New to Pokémon Go? You need to get out more. Literally. The app that's reviving the once popular cartoon series has taken the world by storm after its American and Australian debut is now making its way to Singapore. If you're worried that you'll lose your partner to the trenches of cyberspace (lets face it, you've probably lost him or her thanks to the EUFA Euro 2016 the last three weeks), don't fret: Pokémon Go might just make your social lives a lot more interesting.
How? As an augmented reality game, Pokémon Go lets you 'catch' Pokémon characters in real life locations using the camera and GPS on your smartphone. Unlike the Pokémon and Nintendo games of yore where you're basically strapped to your console or computer, a player has to get outside to capture these pocket monsters, evolve them and make them battle. Users follow a map that's based on the actual real-world map of the city they're in.
Like how Ash, Brock and Misty started on their Pokémon journey in the cartoons, Pokémon Go hides these creatures at different real-life locations depending on their characteristics. For example, you're more likely to find water-type Pokémons near the beach or pond and grass-type Pokémons on a green field — a Psyduck near Marina Barrage or a Sunflora in the Botanic Gardens perhaps. The game also takes you through interesting locations such as public art installations, museums and historical markers for its PokéStops where you can gather Poké Balls and other items in order to capture more Pokémons.
Since its launch last week, many players have already expressed that Pokémon Go has not only made them exercise more, but it's also allowed them to explore their own cities and visit places they have never been before (sure, it's also led a user to uncover a dead body, but that's another story). On top of that, the game is also bringing people together and building a community of players who would often run into each other while searching for Pokémons. Think: Real-life Tinder for Pokémon hunters. As the game motivates users to get outside more, some have even noticed improvements in their social anxiety.
While we wouldn't advise you to cancel your gym or yoga membership anytime soon, Pokémon Go definitely redefines the videogame world by making couch potatoes more active. With the game rumoured to launch in Singapore in the next 48 hours, it won't be too long before you see users beating this sweltering heat for a chance to catch 'em all. Sweatpants optional.
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