The viral game everyone is talking about, Pokemon Go, is one of Nintendo's first smartphone games. It released recently in Australia, New Zealand, and the US. If you have been reading Gadgets 360, you already know how to download, install, and play Pokemon Go on your Android phone even if you don't live in those regions. We played the game for a few hours in India, and here's what you need to know before you do the same.
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How to play Pokemon Go
Pokemon Go requires you to step outside and walk around. Pokemon then start appearing on your map. You can then try to catch them. Tap the Pokemon and then throw a Pokeball to try and catch these Pokemon. You can always tap the player icon on the bottom left to see more information about your character such as your medals and tap the Journal button to see which Pokemon ran away and how many items you gained at Pokestops.
You need to go outside
At first we tried to play the game in our office but we found only one Pokemon and the game just wouldn't work properly no matter how stable the Internet connection or how many floors we climbed. Head outside, plug in your headphones, look at the phone and you will start seeing Pokemon Gyms, Pokestops, and of course wild Pokemon.
Don't play it on Indian roads
If you've ever walked on any Indian road, you know how dangerous it is for pedestrians. Most vehicles disregard basic rules such as stopping at traffic lights, one-way streets, flashing indicator lights, etc. Pokemon Go requires you to keep looking at your phone for signs of Pokemon and other in-game landmarks. This is quite dangerous on Indian roads. We found ourselves narrowly avoiding vehicles on crowded roads and stopped playing until we reached quiet streets near our home. The game warns you to always stay aware of your surroundings. We suggest you heed its warning, especially in India.
(Also see: Pokemon Go International Release Delayed - Here's Why)
No Internet? No game
In many places in Mumbai, we found Pokemon Go to be totally unresponsive. This happened because of poor Internet connectivity. During a 30-minute train ride from office to home, the game just wouldn't work. If you're on 2G, you will not be able to play. Even if you're on 3G, the game takes time to load if the signal is weak. Since the game requires to walk outside, you're unlikely to have Wi-Fi coverage either.
It drains your battery
If battery life is precious, there's no way you're going to want to play Pokemon Go. The game constantly needs both Internet and location access. Unless you carry a stack of power banks with you at all times, playing this game all the time is a bad idea. On a brand new OnePlus 3, the battery went from 51 to 20 percent after we played this game for just one hour. We recommend playing this game with the battery saver mode enabled in the game's settings.
But the game is a lot of fun
Walking around in the real world and catching wild Pokemon on your smartphone sounds like a terrible idea, but Nintendo's execution is on point. We found ourselves taking detours to hit various Pokestops and to catch that wild Pokemon spotted across the road. These Pokemon are quite cute, and the design of the cards is well done. The game has been designed nicely, with the focus strongly being on exploration.
There are no cluttered menus and the settings menu is minimal too - with options just for music, vibrations, and saving battery. Tapping the Pokeball on screen lets you see your Pokedex and personalise your Pokemon. Overall the interface works well for this game. It's hard to explain the game's appeal to those who haven't played it, but you'll find out if you play the game.
We'll be going out to catch several more Pokemon and to level up enough to battle other Pokemon at the gym. Which Pokemon have you caught? Do you like Pokemon Go? Have you faced any issues playing the game? Let us know via the comments.