Pokémon Go expands with new creatures

With spring comes the joy of getting outdoors, and even just a 2km walk can be even more fun thanks to the game.

The Irene Village Mall is famous for its cow motives everywhere. But come Sundays, the mall is scattered with families, teens and adults of all ages glued to their phone screens.

All are on the hunt for animals. Not cows of course – they’re here to catch Pokémon.

If you thought Pokémon Go was a fad from 2016, think again. The game is as big as ever and this week it expanded to include 34 Pokémon from the Unova region – the region first established in the Pokéverse during the Black and White games.

This brings the total of pocket monsters you can catch in the GO game up to 512.

The release also comes with the announcement that during Raid battles you can catch your very own MewTwo, one of the most notorious Pokémon ever.

So why would people spend Sundays dropping Lure models? Perhaps because Pokémon Go never stopped being fun.

AR still king

Picture: Niantic

Pokémon Go hasn’t changed that much. This year, however, you can take part in research tasks, battle Team Rocket and still take part in gym battles to claim territory for your chosen team.

But it’s that the game is even more interactive with the real world thanks to its augmented reality mechanics. It still has that magic touch to make you see your daily life through a new lens.

It’s bizarrely social

Pokémon Go festival. Picture: iStock

From dedicated Facebook groups sending trainer codes, the game has a loyal following in South Africa.

On Facebook, one dedicated group Pokémon Go South Africa asked trainers to share their QR codes or trainer codes on the public platform. The post from February has almost 1,000 responses – all people connecting in the game.

The fact that you can have friends in the game means that you can send each other gifts. These usually contain handy items like Pokéballs, Stardust and experience points – all items that help you progress in the game.

On these platforms you can also send out notices to swop Pokémon, deepening the game’s social aspect.

But the really fully-fledged social aspect of the game is Poké meet-ups. Popular training areas like the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens and malls host walkabouts where groups meet up. The meet-ups can have hundreds of members joining.

Walk it off

Pokémon Go Plus.

Another aspect from Pokémon Go that has made it rather sneaky is the fact that it’s also a fitness App. To make full use of the game you have to walk, and walk a lot. Not only do you need steps to hatch eggs (which at most need 10km to hatch), it also translates into experience points and is required to move between Pokéstops.

With spring comes the joy of getting outdoors and even just a 2km walk can be even more fun thanks to the game.

Of course safety is a concern, which is why it helps to have a friend playing with you or investing in a Pokémon Go Plus, a watch-like device that sends notifications when you’re at a Pokéstop or a Pokémon is lurking close by. You press a button, and later when opening the app you see what you received.

What’s new?

Picture: Niantic

The latest expansion features new Pokémon – Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott, Patrat, Lillipup, Purrloin, Pidove, Blitzle, and more.

If you’re walking 2km eggs will hatch either a Patrat, Lillipup, Purrloin or Pidove while 5km eggs can hatch a Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott, Blitzle, Drilbur or Foongus.

Walking 10km eggs will hatch either a Ferroseed, Klink, Litwick, Golett and Deino. Lillipup, Patrat, and Klink will be available to challenge in raids – and Klink can for the time being only be caught through raids.

The game is also continuing its tradition of region specifism. In the Asia-Pacific you can catch a Pansage; in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India you can catch a Pansear; and in the Americas and Greenland get a Panpour.

In the Western hemisphere you can catch a Heatmor, and in the East a Durant. So get out and go.

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