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While Niantic and The Pokémon Company's much-anticipated iOS and Android game Pokémon Go is still a few months from launch, TechCrunch recently got to go hands-on with the app to discover how it plays in a real-world scenario. Walking around San Francisco, TechCrunch's Greg Kumparak particularly liked the game's endearing ability to encourage hometown exploration, alongside its more intense, cooperative aspects.

Kumparak notes pausing at the base of the Bay Bridge when his phone vibrated to notify him that a virtual cache was hiding nearby. When opened, some historic details about the bridge were shared, alongside a few Poké Balls and one Pokémon Egg. Later, when he and the Niantic team arrived at a major San Francisco landmark -- Cupid's Span -- his phone notified him again, this time that a Pokémon was lurking nearby.

pokemon-go-image.jpg

After catching a Horsea near the shore of the Bay, Niantic encouraged Kumparak to engage in a battle in the nearby "Gym," located at Cupids' Span. Previous news surrounding the game detailed a user's ability to choose the yellow, blue or red team, who would all be in constant battle over gyms scattered throughout the real world.

As Kumparak battled within the Gym, Niantic divulged information on the cooperative elements required by players who take on Gyms with more than just one or two simple, low-level Pokémon.
To take over a gym, you have to boot out the Pokémon that are already there. You and your friends can work together to take them on; if you win, you get to leave some Pokémon there to defend it. Battles are fairly simple (it seems mostly about tapping the screen quickly vs. the strategy of the original games.) As more players join, gyms get more and more powerful, capable of holding more Pokémon, and thus harder to take over.

"So might it ever reach a point where you'll need, say, dozens of people to gather together in one place to take over a gym?", I ask.

"Oh, absolutely", one of the devs responds. "That's what's supposed to happen."
Overall, Kumparak came away largely pleased with Pokémon Go, saying that the experience made him want to "walk around San Francisco aimlessly" to discover new Pokémon and find a few new items for his character. A release date has yet to be set for the augmented reality game, but Niantic has said it aims to launch the game by the end of 2016.

Check out TechCrunch's full hands-on report of Pokémon Go for more details on the game and how it plays.

Article Link: 'Pokémon Go' Hands-On Details Cooperative Aspects of the Augmented Reality App
 

bushido

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Mar 26, 2008
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indifferent about the whole gym aspect, sounds annoying. id rather just try to catch as many pokemon in the wild to complete the pokedex with some pokemon only coming out in the evening or different seasons and environments etc
 
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earthTOmitchel

Contributing Editor
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Mar 6, 2015
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indifferent about the whole gym aspect, sounds annoying. id rather just try to catch as many pokemon in the wild to complete the pokedex with some pokemon only coming out in the evening or different seasons and environments etc
I really hope they do the time of day/seasonal thing, but I haven't read about that anywhere. And I'm mostly just worried about the gym part, I wonder how hard that'll be if you live in a less populated area.
 
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Yaemon

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Oct 16, 2014
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Based on what beta tester reported, it seems they replaced the classic Pokemon battle logic (skills etc) with just having to tap the screen as quickly as possible. Hopefully this will change before the game is released, it makes no sense.
 
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Amazing Iceman

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Original Pokémon was all about strategy. Even in the anime, it was all about strategy.

Any idiot can learn to tap on the screen fast.

Pokémon-Go: Another great concept ruined by stupidity.
 
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0098386

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Original Pokémon was all about strategy. Even in the anime, it was all about strategy.

Any idiot can learn to tap on the screen fast.

Pokémon-Go: Another great concept ruined by stupidity.
Yup. Absolutely gutted at how bad the gameplay sounds. I didn't expect something like the main games, but I really didn't expect a screen tapping minigame.
 
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Kiwikat88

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Aug 16, 2015
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Original Pokémon was all about strategy. Even in the anime, it was all about strategy.

Any idiot can learn to tap on the screen fast.

Pokémon-Go: Another great concept ruined by stupidity.

If all you do is tap fast, you're not going to do very well most of the time. You've got to work up to your charged attacks and dodge as well. I am still hoping we might see status ailments sometime.

Yup. Absolutely gutted at how bad the gameplay sounds. I didn't expect something like the main games, but I really didn't expect a screen tapping minigame.

Battling is a little underwhelming at the moment, but the rest of the game (when not crashing anyways) is quite a lot of fun. The collecting aspect has been done very well. The graphics and animations feel right at home. The sounds are a bit of a mixed bag, but I think they'll work on them more before release.

This is not a nintendo/gameboy game ported over to your phone. You can already do that with an emulator.
 
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chrismail627

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Jan 3, 2016
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I have the beta of this game. Honestly, I was hoping for more. The battling/catching aspect is pretty sad; this is far from a true classic Pokemon game. I'm enjoying it right now, but time will tell if it has enough appeal to keep people playing.
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Based on what beta tester reported, it seems they replaced the classic Pokemon battle logic (skills etc) with just having to tap the screen as quickly as possible. Hopefully this will change before the game is released, it makes no sense.
My first battle I was so confused; you literally just tap and dodge. I'm just getting the hang of it really.
 
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aleni

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Jun 2, 2006
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They just dont ****ing get it! Just release the first pokemon for gameboy advance in a form of emulator. Put some nice virtual buttons and nintendo will get the bucks. Stupid.
 
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Kiwikat88

macrumors regular
Aug 16, 2015
201
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Wisconsin
They just dont ****ing get it! Just release the first pokemon for gameboy advance in a form of emulator. Put some nice virtual buttons and nintendo will get the bucks. Stupid.

That would be Nintendo's job, not Niantic's. Again, this was not meant to be a clone of the gameboy/nintendo games.
 
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