© 2016 Niantic
$free with IAP
iPad, iPhone, Android
Teaches: Geography, problem solving, logic, maps, reading, classification
Tagged for: Classics, Augmented Reality, Coop, WOSU, KAPi, 90child10toy
This is an easy-to-play, real-world based Pokémon scavenger hunt that uses your iOS or Android smart phone to make it seem as if actual Pokémon creatures are roaming around your main street. The core content includes 100+ Pokémon from the original Red and Blue games.
This is an easy-to-play, real-world based Pokémon scavenger hunt that uses your iOS or Android smart phone to make it seem as if actual Pokémon creatures are roaming around your main street. The core content includes 100+ Pokémon from the original Red and Blue games. Your job is to "catch" as many Pokémon as possible to earn coins and increase in rank. This is done by tossing Pokéballs at the Pokemon. The free app comes with a set of Pokeballs, and more are they are easy to find at first. But the more you play, the harder the Pokémon are to catch. So you may need to either walk for more, or you can take the lazy route and buy more (sold for $1 per 20 and an IAP, or In App Purchase). Other items include incense ($.80 for 30 minutes of time to lure a Pokémon to your location), lucky eggs ($.80/each for extra "experience points" or XP), lure modules ($6.80), an egg incubator ($1.50), a bag upgrade ($2) and a Pokémon storage upgrade ($2). So... the more you play, the more you'll pay. But is it worth it? All of our testers said absolutely, at least as of the first week. The fun/cost ratio works, and none had actually purchased anything despite many collective hours of play. The the answer appears to be yes but you should also factor in the indirect expense of exposure to sponsored locations. Here's how it works. After downloading the free app, you are required to create an account, consisting of a screen name and password. The game then asks you prove you're over 13, a hurdle easily bypassed by all our under age 13 testers. From this point forward, the app knows where you are, and could potentially steer you toward physical places that have paid to have Pokémon on site. If you sign in with your Google account (the only option that was working at test time) you could give the application access to your personal contacts, in theory. If you are concerned about privacy, you can login with a fake gmail account. Also, the app requires a constant Internet connection to successfully reach the Pokémon GO servers, or it will not start. And finally, the app uses a lot of data and battery power, so be sure to explore the power saving feature in the preferences. If all is well, you can start hunting by using a map and compass on your smart phone as a guide. You can see where Pokémon are located because they are marked with large, easy-to-see beacons. There are also "PokéStops" -- real world locations -- often in real parks or libraries. We're not sure about other towns, but our own library was a PokéStop, with several Pokémon hiding just outside the office (and one even came to our front door). When you get close to your target Pokémon, your camera automatically turns on, and you go into AR (augmented reality) mode for the real world view. That's when you might see a Pokémon character on a park bench or floating over the side walk. You can then "capture" it by flicking one of your limited supply of Pokéballs. If caught, it will be added the Pokémon to your own personal collection. The more you catch, the more coins you earn which can used to buy more Pokéballs. You can speed things up though by buying incense to attract Pokémon, or more Pokéballs with real world money (with 20 costing about $1). After catching a Pokemon, you can then use your Pokemon in battle against other trainers at "gyms" locations, as marked in your map. Our testers, aged 8 to 22 noted that the game has been freezing a lot lately, most likely due to it's sudden popularity. You should take the warnings about traffic seriously, and make sure children explore with a friend or better yet, with a parent. Also make note of the IAP (in app purchase) policy at the start, because it is possible to spend as much as $100 in a single IAP (in app purchase). If privacy is a concern, you may want to avoid logging in with your gmail account, or make a fake account. The bottom line? This is a great game to play with together with a child, or a group of friends, and it is possible to have a good time spending very little money. But it has the potential to get both addicting and expensive and it raises additional questions about privacy and physical safety, as children start wandering the streets. These issues are yet to be resolved. See also Geocaching and Pokémon Go Plus (an accessory). See also Pokémon Hack https://youtu.be/N7R6qGIvs74 based on information found here: https://www.reddit.com/r/pokemongodev