Have you ever played Pokemon GO and wished you could trade in your Snorlax for Saint Mariana de Jesús de Paredes? Well you’re in luck, as The Vatican has just announced a rival to Niantic’s mobile hit.
Follow JC Go is basically Pokemon GO, but with added saints. Devised by The Vatican, it’s up to you to catch ’em all. Only in this game, you aren’t hunting cute fluffy monsters, but famous religious figures to join your “evangelisation team”.
Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera reports that you can explore your neighbourhood in search of biblical figures and Catholic saints to boost your team.
To get these saintly figures to join you, you simply need to answer some of their questions (such as finishing quotes from the Bible). Presumably because fighting them until they faint or throwing balls at their head would be pretty disrespectful.
When you’re not busy bolstering your collection of cool Catholic cats, you can pick up items that allow you to pray and drink, which tops up your in-game stats and levels.
Oh, and there’s a function which allows you to donate to a charity and receive in-game currency for your troubles which, to be fair, is the best take on microtransactions I’ve ever seen.
So, the Vatican has launched its own version of the #PokemonGo app in which you catch saints instead of pokemons:
find a saint, answer correctly to some questions about him & then you can add him/her to your e-team (evangelisation team)
— GiorgiaV (@ParvaVox) October 22, 2018
Follow JC Go encourages its players to pray with onscreen prompts. For example, if you’re passing a church, the game will gently suggest it might be a good time for a spot of spirituality. If you pass a hospital, the game might suggest you do a prayer for the sick.
I’ll be honest, it’s really hard to find fault with a game that encourages you to donate to charity and wish sick people well. I’m sure certain corners of the internet will find a way though.
The game is already out in Spain, but if you fancy an alternative to Pokemon GO at some point, an English version is expected in the coming weeks.
While the game wasn’t created by those at the very top of The Vatican, the Pope himself is alleged to be a fan, just in case you were wondering what he thought.
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.