Pokémon, the Japanese cartoon franchise, is poised to make a comeback in a big way. An app released by Niantic Studios makes use of augmented reality and geocaching technology to place Pokémon characters in the real world and you play by finding and capturing Pokémon. Although, Niantic released the game in select countries, users have been downloading cracked versions globally. The app is registering more daily users than social media apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook. While India awaits the game's official release, here's the lowdown on the app that's taking the world by storm.
It has taken its users to some bizarre places.
Not only does the place users are in influence the kind of Pokémon they encounter, but the app also features Pokéstops, which are places in real life that may have gyms or stores selling Poké balls. Some of the more unusual Pokéstops users have shared have been cemeteries, temples and even police stations.
The app may not be completely safe.
Though there's no need to panic, some players have found themselves in accidents after getting caught up in missions. Staying alert will be especially important in India, where lax traffic rules increases the risk of running into trouble. An incident in America reported four teenagers using the app to steal from unsuspecting users, though police apprehended them quickly.
It eats up a lot of battery life.
Since it requires both data and information about location, a big disadvantage of the app is the amount of power it consumes and it might be worth investing in a battery pack if you plan on playing it often. Users in India have also noted that it will not work anywhere without network connectivity. Thus, progress on the game will be lost along with your signal.
Users have reported some unexpected benefits.
A few weeks into launching the app, some players have praised its benefits on mental health. For those struggling with depression and anxiety, the app has provided motivation to go outside and get some exercise. The app users from across the globe have been tweeting praise for Pokémon Go. Its popularity also means players are likely to bump into someone else playing as well, encouraging social interaction.