The most anticipated mobile game of the year, and possibly in the industry's history, was released this week: Pokémon GO. The title is an augmented reality game, combining mythical creatures and artificial locations with the real world. While walking around in reality, you can encounter Pokémon, allowing you to try and catch them with your phone. This is done with an AR screen, which puts the creature directly into your real environment.
To capture a Pokémon, you must have certain supplies. For example, Pokéballs, incense, berries, etc. One of the best ways to get these types of supplies is to visit a PokéStop. These are found on your AR map and marked with a blue diamond. When you get within range of a PokéStop, spinning the ring will produce items. Tapping on them will add them to your inventory.
Just like in other games in the franchise, once you have the Pokémon in your possession, you have to train them. That can be done at gyms, which can also be found in the real world. Battle within a gym controlled by your team to increase your Pokémon's power. Use your powered-up Pokémon to claim another team's gym for your team.
The real interesting thing here, though, is how popular the game has been in just its first few days. While scrolling through Facebook, it is hard for anyone to get too far without seeing something about the game, whether it being a player talking about their most impressive catch, memes about inappropriate places people have found and caught Pokémon or complaints about the servers.
The last is because the game has been far more popular than Nintendo, or developer Niantic, thought it would be. So many people are playing at once, and all the time, that the servers have had fairly constant issues. As I write this, the servers are down, in fact. Players have experienced server crashes just as catching rare Pokémon, or even simply walking around. The issues are so bad that memes about the server issues have also become incredibly commonplace. Fortunately, the issues are getting better every day, and will hopefully level out soon so that players who are excited about the game can actually enjoy it.