Global hit Pokémon Go has officially been released in the UK, having already been available in Australia, the US and other European countries.
The Augmented Reality (AR) app works with GPS location data on your phone to let you roam around real locations – showcased onto a map on your phone – as users find the popular creatures known as Pokémon and aim to catch, train and battle them.
The app makes use of real-world landmarks (such as churches) to act as Pokémon gyms, where users can battle their Pokémon against each other, as well as visiting certain places which the game has turned into ‘Pokéstops’, where users can collect free items in the app.
When encountering Pokémon, the camera on your smartphone will show up like when taking a normal photograph, with the Pokémon being superimposed on the screen.
Nintendo worked with Niantic, a US-based developer, as well as the Pokémon Company, to create the advanced app. It comes 20 years after the first Pokémon games were available on the Game Boy, a handheld games console, starting up one of the most popular games franchises in history.
Pokémon Go has become a global phenomenon, and Nintendo has benefitted enormously from its success. Shares in the Japanese Company have risen a staggering 56 per cent in total since the app was released, with its market value now standing at £25.7bn.
However, the app is not without its controversies. One woman in the US found a dead body while out looking for Pokémon, while there have also been reports of people getting injured because they are too busy looking for Pokémon to pay proper attention to where they’re going.
Four people in the US were also arrested having lured players to remote places, and then robbing them as they were held at gunpoint. A number of people have also voiced concerns that there is the potential for adults to use the app to prey on children.
Finally, some parting tips – if you keep walking away at the start of the game, you’ll get the chance to have Pikachu as your starter Pokémon, rather than any of Charmander, Squirtle or Bulbasaur. Additionally, if you miss when throwing a Pokémon ball, quickly tap it and you can pick it up again, instead of losing it.