It would be unfair to call Pokemon Go anything less than a global phenomenon. Already amassing more users than both Tinder and Twitter despite only releasing globally in the past few weeks, Pokemon Go promises to be the greatest mobile game of all time thanks to its sense of adventure, progression and sense of togetherness. In a world filled with sociopolitical tensions and unfathomable terrorist actions, it's nice to be able to unite under a concept as simple yet brilliant as Pokemon Go.
Let's start by saying the app is far from perfect. As with every big game release, the servers are struggling to keep up with the player base, frequently buffering or dropping off altogether. There's also the footstep glitch (explained below) and the fact that your Pokeballs will often freeze completely instead of their traditional rolls before a capture. It's frustrating, but well worth persevering for when those issues do not affect your play and the game comes together beautifully. Plus, they're bound to be fixed in future updates.
The premise is simple enough. Wander around looking at your phone, catching any Pokemon that pops up nearby on the screen. At the time of writing, the tracking feature has been removed - it is therefore impossible to accurately map a rare Pokemon's exact location - but this should only be a temporary upset to the game's potential. The game rewards 'the grind', a term any veteran gamer will be familiar with, as you catch multiple Pidgeys to evolve them with the according 'candies'. It's not exactly classic Pokemon, but it's addictive nonetheless. Your evolved Pokemon can then be pit against opposing teams at local gyms, real-world locations to be taken and rewarded with in game currency. There are also Pokestops, cleverly mapped by Niantic's previous title 'Ingress', which again tie in to local points of interest. These can then be equipped with 'lures' drawing Pokemon - and often other players - to the location. It's pretty cool, being able to exchange that subtle head nod between fellow players as you both sit within a lure's vicinity.
While it may not be the perfect title as things stand due to connectivity issues and feature bugging, the potential for this app is almost unrivalled. A freemium game which allows competition without the purchase of in-app augmentations is always a winner, and the promise of future updates - no matter how long they may be taking - means Pokemon Go has taken the mobile gaming industry by storm. Long may it be updated and long may I live out my childhood dream.