As you’ve browsed your social media feeds you’ve probably noticed that people are quite excited about the new Pokémon game. No need to go dig out your old Gameboy from mom’s house though because this newest entry in the longest running franchise about cartoon animal abuse is a free app on both the Apple App Store, and Google Play. The premise is pretty much exactly what you’d expect - wander the land, encounter wild, superpowered animals and then imprison them, but now you actually have to get up and go find the little bastards, in real life.
The first Pokémon app has already shot to the top of both charts, totally destroying the game’s servers, and actually postponing the international release. Folks in the US and other (mostly white) countries have already begun their quests to be the very best, like no one ever was. Our SceneGeeks aren’t ones to be left out just because of a pesky thing like international release dates though and we (and tons of other Egyptian pokéfans) have spent an inordinate amount of time running around Cairo catching all the cute little animals and locking them up in our balls.
Android users can get the app pretty easily
. Just allow your device to install “unauthorised” apps and download the .apk file (WARNING: download at your own risk!). iPhone owners need to create another Apple ID and register it in a country where the game is currently released. It’s all kind of complicated but we’re sure you intrepid, young smart phone users can figure it out.
The game uses your phone’s camera to ‘augment’ reality and puts the pokés right there in front of you. There are spots scattered around where you can restock on pokéballs and might run into some creatures or even find eggs, which you can steal and raise as your own. Since most of these ‘pokéspots’ are actual landmarks it’s excellent to get out and see new things in your neighbourhood you might not have noticed or appreciated before. Still, it’s kind of weird to see Tahrir's revolution graffiti in a Pokémon game. There’s even a Pokémon gym in the middle of the square with a giant Sandslash protecting it. Apparently, the police do not accept ‘gotta catch ‘em all’ as an excuse and we were summarily escorted away.
The app is best used with friends. The monsters persist in each game, which led to a few moments of violence when two of us laid claim to the same Rattata. We roved around wust el balad trying to root out all the Pidgeys and Ekans’, even scoring a pretty rare Kabuto (well I think it’s rare anyway). We’ve yet to make it to level 5, because technically we should be working, but soon, we’re sure, the whole city will be crawling with kids, and full grown adults, holding their phones and asking every passerby “Pikachu fein?!"
Check out some of our finds below.