Pokémon GO: A 13 year old's review
Unless you’ve been living under several hundred rocks for the last few weeks, just woke up from a coma, or are an alien disguised as a human trying to fit into our society, you’ve probably at least heard of Pokémon GO- but what exactly is this app about? Well, it’s simpler than you’d think, actually.
Pokémon GO is available on iOS and Android. In a brilliant step to try to convince us lazy gamers to actually go outside, Pokemon Go uses your smartphone’s GPS and Google maps to create a map of your local area. You are then whisked off on a magical Pokémon GO adventure where you can walk all over the country, finding animated monsters with your friends, going new places, collecting virtual items from local landmarks, and even battling at local areas which the game has turned into ‘Gyms’, where you have to choose between one of three teams and engage in a virtual turf war with your little captured monsters.
As long as you have 3G of course, otherwise you’ll probably spend most of your so-called adventure desperately trying to connect to your Wifi in your back garden, catching one or two virtual rats every hour or so. That, my readers, is the first rule of Pokémon GO: don’t even bother installing it if you don’t have 3G.
Things to Note About the App
1- As I said earlier, it’s nearly pointless to have without 3G.
2- Yes, you do actually have to walk around (insert shocked and horrified gasp here) OUTSIDE! So be careful. For safety reasons, maybe go out with a friend, and don’t run across a road to catch a Pokemon. Seriously.
3- Pokeballs (the things you catch the monsters with) and other items can run out, however, more can easily be obtained by walking to a blue tower seen on the map, a Pokestop, and clicking and spinning it, or simply levelling up.
4- If you are too lazy to do this though, yeah you can just… (insert another shocked and horrified gasp)…PAY FOR THEM…WITH REAL MONEY! So, parents, turn off the 'in app purchases' option on your kids’ phones if you don’t want to wake up to a £50 bill because your little angels desperately wanted some more Pokeballs.
5- Gyms, in the world of Pokémon GO, are grey towers with markings in the colour of the Pokémon GO team that’s controlling it. When you reach Level Five, you can click one of these things and choose one of three teams: MYSTIC, Instinct and Valour.
No prizes for guessing which one I’m in ;-)
6- If your Team controls a Gym you’re near to, you can train at it, or sometimes leave a Pokémon there. If it isn’t controlled by your team, you can challenge it and battle to win it over for your team.
7- Some Pokémon are rarer than others- don’t worry if you’ve never seen a Koffing but have approximately fourteen million Pidgeys.
8- The servers are temperamental and constantly 'down'; rumour has it they are regularly hacked by a group of people called Poodlecorp…
Many parents will be concerned about the amount of data that children will use on their phones when playing the game. They don’t want to be confronted with a hefty bill at the end of the month! The fact is it doesn’t use as much data as you may think. It’s best play in an area with unlimited Wifi, but if 4G is available, then you’ll probably find usage is around 10MB of data in around an hour.
You’re probably also wondering about how much battery life Pokémon GO will use. You don’t want your child to run out of juice on their phone, so they can’t call home when they need to. It does wear your battery down but it uses surprising little battery considering the fact that the game is active and connected to 4G most of the time.
To conserve battery life you can activate the inbuilt power saver option inside Pokémon GO settings. This cuts down the game’s GPS usage and relies on the cellular data for your location.
You can also use your smart phone's own power saving mode and also turn down the screen brightness – these all help reduce battery usage.
Oh- and if you use your bike to get from location to location – you’ll get there quicker, so use less battery life on your phone! Obvious but true!
If you have any Pokémon GO tips, email us.
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