UPDATE: As of today, 6 Aug 2016, Pokémon Go is now out on Android and iOS!
The moment we’ve all been waiting for has finally arrived! Niantic and Nintendo’s Pokémon Go is now rolling out in select countries for iOS and Android. As of writing, the game appears to be only available in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The Pokémon Company has assured that it will roll out soon, and asked players to “please wait for a while” for the game to be released in their region, so those of us here in the Philippines have to wait a little bit longer.
The augmented reality game generated a lot of buzz since its original announcement. Each TV spot and trailer had old and new fans alike anticipating their chance to finally become a Pokémon Master (or part of Team Rocket). If you haven’t been following the game’s development, the game uses your smartphone’s camera, sensors, and location data to place Pokemon in the real world.
The game IS free, but has micro-transactions. The price estimates posted on Google Play put in-app purchases between Php 47 and Php 4,700. You can also customize your trainer avatar, and make the perfect trainer look. The game is already rapidly breaching the 100,000 downloads mark, and may reach the 500,000 mark before the week is through.
The game’s companion wearable – the Pokémon Go Plus – will let you play the game without having to unlock your phone. Local pricing is unavailable at this time, but it’s estimated at Php 1,650+, due for release this month. The anticipation has no doubt been a killer, seeing as Nintendo and Niantic kept mum about the game’s release during E3.
But it’s here now, which is an awesome surprise.
Some welcome changes from the beta field test include how evolution fully works. A Pokémon will require a number of candies to evolve, which are exclusive to that Pokémon’s Family. For example, you’ll need Bulbasaur Candies to upgrade Bulbasaur, Ivysaur, and Venusaur. Stardust, the power-up component, is global and can be used by all Pokémon.
Avatars come in a few styles, with more coming by the way of the in-game store, and you can customize your look to heart’s content. The constant theme of active and outdoorsy is nice, though. The designs look comfy, practical, and damn stylish.
Pokéstops are spots where you can pick up freebies and items, so keep an eye out on your map for these places.
The Legendary Birds have been confirmed as the basis for Teams. Team Mystic, Team Instinct, and Team Valor, represent Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres, respectively. Each team’s leaders also allude to the Legendary Birds. Team Mystic is led by Blanche, Team Instinct by Spark, and Team Valor by Candela. The team you pick is your team for life. If you want to group up with friends, sync up your team choices.
Niantic also has an extremely helpful field guide for beginners.