I just returned from a night of playing Pokemon Go with a group of friends. Let me tell you, it is a pleasant surprise. If you are in need of a purpose to exercise, do yourself a favor and download the app Pokemon Go.
What is Pokémon Go?
Pokémon Go is an app supported on Android as well as Apple. It is an "open world" app, where you search all around for different cute creatures. They appear throughout the world! You can level up your creatures and take them to the nearest gym, and fight others to win the gyms over for your team. How does it track where you are? It uses your phones GPS as well as Google Maps to give you a guide of the world around you. Certain landmarks have "stops" that you have to physically go to so you can receive goodies. The app tells you when a creature is near by as well as how close their proximity is, which sends you on a scavenger hunt to find them. The distances displayed are given by footprints, which indicates the diameter of how far they are away.
Why are so many people playing it?
One of the greatest things about Pokémon Go is, so many people are playing it; from people who have never played a single Pokémon game in their life to people who have all the names of Pokémon memorized. This game gets you outside and moving while you try to find the next creature. It is very addicting, and you forget just how far you have traveled to 'catch' em all.'
Pokémon Go is the largest trend on social media, and people of all profiles are playing this game. Without modifications, everyone has the same map, meaning if one person finds a creature in a location, everyone else will too. It is bringing friends together and giving strangers something to talk about. During my latest adventures, we took on a local park (Sinnissippi Gardens, if you live near Rockford, you HAVE to go). At the park we found several groups of people hunting and claiming gyms throughout the park. This game is a revolution to cell phone apps, as well as a safe addiction for the family.
Benefits of Pokémon Go
So, I still haven't convinced you to try this new game out yet? Are you a fitness guru? Do you enjoy walks and are looking to spice up your walk life? The game requires distances to be walked before certain features can be activated! I hatched two eggs tonight, which each required 5 km of walking (3.1 miles). The game challenges you to be more fit, and you have no issue complying. Give it a chance, go on an hour walk in a public park with monuments. Grab a couple of friends and go on an adventure together. Get out of the house and spend time with your friends. Do yourself a favor and conform with the social norm here, you won't be sorry.
Tips & Tricks for Those Who Play
Find a group of friends and go out together. Friends can use a lure module after level eight at a local Pokéstop, which will attract Pokémon to everyone in the area. This is different from using an incense, which only draws the Pokémon to you.
Search local areas for a lot of PokéStops in a close proximity and use lucky eggs here. These areas tend to have a lot of monuments or substantial buildings such as a park or a college campus. You will level up very quickly.
Catch any and all Pokemon that come your way. This will help you gain XP, as well as items to evolve your other creatures.
DO NOT SPEND MONEY ON POKéBALLS! If you are going to spend money (you don't have to pay a penny to play this game and be successful at it), spend your money on storage or backpack space. Pokéballs are at almost every PokéStop.
Always use caution when playing the game. Please do not ruin the reputation by being wreckless with the app, causing large accidents or even death. Do not be the bad gem. As with everything, do this responsibly.
Start saving your money now to purchase a Pokémon Go Plus, which launches at the end of July. This nifty watch will vibrate when a Pokémon is nearby allowing you to abandon having your app open 100 percent of the time. This will save the battery life, as will having the battery saver mode set on your phone.
Buy an external battery pack. The biggest downfall of playing Pokémon Go is the battery drain. Have no fear, external battery packs are here to be purchased. I recommend getting a pack that has at least 10,000 mAh. This will ensure your phone will get charged properly while still playing the game.
Pokémon will appear based on your location. If you are near water, the more likely you will catch a water one. At nighttime, you will get different Pokémon as well! Try to travel around the town as well as different parts of the day. (I hear Pikachu comes out after a storm!)
Turn off your AR. As cool as your camera is, turning off the AR will make it much easier to catch your Pokémon. (AR appears on the top left when you move into the catching screen)
Spin your pokéball before tossing it at your Pokémon. This will create a curveball, which may earn you extra XP!
Charge your phone and battery pack fully, and get out there and try this app out. Be apart of this revolutionary way to exercise and have TONS of fun. This app just came out, and already the crowd is larger than most thought it would be. It is reaching the most unexpected audiences and for good reason. Go test it out and see if you like it. I am sure you will. Seek your local area for groups that go out together at big spots around town.
If you're in the Rockford, IL Area, seek Sinnissippi Gardens and Rockford University. There are tons to find out there.
Please comment below with any additional tips you may have, as well as experiences and areas that are around you that others may find useful while playing Pokémon Go.