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#1 Edited by probablytuna (5008 posts) -

Has anyone started the game yet? I've been playing for an hour and I'm already hooked on it. I even walked down to the local park five minutes from where I live just to get some free pokeballs. The way they're integrating real world locations like parks or shopping centres and making them places of interest in game is really neat. Some highlights so far: my first Pokemon wad Bulbasaur which was caught right outside my house, and Lord Helix himself who showed up at a nearby petrol station.

Apparently it's not up on the App/Play Store yet but if you go to this Play Store link or App Store link you can download it directly.

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#2 Edited by Devil240Z (5704 posts) -

After hearing them talk about it on the Bombcast. Idk about it.

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#3 Edited by NietzscheCookie (122 posts) -

I've been having some fun with it here in Melbourne. Caught a Goldeen on the train home. It was sitting on a guys lap on the seat across from me so i really had to be careful with not throwing pokeballs in his face...

It all comes down to the rarity of pokemon, I'm only really interested in this if i have to travel the real globe on a pokemon spirit quest to catch them all. But so far it seems like there are so many encounters it won't be about that at all. More about the team competition stuff Jeff mentioned on the bombcast.

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#4 Edited by probablytuna (5008 posts) -

@nietzschecookie: Yeah I have no interest in the Gym battles/defend your territory stuff in the game, I just want to catch some Pokemon. So far that's been going well for me, I'm interested to see if being in a different suburb will spawn different types of Pokemon (like going to the beach to catch some water-type pokemon).

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#5 Posted by Woowookins (116 posts) -

Yeah, can't download due to country restrictions (Norway). :(

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#6 Edited by robbparris (301 posts) -

Turned game on. Saw Squirtle on desk at work. Caught Squirtle.

5/5 Stars.

For those not in Australia (which is my situation) you can still download it for your android device by downloading the apk from a 3rd party site. PC Advisor has a good guide.

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#7 Posted by probablytuna (5008 posts) -

@robbparris: Apparently everyone starts off catching one of the first starter Pokemon (Bulbasaur, Squirtle or Charmander). I caught Bulbasaur because I saw it first but apparently there's a chance all three shows up and you can choose which one to catch. Kind of a bummer since I wanted Charmander and they never tell you this but I guess you can find the other two starters out in the wild... I hope.

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#8 Posted by Sackmanjones (5595 posts) -

Any word on when this will hit the U.S App Store?

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#9 Posted by clagnaught (2124 posts) -

Australia is at it again.

Since this game is finally coming out I'm curious to see what this thing is for myself. I'll check back tomorrow.

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#10 Posted by MindBullet (709 posts) -

Any word on when this will hit the U.S App Store?

I've seen some people suggest it won't be out until July 27, but nothing concrete. The official website seems to still just say "2016" and Niantic hasn't updated its blog since June.

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#11 Posted by Garfield518 (426 posts) -

It's not out yet here in Canada so I installed the APK.

Started with a Charmander and went for a run - ended up with six Pidgeys, a Zubat, Weedle, Rattata, Spearow, and a Seel, as well as an egg that takes 10km to hatch.

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#12 Posted by kasaioni (2397 posts) -

@clagnaught: I'm ready to see some good Steve Irwin impressions when someone finds an Ekans.

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#13 Posted by takayamasama (1547 posts) -

Did the APK method linked here and man, this game seems really neat!

Haven't been able to go out and explore yet but found a Zubat in my hallway so this game is great.

Super battery drainer though.

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#14 Posted by Cirdain (3797 posts) -

...an egg that takes 10km to hatch.

This is exactly what I want. Can wait to try this out when I'm back at uni. My hometown isn't a nice place to wander around.

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#15 Posted by Mike (17997 posts) -

@sackmanjones said:

Any word on when this will hit the U.S App Store?

I've seen some people suggest it won't be out until July 27, but nothing concrete. The official website seems to still just say "2016" and Niantic hasn't updated its blog since June.

US is later today.

Moderator
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#16 Edited by BeardDuder (181 posts) -
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#17 Posted by takayamasama (1547 posts) -

Gonna guess the US release happened or is happening soon, cause those servers being slammed!

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#18 Posted by crithon (3979 posts) -

lets hope this doesn't kill batteries like Snapchat does

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#19 Edited by Omega (917 posts) -

This might be a dumb question but does this use data? I don't have a data plan so I was curious if it used data. It'd be cool if it just went off the gps location unless you specifically wanted to fight other people or something.

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#20 Posted by Mike (17997 posts) -

@omega: It uses data just like Ingress.

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#21 Posted by Omega (917 posts) -

@mike: Well that's too bad. Oh well, thanks for the info!

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#22 Posted by Malarkain (154 posts) -

They really need to add casual battling and trading between players. Other than that it's a nice excuse to walk around and take really dumb pictures. I'm a little tempted to buy that Pokemon Go Plus thing so I don't have to walk around looking at my phone all the time while I'm with friends.

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#23 Posted by crithon (3979 posts) -

okay, it's now accessible for america..... what the fuck is this character design..... turned it off.

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#24 Posted by Rotnac (1264 posts) -

Finally installed in an hour ago and it's an unstable mess for me right now on iPhone 5s. It's crashed on me several times. Caught 3 Pokemon inside my house though. That was neat, I guess?

Gonna try walking around tomorrow when hopefully the severs aren't being slammed.

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#25 Posted by crithon (3979 posts) -

well, the servers are down. I'm facinated how they maped out all of my neighborhood clever in key locations for events.

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#26 Posted by slyspider (1827 posts) -

I live on a college campus and both the gyms are in a really bad part of town around me. Idk what im really suppose to be doing. I pelted 5 pokemon with balls until they submitted to me and that was it. No fighting or training or you know pokemon stuff. Its late so I can't go do the next thing it wants be to do, which is walking to a store or something.

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#27 Edited by crithon (3979 posts) -

the serveres are back up, and I live in a college/tourist trap town, so as I walk out less then 3 blocks I see 3 college guys all huddle together at a spot to catch a pokemon..... Already I have no idea what I'm doing, just walk along, wait till the battery goes half empty by 6 blocks. I was able to catch Pidgey in an abandoned parking lot, and Weedle in an alley cats pee on. So far the design of it is still a bit confusing, the modules are kinda nice tourist location spots to check out, it doesn't look like it's ever going to get people to just walk out into on coming traffic to catch a pokemon but already it's lured me into places homeless use to sleep, pee or do meth at. I'm not exactly ready battling or even catching enough pokemon to learn the mechanics. My phones battery died on me after 12 blocks after a full charge.

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I'm quite confused as to what are the real mechanics? Should I be staring? should I be going to modules? Should I be tapping? Can I put on sleep mode? Is it a pedometer?

Because I do feel at least I could give feedback where other users can go because there was one point where it was leading me into a neighbors backyard where they had an angry Rottweiler barking at me...... imagine if instead I was an 8 year old. So yeah, I have some issues with this.

...... and now turns out I lost 3 pokemon because my batteries died from that experience. Jeeeeeeeezzzzzus!

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#28 Posted by MindBullet (709 posts) -

So far this thing is a Pokemon mod for Ingress, and it's Pokemon only in the sense that they got the license to actually have Pidgey show up instead of some off-brand creature nobody would recognize. I can see it being a fun way to explore your surroundings, but I imagine the novelty wears off pretty quick unless you're the type to get super invested in the team stuff (which is also basically lifted wholesale from Ingress).

It's done a poor job of explaining what exactly you should be doing and how, and the AR (the thing that basically sells the app) refuses to recognize my camera at all. I guess it's cool to have more incentives to take walks, but I don't really see this having much staying power for me.

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#29 Edited by afabs515 (2005 posts) -

I don't think I like this game very much...

I installed it on my phone this morning, caught a starter (which I can't train), then walked around my office for a bit (we have a fairly large campus) and caught like 15 Pokemon. I have no idea what I should be doing, what the goals are, or how anything works other than "throw balls at Pokemon; release duplicates to get items to make the others more powerful for reasons". It's too bad, because I can see how this game could be really cool if they added actual battles, trading, and better tutorials. Honestly, that might be my ideal Pokemon game at this point. The very notion of playing Pokemon in the real world is awesome to me. This just doesn't seem like it will ever be that.

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#30 Posted by jakob187 (22957 posts) -

My news feed on Facebook is nothing but people catching Pokemon GO.

This is it, guys. This is how the world ends. Pokemon GO will kill all productivity, and we'll have to pay people a million times more to keep the cellular lines active so people can catch Pokemon.

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#31 Posted by takayamasama (1547 posts) -

@afabs515: I think people had the wrong expectations as to what this game actually is. It's less a Pokemon game, more a Work-out App with a collectible side to it, that just happens to be skinned as Pokemon.

It's very pleasant though. Went on a nice walk last night, caught some Pokemon, got some exercise. Win/win?

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#32 Posted by crithon (3979 posts) -

servers down again.

Some of my close friends are catching Pokemon, just simple walks to a train or a bus station is enough to catch. I'm seeing my Twitter feed and it's mostly jokes about their starter pokemon in front of their dashboards, desks or on on their legs. I have a terrible battery, so I doubt I will be playing this game since I am fond of doing 5 mile walks a day and this game died on me after 12 blocks using GPS, AR graphics with the camera and cannot be put onto sleep mode while walking to a spot you see coming up. I'd rather have snapchat then this.

The idea of finding real Pokemon in your life is fun, and they don't directly send you into on coming traffic is actually really well handled..... but they should get more feedback, already just seeing Pokemon in sketchy shady reas where homeless are sleeping and where they are peeing at..... Bay area is kinda weird that way, I find it hard to imagine raising kids here.

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#33 Edited by crithon (3979 posts) -

now this can only happen in a Giant Bomb world..... there's a gym with a psyduck at vape shop.

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It's at such a sketchy part of town, a couple youngish looking girls smile and wink at you as their brutish men with designer shirts just smoke in their tinted window cars.

with the servers up, did they remove the grass animation? So I did a couple blocks, I figured out to spin the pokestops which is how you actually get XP. There is no real pedometer mechanic so that's kinda weird. The whole throwing pokeball mechanic isn't very well designed since it's confusing to know what's what, aim for the circles? tap the direction? I keep reading my friends on Twitter they threw 25 balls onto a pokemon and nothing. Finding Pokemon is still confusing, had a zubat in front an apartment complex driveway. It doesn't really feel like a discovery or a hunt instead it's random stops along your commute.

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It's quite an odd design, I love taking walks everyday so it's not a good pedometer. It's interesting how it's set up with a town very creative hitting key landmarks with the Pokestop. But holding out the phone on while walking is completely useless. The mechanic should be "okay, today I'm heading to the libary." and as you go maybe a ring tone or a vibrate will hint a pokemon is nearby, turn it on and you can search your surrounding to see one. Just set up more clever ways to catch pokemone, either through battles, or baits, scents, traps..... AND THEN THROW THE POKEBALL to catch them. The pokemon just sit there like their in your way. I was surprised you cannot walk around them to really apprecate they are in 3d space like the Pokedex on the 3DS which was 4 years ago.

I honestly was expecting to take this to a dog park and take shots of Pokemon beside dogs pretending they are battling them with tennis balls.... instead I have found 4 pokemons at spots where homeless people pee at..... congrats reality, I think I'm going to play real Pokemon instead.

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#34 Posted by golguin (5469 posts) -

@jakob187 said:

My news feed on Facebook is nothing but people catching Pokemon GO.

This is it, guys. This is how the world ends. Pokemon GO will kill all productivity, and we'll have to pay people a million times more to keep the cellular lines active so people can catch Pokemon.

On our lunch break me and a coworker went to a nearby school that a had Pokemon Gym. She drove and we stood outside her car hitting the Gym up and catching Pokemon. An EMT vehicle drove into the parking lot and yelled, "Are you guys catching Pokemon too?" We said, "Yeah, but we should be working." They replied, "Us too!" They then drove away to what I imagine to be another Pokemon heavy spot.

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#35 Posted by MezZa (3048 posts) -

@golguin said:
@jakob187 said:

My news feed on Facebook is nothing but people catching Pokemon GO.

This is it, guys. This is how the world ends. Pokemon GO will kill all productivity, and we'll have to pay people a million times more to keep the cellular lines active so people can catch Pokemon.

On our lunch break me and a coworker went to a nearby school that a had Pokemon Gym. She drove and we stood outside her car hitting the Gym up and catching Pokemon. An EMT vehicle drove into the parking lot and yelled, "Are you guys catching Pokemon too?" We said, "Yeah, but we should be working." They replied, "Us too!" They then drove away to what I imagine to be another Pokemon heavy spot.

That's pretty awesome. My news feed has been non-stop pokemon go as well, and I even ran into and reconnected with some old high school classmates I haven't seen in years who happened to be going around town at the same time as me. It's a really odd phenomenon. The game's not good by any means really. Battling is pretty boring, servers are super unstable, catching doesn't have much intricacy going for it, and powering up pokemon is tedious with little reward. And yet, its still fun to get involved with. At least for now. Once the magic wears off I think it might just get left behind pretty hard. Right now the thought of getting all 6 of my favorites from gen 1 is keeping me going and interested. Lucky for me I run regularly anyway so its more of just a fun little addition to that.

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#36 Posted by crithon (3979 posts) -

did a bit of a walk around downtown, and was surprised to see 20 people with their phones playing the game. You can tell they were playing because they would look at their phones and then look up around or hold it out and giggle "Stay aware of your surroundings." There really is a fun atmosphere to make eye contact with someone smile and know you're probably checking the spot they just went to.

I found it easier to just decide on a pokestop, put it on sleep mode, check in to see if there's a pokemon around instead of having the phone on the whole time...... on a side note what is up with the GPS on this, I have better GPS tracking for my running this looks like I'm running inside buildings and across the road. Scoops had an awesome article how to play the game, considering how loose they are explaining rules. I find it hard to imagine this could last longer then a couple weeks of interest just on the novelty alone, considering there's a real Pokemon game coming this fall. The pay structure is still armature compared to other free to play games that reward you for doing little activity on their service. I do wonder if there are events coming up like 3 or 6 months down the line to help incentive long term game.

As for now, beating a gym is just throwing as many pokemon out there and not actual strategy.

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#37 Posted by ShaggE (9273 posts) -

@crithon: Haha, that totally happened here tonight as well. Was meeting a friend at his work downtown, and at least 25 people stopped by while playing Go. Just a crowd of random people hanging out and talking Pokemon with us and each other. Never seen anything like it.

And should that Windows Phone port ever happen (unlikely), I may be one of those people.

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#38 Edited by golguin (5469 posts) -

Reporting in after 5 hours of Pokemon Go in Riverside, California. We hit up the area around Mt. Rubidoux (Park, local homes, the mountain trails) and there were groups of people actively looking all over these locations. Around 11pm we started to hit Downtown Riverside and there were still small groups of people parked or standing around gym areas.

I believe it's safe to say that the Gaint Bomb crew has completely missed how big of a deal the game is. The game is actually fun once you know how to capture higher ranked pokemon, track down specific pokemon (it has a radar thing), and fight Gym Battles to take it over or strengthen the position. Best when used with groups of friends. We walked 6km and then did the rest in the car. It was a group of 4 for most of the excursion.

Do you think the game is a big deal? People at work are also playing the game and hitting up Gyms late at night.

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#39 Posted by ripelivejam (13188 posts) -

the way this actually seems to be getting people together in the real world seems kind of awesome. im sure all the peeing homeless appreciate the well to do brandishing their expensive phones and laughing. :D

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#40 Edited by Jaymii (195 posts) -

Since the game is not out here yet, I've been keeping an eye on the Pokemon GO subreddit and it looks like people are already getting injured and are doing stupid things by staring at their phone and not having awareness of surroundings. Can see the sensationalist headlines soon arriving.

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#41 Posted by Sinusoidal (3608 posts) -
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#42 Posted by dgtlty (1229 posts) -

As if people weren't strolling around glued to their phones enough...

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#43 Posted by crithon (3979 posts) -

@ripelivejam: Actually, in my experience, I bet I'd find a pokemon at the end of that pee puddle.

THE PRODIGAL SON HAS RETURNED! And now he's trashing the game. Austin Walker's Vice story is up commenting on how bad the game is.

So I did a nice little walk around the lagoon behind my home. Saw about 12 people playing today, there is that look of frustration and confusion when you see a larger older guy holding out his phone as he's lumbering along (he had a busty anime girl shirt that read 'waifu"). But the smarter player was this young woman with her boyfriend to stop and check to spin the Pokestop and then continue giving her bf attention. And then there were the teens who were racing from Pokestop while arguing techniques in Overwatch. The way people play this is amusing to be honest.

I did notice something, outside of the bad server problems, but this isn't using proper GPS. This is how a proper GPS program should track your movement, if your zig zagging the street or even just hopping onto the side of the road it should always be tracking your movement.

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And this Pokemon go...... it not on when you go into sleep mode, instead it's calibrating and then it's trying to snap into place and even then it's not even doing a good job at it.

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Niantic is probably banking it's entire system on it's previous game's land mark based system. It's not exactly using a proper GPS or even a pedometer mechanic. I mentioned the teens before, because they were on bikes, just zooming across stop to stop trying to game the system which is smart.

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#44 Posted by Mersel (4 posts) -

I went to a large mall in Vancouver today and wandered around hitting pokestops in the mall and saw tons of other people just wandering around with their phones out catching pokemon too ... I love the future we live in :P

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#45 Posted by dogearmy34 (3 posts) -

Didn't come my country yet so i am playing on apk