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Pokemon Go—The Ultimate Augmented Reality Game

Pokemon Go is the latest installment that involves a very interactive user experience. Pokemon Go is the first smartphone application release from the Pokemon Company. Developed by augmented reality specialist Niantic Inc, the creators behind Google's experimental games, it's a massive-multiplayer, location-based spin-off from the fantasy series.

The game involves walking to real-life locations such as PokeStops and collect Pokemon that pops up along to way to gain XP. Players–also known as trainers–then use these Pokemon to take over real-world objectives like defeating Gym leaders and other players. It has all the essential elements covered to make it a functional application like no other. Despite its performance is typically poor on iOS-powered devices, it makes up for these flaws by offering appealing gameplay.

Model

Using a player's smartphone camera and GPS signal, the game makes it seem as if wild Pokemon emerge on the streets of the real world. When walking around and exploring, trainers are greeted with animations of grass, which signal a Pokemon's presence. Walking closer will cause them to appear, and tapping on the screen will kick off a Pokebattle. The optional augmented reality makes it look like actual Pokemon are showing up, putting players right in the shoes of a Pokemon trainer.

The concept clearly gets the gist of the ultimate Pokemon concept—capturing and fighting the creatures—and incorporates it into the real world with the functions of augmented reality games.

Gameplay

Starting your own Pokemon trainer quest is extremely simple and at the same time satisfying.

Upon opening the application, you create a character of your own using various aesthetic options. You are then tasked to select a starter Pokemon just as you would in any of the games released.

There are three different factions you can join. These serve as control major points around the world. So if the red team controls a point, yellow could team up with some friends and challenge them.

The social element of Pokemon Go gives more than just a shared individual experience. Once you spend enough time leveling up, collection Pokemon, and gaining more experience, you can assign your Pokemon to a local Gym, and you can even play against enemy-controlled Gyms.