It has been two days since Pokemon GO was launched in Australia, New Zealand, and the USA. A Certain amount of hype has been increasing for the app when it was first spoken about in E3 2015. This is the first Nintendo game that has been launched outside the Nintendo platfor m.
Pokemon Go is a partially free app, because it has micro transactions. GO is made by Nintendo in partnership with Niantic, the makers who if you remember made the other awesome geo sync app Ingress. Saying that Pokemon GO is similar as well, it involves you being a Pokemon trainer and walking about to actual locations in your local area to capture Pokemons that are in the “wild”. The app has 3 components: capturing Pokemon, visiting poke stops and battling it out in gyms with your captured Pokemon.
The app design is really good and is very user-friendly. The app makes it easy for you to get started, you sign in with your Google account and you are good to go. You can customize your character but the options are fairly limited, we hope Niantic adds more customization options in the future.
The other issue is the amount of time we have spent force closing the app and restarting it. We tried it out on all our team members’ phones and we encountered the same issue over and over again. We expect this to be fixed in upcoming updates. It is an absolute battery drainer and we were nearly depleted empty playing with the app for an hour or so.
The AR aspect
Pokemon GO was promised to be an AR ready app. Meaning that if you encounter a Pokemon u can move in any direction in 360 degrees and you can see the perspective of the Pokemon corresponding to where you are standing. As disappointing it is for us to report it is just surface value at the moment. The app isn’t AR ready as expected, you can only see the Pokemon as a 2D image on your screen. The app was buggy as well, one of our testers encountered a blank screen instead of seeing the Pokemon and upon random flicking of the Pokeball he had captured a Bulbasaur without even seeing where it was.
In closing, Pokemon GO is a really good concept with a long way to go. Seeing the first build it was a little bit deflating, but there is hope for Pokemon GO. Looking forward to seeing it with all the tweaks and bug fixes.