Pokémon GO: what is it and why should I be bothered?

Pokémon GO is yet to thrill Nintendo fans in the UK, but the augmented reality mobile game is topping the charts elsewhere.

Pokémon GO is available in the United States, Australia and New Zealand and will arrive shortly in Europe.

Pokémon GO, an augmented reality gaming app, could well have been termed 'Find your Pokémon' as the gamer's objective will be entirely that. Once you start gaming, you'll need to walk around and visit 'places' to find your Charizard, Blastoise, Pikachu and tens of other Pokémon characters. Spoiler: they'll ideally be found resting around lakes and rivers and probably around museums, historical icons and art installations as well.

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When playing, just keep the location in your smartphone turned on, and whenever you come to a place where there's a Pokémon around, your smartphone will beep and all you will need to do is to unlock it and throw a Poke Ball at it. Simple.

So let's assume you've found your Pokémon. What next?

Once you find Pokémons, you'll gather your team and 'battle for the prestige and ownership of Gyms with your Pokémon at your side,' says the app. As you gain new levels, you'll be able to find more powerful Pokémons and will be able to hatch new Pokémon eggs too, thereby growing your army, invading gyms and defending them at all costs.

The game sounds real fun and is great for fitness buffs too, for their ability to hatch new Pokémon eggs will depend on how much distance they cover in a day. At least this isn't a game that won't let you leave your bed until your smartphone battery dries up.

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Pokémon GO isn't available in the UK as yet but you can still download it by changing your location from the UK to the United States. Yes, it's that simple. However, Nintendo is currently upgrading its servers in the UK and in the rest of Europe which implies that there won't be too many Pokémons hiding around at the moment.

You will be able to download and play Pokémon GO if your smartphone runs Android 4.4 and later versions of the OS. This is just one of the conditions. The app won't run in phones running Intel Atom processors, won't run in phones with less than 2GB of RAM and may not run in some devices even if they meet all the three parameters. Your smartphone needs to have in-built GPS and needs to be connected with Wi-Fi as well as Mobile networks for the app to run smoothly. Oh, compatibility with tablets isn't guaranteed as well.

Even though Pokémon GO is pretty new and is available in just three countries at the moment, it has been installed in close to ten million devices already. Given that Miitomo, Nintendo's previous mobile gaming app, fizzled out after scoring record downloads in its first few weeks, we won't put our money on Pokémon GO lasting over a year, at least not yet.

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