While Niantic and The Pokémon Company's much-anticipated iOS and Android game Pokémon Go is still a few months from launch, TechCrunch recently got to go hands-on with the app to discover how it plays in a real-world scenario. Walking around San Francisco, TechCrunch's Greg Kumparak particularly liked the game's endearing ability to encourage hometown exploration, alongside its more intense, cooperative aspects.

Kumparak notes pausing at the base of the Bay Bridge when his phone vibrated to notify him that a virtual cache was hiding nearby. When opened, some historic details about the bridge were shared, alongside a few Poké Balls and one Pokémon Egg. Later, when he and the Niantic team arrived at a major San Francisco landmark -- Cupid's Span -- his phone notified him again, this time that a Pokémon was lurking nearby.

pokemon go image
After catching a Horsea near the shore of the Bay, Niantic encouraged Kumparak to engage in a battle in the nearby "Gym," located at Cupids' Span. Previous news surrounding the game detailed a user's ability to choose the yellow, blue or red team, who would all be in constant battle over gyms scattered throughout the real world.

As Kumparak battled within the Gym, Niantic divulged information on the cooperative elements required by players who take on Gyms with more than just one or two simple, low-level Pokémon.

To take over a gym, you have to boot out the Pokémon that are already there. You and your friends can work together to take them on; if you win, you get to leave some Pokémon there to defend it. Battles are fairly simple (it seems mostly about tapping the screen quickly vs. the strategy of the original games.) As more players join, gyms get more and more powerful, capable of holding more Pokémon, and thus harder to take over.

“So might it ever reach a point where you’ll need, say, dozens of people to gather together in one place to take over a gym?”, I ask.

“Oh, absolutely”, one of the devs responds. “That’s what’s supposed to happen.”

Overall, Kumparak came away largely pleased with Pokémon Go, saying that the experience made him want to "walk around San Francisco aimlessly" to discover new Pokémon and find a few new items for his character. A release date has yet to be set for the augmented reality game, but Niantic has said it aims to launch the game by the end of 2016.

Check out TechCrunch's full hands-on report of Pokémon Go for more details on the game and how it plays.

Top Rated Comments

bushido Avatar
78 months ago
indifferent about the whole gym aspect, sounds annoying. id rather just try to catch as many pokemon in the wild to complete the pokedex with some pokemon only coming out in the evening or different seasons and environments etc
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
krazifour Avatar
78 months ago
So groups of 40 people will start to gather at local Walmarts to overtake gyms. This should be interesting.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Amazing Iceman Avatar
78 months ago
Original Pokémon was all about strategy. Even in the anime, it was all about strategy.

Any idiot can learn to tap on the screen fast.

Pokémon-Go: Another great concept ruined by stupidity.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

iPhone 14 Pro Renders Highlight Multiple Design Changes

Wednesday May 25, 2022 8:56 am PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser today shared ostensibly accurate renders of the iPhone 14 Pro, providing the most accurate look yet at what the device could look like when it launches later this year. In the latest video on YouTube channel Front Page Tech, Prosser revealed renders of the iPhone 14 Pro made by Apple concept graphic designer Ian Zelbo, highlighting a range of specific design changes...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Screen Refresh Rate Upgrade Could Allow for Always-On Display

Tuesday May 24, 2022 7:23 am PDT by
Last year's iPhone 13 Pro models were the first of Apple's smartphones to come with 120Hz ProMotion displays, and while the two iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to feature the technology, their screens could well boast expanded refresh rate variability this time round. To bring ProMotion displays to the ‌iPhone 13 Pro models‌, Apple adopted LTPO panel technology with variable refresh...
iPad Pro USB C Feature Coral

Deals: Apple's iPad Pro Reaches Up to $449 Off in Amazon's Latest Sales

Wednesday May 25, 2022 10:09 am PDT by
Amazon is marking down a wide variety of 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models this week, with prices starting as low as $749.00 for the 11-inch tablet. You'll find the full list of sales below, all of which can be found on Amazon. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep...
apple account card

Wallet App Now Supports Apple Account Cards on iOS 15.5

Wednesday May 25, 2022 5:01 pm PDT by
Apple appears to have recently updated the Wallet app to allow users to add an Apple Account Card, which displays the Apple credit balance associated with an Apple ID. If you receive an App Store or Apple Store gift card, for example, it is added to an Apple Account that was previously visible in the App Store and Apple Store apps. As of today, the Apple Account balance can also be added to...
Apple Tap to Pay iPhone

Apple Stores Rolling Out iPhone-to-iPhone Contactless Payments Starting Today

Wednesday May 25, 2022 6:54 am PDT by
Apple in February unveiled a new "Tap to Pay on iPhone" feature that will allow compatible iPhones to accept payments via Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards, and other digital wallets, with no additional hardware required. Apple began testing the feature at its Apple Park Visitor Center earlier this month, and now Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has tweeted that the feature will begin...
apple wwdc 2022

Apple Shares WWDC 2022 Schedule, Keynote to Take Place June 6 at 10:00 a.m PT

Tuesday May 24, 2022 9:06 am PDT by
Apple today confirmed that the keynote event for the Worldwide Developers Conference will begin at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time on June 6, the first day of WWDC. The keynote will be an online-only event, though a select number of developers have been invited to the Apple Park campus for a viewing event. In addition to confirming the keynote date and time, Apple has shared the full WWDC 2022...