Pokémon Go Review

So far, we've told you what Pokémon Go is and how it works, how to stay safe while playing Pokémon Go, and how much Pokémon Go costs to play.  Now, we'll put it all together and give you our opinion on what Pokémon Go has going for it, as well as what holds it back from being as good as it can be.

Pros

  • Free to play — Pokémon Go costs no money to download, install, or play.  There is the advent of exchanging PokéCoins (which can be bought or earned) for more items in the game, but this is largely not necessary for experiencing the fun of the game.

  • Get out and explore! — One of the coolest aspects of Pokémon Go is that it works in conjunction with real-world GPS locations, and that the Pokémon by-and-large don't come to you; you have to go to them.  This means getting out of the house and exploring your local neighbourhood for Pokémon, PokéStops, Gyms, and more.  In addition to learning about your surroundings, you'll get plenty of exercise, too!

  • Play how you want to — There are several different play styles in Pokémon Go.  Some people just want to collect as many Pokémon as they can.  Others want to collect specific types, make them stronger, and battle against other people in Gyms.  It's up to you what you want to do on your Pokémon adventure.

Cons

  • Don't get distracted — You're likely going to have to be looking at your mobile device a lot in order to find and catch Pokémon, visit PokéStops, or challenge Gyms.  However, that doesn't mean that you should ignore everything else!  People have been hurt or put in embarrassing (or even dangerous) situations because they weren't paying attention to their surroundings.

  • Difficult to play in rural areas — Because of the way that Pokémon Go is designed, more Pokémon, PokéStops, and Gyms appear in urban areas as opposed to rural ones.  So if you live outside of big cities, you may need to get creative in how to get out and catch Pokémon.  Consider trying to do so while in a car or on a bus (but don't play if you're driving!).

  • Watch your data and battery — One of the biggest complaints with Pokémon Go is that it uses a lot of your mobile device's data plan, and that it drains your mobile device's battery relatively fast.  Keep an eye on how much data you use, both in Pokémon Go as well as other applications on your device.  Also, watch your battery use, and perhaps have an emergency charger on hand.

The bottom line: 7.5/10

Pokémon Go is an innovative game that is sure to delight, whether it's helping fulfill childhood fantasies or just giving you an excuse to take a walk around your local area and do something fun while you're at it.  The game is free to download and play, and although there are in-app purchases, they're by-and-large not needed to enjoy the game.  The choice of whether to try and capture all of the Pokémon that you can, or breed specific ones for battle, adds another dimension of fun to the game.  A major downside to the game is that it can be overly distracting, which can lead to embarrassing or dangerous situations.  Another knock against it is that most of the gameplay is concentrated in urban areas, meaning that people in rural or suburban areas will have a bit of a tougher time finding gameplay elements such as Pokémon, PokéStops, or Gyms.  And playing the game can take a toll on your mobile device's battery and data plan.

 

Well, that's what we think are the strong and weak points of Pokémon Go.  But why not try it for yourself and form your own opinion?  The game is free to play, after all!  Our next tutorial will show you how to download and install Pokémon Go to your mobile device!


Pokémon Go Prices and When is Pokémon Go Free?

Now that we've explained  and how Pokémon Go works, as well as outlined some safety precautions to take while playing Pokémon Go, it's time to talk about how much Pokémon Go costs to play.  Don't worry; you can download, install, and play the game without ever spending a dime on it, but we'll show you some ways to get ahead in the game… if you're willing to pay.

Is Pokémon Go free?

Most aspects of Pokémon Go are free of charge.  It costs no money to download and install the game, nor does it cost money to sign up for an account.  The only thing that costs money in Pokémon Go is buying extra items through the use of PokéCoins.  This is an in-game currency that can be bought or earned.

How does Pokémon Go make money?

The majority of money made from Pokémon Go is from the sale of PokeCoins.  Nintendo and Niantic, the creators of Pokémon Go, are also considering the sale of peripheral devices, as well as a form of affiliate advertising, with businesses paying to have PokéStops and Pokémon Gyms located at their premises.

How much does Pokémon Go cost?

Pokémon Go doesn't cost any money to download or play, but it will cost you money to get PokéCoins (in most cases).  These can be exchanged at the in-game shop for various items.  For example, if you spend $10, you get 1200 PokéCoins, which you could exchange for 8 Lucky Eggs, 4 Egg Incubators, and 4 Lure Modules.

The real-money prices of PokéCoins, as well as the PokéCoin costs of various items, are listed below.

Prices of PokéCoins

  • 100 PokéCoins — $1
  • 550 PokéCoins — $5
  • 1200 PokéCoins — $10
  • 2500 PokéCoins — $20
  • 5200 PokéCoins — $40
  • 14,500 PokéCoins — $100

(NOTE: All of these prices are in U.S. dollars.  They may change according to the value of your local currency.)

Prices of in-game items

  • 20 Poké Balls — 100 PokéCoins
  • 100 Poké Balls — 460 PokéCoins
  • 200 Poké Balls — 800 PokéCoins
     
  • 1 Incense — 80 PokéCoins
  • 8 Incenses — 500 PokéCoins
  • 25 Incenses — 1250 PokéCoins
     
  • 1 Lucky Egg – 80 PokéCoins
  • 8 Lucky Eggs – 500 PokéCoins
  • 25 Lucky Eggs – 1250 PokéCoins
     
  • 1 Lure Module – 100 PokéCoins
  • 8 Lure Modules – 680 PokéCoins
     
  • Egg Incubator (3-use) – 150 PokéCoins
     
  • Bag Upgrade (50 more items) – 200 PokéCoins
     
  • Pokémon Storage Upgrade (50 more Pokémon) – 200 PokéCoins

How to access the shop in Pokémon Go

  1. From the game's main map screen, tap the main menu icon (it looks like a Poké Ball) in the bottom-middle portion of the screen.

  2. From the main menu screen, tap Shop.

  3. On the shop screen, tap the item that you would like to buy, and then tap Exchange to exchange your available PokéCoins (shown at the top of the screen) for that item.  If you attempt to buy PokéCoins, you will need to set up a method of payment with your Google or Apple account in order to pay for them (if you haven't already)… and maybe get your parents' permission first!

    There is a way to earn PokéCoins, as well.  Note the shield icon in the top-right corner.  If you tap this while you have at least one Pokémon stationed at a friendly Gym, you will earn 10 PokéCoins and 500 Stardust (see the "Battling at Gyms" and "Strengthening your Pokémon" sections of our How to Play Pokémon Go tutorial for more on Gyms and Stardust) for every Pokémon that you have stationed at a friendly Gym.  Note that you can only collect this bonus once every 21 hours, so try to balance between how many Pokémon you have stationed at Gyms versus how long you expect them to last there.

    One more thing: tap the "X" at the bottom-middle of the screen to exit the shop.

 

Well, that's a short explanation of the potential costs associated with playing Pokémon Go, and how to use the shop in the game.  Next, we'll review the game's pros and cons.


Is Pokémon Go Safe to Play?

Now that we've introduced you to what Pokémon Go is and how it works, we're going to go over some basic safety information for playing the game.  After all, we wouldn't want you to get hurt or end up in some other unfortunate situation while playing Pokémon Go.

Is Pokémon Go safe to play?

Pokémon Go can be a safe and enjoyable experience if you follow two basic rules.  First of all, always pay attention to your surroundings while playing.  Second, use common sense and don't do anything that you otherwise wouldn't normally do.  These two rules should keep you from getting into any trouble.

5 safety tips for playing Pokémon Go

1. Always be aware of your surroundings while playing Pokémon Go.

Just because a Pokémon appears in the middle of a busy street doesn't mean that you should walk over there to catch it!  Some people have been hurt or otherwise found themselves in sticky situations because they weren't paying attention to what they were doing, or what was going on around them, while playing Pokémon Go.  Always take a second to look up from your mobile device's screen and see where you are and what's going on around you.  This is a rule that Pokémon Go itself will remind you of frequently, and it will go a long way towards keeping you safe while playing.

Along these lines, don't play Pokémon Go while you're doing something else that requires a lot of concentration, especially if you could hurt yourself or others if you're not careful.  Examples include driving a car, riding a bike, skateboarding, or operating heavy machinery.

2. Don't search for Pokémon in dangerous or private areas.

While part of the fun of playing Pokémon Go is exploring the world around you in order to see what PokéStops you can find and what Pokémon you can capture, finding a rare Pokémon isn't worth risking life and limb — or violating other people's privacy rights.  Beware of entering closed-off or other out-of-the-way areas (such as forests, swamps, or fields of long grass) in search of Pokémon; you might be attacked by real animals or injured by other elements, and not have people around to help you. 

By the same token, be careful of trespassing on private property or in semi-private areas (such as churches, hospitals, etc.) when searching for Pokémon.  If you are asked by someone to leave the premises, apologize and depart immediately.

3. Try to search for Pokémon, PokéStops, and Gyms in areas that you know well or are densely-populated.

Again, it's fun to explore your surroundings to see what Pokémon show up there and what PokéStops you can get items from in Pokémon Go, but you have to take your personal safety into account, too.  Some Pokémon — and even some PokéStops and Gyms — will appear in isolated areas, and some people have been robbed or otherwise harmed by unscrupulous individuals at these locations.  If you can, try to stick to searching for Pokémon, PokéStops, or Gyms in areas that you are very familiar with, or that at least have enough people around to deter would-be troublemakers from publicly trying anything shady.

4. If you can, play in a group or with supervisors.

Each player in Pokémon Go has a by-and-large separate experience.  That means that there's no penalty for multiple players playing together in a group, since catching a nearby Pokémon or using a nearby PokéStop won't make it unavailable for anyone else.  Therefore, it's always a good idea to play together with a couple of other players at once, or at least have someone nearby who can supervise you.  This makes it less likely that you'll end up in dangerous areas or situations, since the people in the group can help each other out by guiding each other around the area and deterring would-be troublemakers.

5. Respect other players and people while playing.

While playing Pokémon Go may open up opportunities for friendship with fellow players, others may not want to be disturbed while they are playing.  Respect their wishes and be polite, especially if you are battling against someone else at a Gym.  Also, playing Pokémon Go may look suspicious to certain people, including authority figures such as police officers.  If you are confronted, politely explain what you are doing.  And again, if you are asked to leave a private area, apologize and do so immediately.

 

If you follow these tips, you should have a fun time playing Pokémon Go!  Next, we'll go over how much Pokémon Go costs to play.


What is Pokémon Go, and How Does It Work?

Imagine that, parallel to our own world, there is a world full of fantastical creatures.  What would you do?  Would you become their friend?  Would you collect them?  Would you train them to protect you and fight for you?  You can do all that and more in Pokémon Go!

So what exactly is Pokémon Go?

Pokémon Go is a scavenger hunt game for mobile devices where you try to find and capture virtual creatures called Pokémon.  Visit landmarks called PokéStops to stock up on items, and then find and capture Pokémon, or hatch them from eggs.  Collect all the Pokémon, or have yours battle against others at Gyms.

Pokémon Go is a game that relies on where you're positioned in the real world, via global positioning satellites (G.P.S.).  Make sure that your device is G.P.S.-capable, and has this feature enabled, before you play.

How Pokémon Go works: 6 things to do in Pokémon Go

1. Create your very own Pokémon trainer!

You're the hero of your own Pokémon Go story, so you get to decide how you look the part!  Customize aspects such as skin colour, hair colour, shirt, pants, and more!

Creating your Pokémon Go avatar

2. Find and catch Pokémon in the real world!

Pokémon are hidden all over the place in the real world, so it's your job to get out there and find them!  Search local landmarks, routes, and trails for them; when you find one, try to catch it by throwing Poké Balls at it.  Be careful not to run out of Poké Balls or let the Pokémon escape, though!

Encountering a wild Pokémon

3. Hatch more Pokémon from eggs!

Throughout your travels, you will occasionally find Pokémon eggs.  If you place these inside Egg Incubator items and then walk a certain distance, they will hatch into new Pokémon to add to your collection!

Incubating a Pokémon egg

4. Stock up on items at PokéStops!

You will find special points called PokéStops at various local landmarks, such as monuments, art installations, notable public buildings (such as libraries and museums), and so on.  At these points, you can swipe your finger across the photo disc to generate extra items for your adventure, such as Poké Balls and Potions.  Then, you can tap the items you generate to add them to your inventory.  PokéStops can be re-used every few minutes, so stock up!

Finding a Pokémon Go PokéStop

5. Strengthen and evolve your Pokémon!

As you catch Pokémon and hatch them from eggs (among other activities in Pokémon Go), you will earn Stardust and Candy.  These two resources can be used to strengthen the health, power, and overall battling capacity of your Pokémon.  If you get enough Candy, you can even evolve your Pokémon into even more powerful forms!

How to power up and evolve a Pokémon

6. Test your Pokémon's strength at Gyms!

Like PokéStops, you can find points called Gyms at various notable locations in your local area.  Once your trainer reaches at least level 5, you can pick one of three teams to join and then take your Pokémon to fight at Gyms!  Defend neutral or friendly Gyms for your team and earn bonuses, or train against Pokémon trainers from your team to earn experience and boost a Gym's prestige.  Or, fight against trainers from rival teams to lower their Gym's prestige, and maybe even claim it for your team!

A battle at a Pokémon Go Gym

 

Our Pokémon Go course will teach you everything you need to know in order to play the game, including how to stay safe while playing it, as well as how much it may cost to play.  There's a world full of Pokémon out there waiting for you, trainer, so let's begin your adventure!