that could end up being addictive, so get ready to lose all of your spare time. At least you will be out getting some exercise. Every cloud... Are there any negatives? The game uses a lot of phone battery and you will need data, other than that it’s great. There’s no doubt the world will be going crazy over this game, so charge up your battery, add some data and welcome to the world of Pokémon Go.