Now that Pokémon Go has been officially released in the Philippines, Filipino trainers young and old will surely have their phones out everywhere they go. Nintendo’s legendary monster franchise has taken the mobile gaming world by storm, as it introduced an augmented-reality (AR) twist to the classic hunting, training, and battling gameplay that the Pokémon franchise is known for.
Now, before going to the next obscure nook or cranny you have access to in your quest to catch ’em all, why not take a break and read some fun Pokémon Go Trivia? Here are five things you need to know about your new favorite mobile game:
1. It started out as an April Fool’s joke
In April 1, 2014, Nintendo together with Google teased what they then called Pokémon challenge – a Google Maps powered augmented reality game featuring Pokémon. The prize in the said challenge, wherein contestants will use their mobile phones and Google Maps to catch 150 Pokémon throughout the real world (sounds familiar), will get a job at Google as Pokémon master.
The amazing video Google released as part of the April Fool’s joke turned out to be a very early preview of how the eventually real AR Pokémon game will look like.
2. The game is banned in Iran
Iran’s High Council of Virtual Spaces, the Middle Eastern country’s governing body in charge of overseeing online activity, has banned Pokémon Go due to security concerns. While no specific security-related incident was specified by the Iranian government, it seems they reached out to Nintendo and/or developer Niantic to come up with some sort of compromise. However, since the ban was put into place, it could be a safe assumption that a compromise was not reached.
3. It will have a bluetooth accessory called Pokémon Go Plus
Pokémon Go Plus looks like a cross between a Pokéball and a Google Maps pin. Since it is classified as a wearable, it can be worn as a bracelet or clipped on to something else you are wearing. The device will vibrate when a player is near a Pokémon or PokéStop. Players can then press the button on the device to receive a PokéStop item or try to catch the nearby Pokémon. According to Polygon however, the plus accessory will only allow players to catch Pokémon which they’ve captured previously (and it will vibrate once the capture attempt is successful). Pokémon Go Plus will be released in September and will be sold for $34.99 (approximately 1,650 PHP).
4. There is no Pokémon Go in China
China is the world’s largest mobile gaming market, and as most people know, it is also the world’s most populous nation and boasts the world’s second largest economy. However, the country has blocked Google’s account system and services which means that Google Maps, which powers the location-based features of Pokémon Go, will not work. Google also left the Chinese market back in 2010 due to censorship concerns and tough competition from Baidu, so unless they come back anytime soon, Chinese mobile gamers will have to do with Pokémon Go knock-offs or hacked versions.
Image from: Tech in Asia
5. Pokémon trading will be implemented in the future
Trading has been a key gameplay component in all the mainline games in the Pokémon series, and while it is noticeably absent in Pokémon Go, the game’s developers have confirmed that trading is a feature that will be implemented in the (hopefully nearby) future. Those truly wanting to catch ’em all will have no problems trading with friends or even strangers. On a side note, we’ve surely come a long way from how trading worked in the original Pokémon titles for the game boy: link cables