July 21, 2016

Pokemon GO Is Sweeping the Nation - A Review

My character in Pokemon GO - Go Team Mystic!
My husband and I grew up playing Pokemon so we were super excited when Pokemon Go finally became available in America! We downloaded it the same day it came out!

At the beginning there were bugs and glitches, and even now, due to the release in other countries, there are still bugs and loading errors. It will take awhile before the game will continue to run smoothly as Niantic works on expanding their servers and the game continues to be released around the world.

What I love about this game is that it gets people to go outside! It encourages exercise by making you walk so you can hatch your eggs and find Pokemon to catch. It also encourages people to get out there and meet other people, usually looking for new friends who are on the same team as you so you can take down gyms together.

There are three teams in Pokemon GO and you can decide which on to join at level 5. They are Team Instinct, Team Mystic, and Team Valor. Also known as Team Yellow, Team Blue, and Team Red. There is no known difference between teams that the moment. They appear to just be used to create competition for gyms.
My favorite Pokemon and
the only one I caught so far!

Pokemon vary by area so if you can find a local Facebook group for your state, it's great because people will tell you where you can find certain Pokemon. Otherwise you will have to hope for one that isn't local to hatch out of one of your eggs. You will need multiples of the same Pokemon as well in order to get candies to evolve it.

The game does lack a good how to play guide, but you can catch on pretty quick. Otherwise there are tons of articles and YouTube videos on the internet already with tips and tricks. This is really the only downside to the game. It would be great if there was a way to fast forward the evolution screen as well, but maybe in the future!

Here is some basic game play. You basically load up the game and walk around till a Pokemon appears. You tap on the Pokemon and a new screen loads with a poke' ball you can throw at it. There will be two circles around the Pokemon, a white one that stays the same and a colored one that grows and shrinks. The colored circle indicates how hard a Pokemon is to catch, green for easy, yellow for moderate, and red for hard. You want to hit within the colored circle to increase your chances of catching it, but if you hit within the white circle, you still have a chance as well. You will either catch the Pokemon, the Pokemon will jump out and you can try again, or the Pokemon will jump out and flee. You can increase your chances of catching Pokemon by feeding them berries before throwing your poke' ball as well.

Besides catching Pokemon, you will want to find Poke Stops (usually special landmarks or buildings, like park signs or churches) in order to get more poke balls, potions, raspberries, eggs, etc. This is the free way to increase your supply without spending money on the game. Once you reach level 5, the option of battling gyms becomes available and those are also spread out at as well.

The game is recommended for ages 10 and up, but I feel this is more of a teenager/adult game. For one, you need an apple or android phone in order to play, and two, you need to be able to travel on your own (Okay, so you can just catch Pokemon in your neighborhood, but it kind of defeats the point of collecting them all and battling gyms). The game was also geared more towards the generation that grew up with Pokemon, so the people you do see playing are mostly adults with a few teens here and there. Occasionally I see a child playing here and there, usually on a parent's phone.

Lately I have seen a lot of bad stuff in the news around Pokemon GO causing car accidents and people falling off cliffs. I hate that the game gets blamed for these stupid accidents because before the game loads there is a warning screen about paying attention to your surroundings. Even so, it is not the game's the fault, but the person who is playing the game. DO NOT PLAY POKEMON GO WHILE DRIVING! Or while doing any other action that requires your full attention, and make sure to look up from your phone when walking too, to avoid running into people and cars! Use common sense people!

Overall we love the game (when it runs smoothly) and are addicted! It has encouraged us to get out of the house and go see new places!

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