After living in testers hands for the last few months, Pokémon Go is now available to install from Google Play in selected countries. Of course with Australia on the Beta test list, we’ve got access to.the initial release.
Pokémon Go is a collaboration between Nintendo and former Google company, Niantic Labs, makers of location based game Ingress. Pokémon Go follows a similar style to Ingress in that the more you walk around, the more you achieve – in the case of Pokémon Go it’s finding more Pokémon, gyms to battle your Pokémon at and Poké stops to replenish your Poké ball supply…are you sick of Poké yet? No? Good, cause it’s awesome.
Niantic’s development of Ingress has allowed them to have a swathe of location based data that includes local monuments, and prospective Poké stops and gyms to battle your Pokémon in. Not all Ingress portals have been converted in Pokémon Go, but they mostly have.
The idea of separate teams in-game has been brought over too, with Red, Yellow and Blue teams setup, you battle these teams in the gyms you find around the place. Go Team Blue.
The game does have In-App Purchases available, ranging in price from $1.49 – $159.99 per item. IAP is for buying more Poké balls, Incense, Lucky Eggs, as well as upgrades to your bag or Pokémon storage and things to attract Pokémon. You can get carried away, but rest assured you don’t need to buy things to have fun with Pokémon Go.
The app has gone through several updates in the Beta trial, culminating in this release version. It’s been fairly stable across a number of devices I’ve tried it on, so you should be pretty happy – but it does require Android 4.4 and above to run.
Pokémon Go has a physical component as well with a Pokémon Go Plus Bluetooth accessory that’s going on-sale. It briefly went up for pre-order on Amazon in the US for $34.99USD, but unfortunately is not currently available. We’ve asked EB Games locally here about stocking the accessory, but they have not received confirmation of stocking this at this stage.
One last note, Beta testers of Pokémon Go will find their hard work done in the test has now been reset and you’ll need to setup your Pokémon character again. In Pokémon Go you can play as a male or female character and select skin/hair colour and modify clothes and backpack slightly.
So, it’s out, it’s awesome, what are you waiting for – go catch them all!