Augmented Reality is taking off as the next biggest trend in the technology space. Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of buzz about a cool new gaming application utilizing augmented reality in a smartphone game. Sounds like this July, “Pokémon GO” will forever change the world of mobile video games. The new “Pokémon GO” game will take the fun of mobile gaming to the next level by incorporating the players’ physical location and surroundings.
In the Pokémon Go app, players will be able to virtually find and catch their favorite Pokémon by actually going and exploring the real world. By traveling to different locations, specific Pokémon will be found: like water Pokémon near beaches and lakes or rock Pokémon on hiking trails. The game encourages players to play when they travel so that they can catch Pokémon that they may not find normally in their area.
So, here’s how it works. The player’s phone vibrates when they are in proximity of a virtual Pokémon. Then, with the phone’s camera, the player looks around their location until they see the digital Pokémon on their screen! A click of a button will “throw” a Poké Ball to catch wild creature. There will also be “easter egg” items hidden in popular places like art galleries and events, so players can find in-game items to help them catch more Pokémon. The game is even more interactive when you factor in the social elements, like viewing other player’s Pokémon collections, joining teams and battling other teams over different locations. To top this all off Pokémon go is completely free for both iPhone and Androids.
The game has brought about a lot of chatter on social media. Even though the full rollout is this July, the beta is ending this week. Not only is the Pokémon brand pretty popular with a lot of gamers, but the augmented reality aspects have sparked new conversations about where the future of mobile gaming is headed. It is exciting and I predict we will start to see more and more games incorporating elements of virtual reality for a more immersive gaming experience.
Are you a Pokémon fan who is excited for this new game? How do you think this will change the way games are designed from now on? Let me know and go catch’em all!