'Pokemon Go' Release Date, News & Update: Now Out In The US, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand, What To Expect

By Joe Marsalis , Updated Jul 08, 2016 12:00 AM EDT
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All "Pokemon" players' trainer dreams are finally coming true—after first being announced last September, the fantasy is now a reality. As of today, "Pokemon Go" is now out for Android and iOS, for free on the Google Play Store and the App Store.

"Pokemon Go," while not being the total immersive "Pokemon" experience its video trailer hyped it up to be, is still a pretty engaging game. It's impressive as a personal "Pokemon" experience, the game pretty successful in drawing you in and making you believe that the world around you is in fact populated with a lot of Pokemon. 

"Pokemon Go" relies on GPS to map out your surroundings, using nearby local landmarks as Pokestops (spots where you can get new items, usually Poke Balls) and Gyms, which you have to be a level 5 trainer to use. The game mostly consists of hunting for Pokemon in nearby areas, catching them by flicking a Poke Ball to throw it at one.

The type of Pokemon one can find in "Pokemon Go" usually corresponds to the type of environment you're in. For example, places near water would yield more Water-type Pokemon; in the first few moments of the game, Normal-type, Poison-type, and Bug-type Pokemon were more common in urban areas. However, only Generation I Pokemon are available at this time, with no news on when Niantic Labs, the game's developer, will be adding future generations.

As for battle in "Pokemon Go", we haven't fully tested it out yet as there weren't too many fellow Trainers nearby, and at the time of writing we're still not at a high enough level to challenge a Gym. But good news (or bad news, depending on how you play): you don't need to level up a Pokemon in order to make it evolve; you just need to get enough of its certain kind of candy by catching more of the same kind. It's a lot of grinding, but it's sometimes easier.

Now that "Pokemon Go" has rolled out in its biggest markets today, expect the rest of the world to be able to play it pretty soon.

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