After months of waiting, Pokemon GO is officially live on the iPhone App Store in Australia and New Zealand, with a European release coming soon.
The mobile AR Pokemon game/app was in closed beta until recently, but is now starting to roll out across the world.
Folks in North America should be able download and play it from the Google Play store, although it appears to be unavailable for some U.S. users at the time of writing.
For anyone who might not have heard of the title, Pokemon GO is free to play (with micro-transactions, of course) that builds off developer Niantic’s work on videogame/real world hybrids.
The project is part of what Niantic is calling its ‘Real World’ gaming platform, which aims to get gamers up off the sofa and out into the real world. Sounds dangerous.
If you’ve played classic Pokemon, you’ll know that a big part of the adventure is catching and meeting all manner of wild monsters.
GO takes this idea and brings it into the real world – you’ll encounter random Pokemon as you go about your daily business. Maybe you’ll find a Squirtle down by the canal, a Bulbasaur in your back garden, or a Pikachu hiding in that underpass where you saw two people shagging that time.
As you’d expect, you can then catch, train, and battle monsters to your heart’s content. Battling and evolution doesn’t work exactly as it does in classic Pokemon, but the backbone of experience is based on what we all know and love – catching ’em all.
On release, Pokemon GO will only offer the original 151 ‘mon, but Niantic should be updating the game with more weird and wonderful creatures as time goes on.
Keep a close eye on the app store for a release here in the UK, as both Niantic and the Pokemon Company seem to be rolling the game out pretty quietly.
Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.