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
105 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
105 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
105 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

Apple Vision Pro 2 Feature 2

Apple Reportedly Suspends Work on Vision Pro 2

Tuesday June 18, 2024 8:17 am PDT by
Apple has suspended work on the second-generation Vision Pro headset to singularly focus on a cheaper model, The Information reports. Apple was widely believed to have plans to divide its Vision product line into two models, with one "Pro" model and one lower-cost standard model. The company is said to have been deprioritizing the next Vision Pro headset over the past year, gradually...
Apple WWDC24 Apple Intelligence hero 240610

Apple Explains iPhone 15 Pro Requirement for Apple Intelligence

Wednesday June 19, 2024 4:48 am PDT by
With iOS 18, iPadOS 18, and macOS Sequoia, Apple is introducing a new personalized AI experience called Apple Intelligence that uses on-device, generative large-language models to enhance the user experience across iPhone, iPad, and Mac. These new AI features require Apple's latest iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max models to work, while only Macs and iPads with M1 or later chips will...
2022 back to school apple feature

Apple's 2024 Back to School Sale Launching This Week

Monday June 17, 2024 12:27 pm PDT by
Apple will launch its annual Back to School promotion for university students in the United States and Canada this week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Apple's back to school sales provide students with a free Apple gift card when purchasing a Mac or an iPad, and this year's promotion could help Apple push the new M2 iPad Air and M4 iPad Pro models. Last year, Apple offered U.S....
apple watch series 9 display

Kuo: Apple Watch Series 10 to Get Larger Screen and Thinner Design

Monday June 17, 2024 1:20 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 10 will be thinner and come in larger screen sizes than previous models, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his latest industry note -10-and-98075c44ce92">shared on Medium, Kuo said the screen size options on the next-generation Apple Watch will increase from 41mm to 45mm, and from 45mm to 49mm, while being encased in a thinner design. For reference,...
M4 Real Feature Red

M4 MacBook Pro Models Expected to Launch in Late 2024

Tuesday June 18, 2024 10:50 am PDT by
MacBook Pro models with an M4 chip are expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2024, according to display analyst Ross Young. In a tweet for subscribers, Young said that panel shipments for new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models are set to begin in the third quarter of 2024, which suggests a launch toward the end of the year. Apple started its M4 chip refresh in May with the launch...
Apple Pay Later feature 1

Apple Discontinuing Apple Pay Later

Monday June 17, 2024 11:44 am PDT by
Apple is discontinuing Apple Pay Later, the buy now, pay later feature that it just launched last October. Apple Pay Later is being discontinued as of today, but people who have existing Apple Pay Later loans will be able to continue to pay them off and manage them through the Wallet app. Apple announced plans to end the feature in a statement provided to 9to5Mac, which also notes that...
watchOS 11 Thumb 2 1

watchOS 11 Supports Automatic Nap Detection

Monday June 17, 2024 4:05 pm PDT by
watchOS 11 appears to include a new feature that allows an Apple Watch to automatically detect and record when you're taking a nap. As shared on Reddit, an Apple Watch owner took a nap and was able to see the sleep data recorded in the Health app, despite not putting the device in Sleep Mode. Right now, the Apple Watch only tracks and records sleep when it is in Sleep Mode, and there is no...
iPod Nano vs iPod Pro Ad Feature 1

Apple Developing Thinner MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone

Monday June 17, 2024 2:22 am PDT by
Apple intends to slim down the MacBook Pro, Apple Watch, and iPhone, with the new ultra-thin M4 iPad Pro a sign of the company's new design trajectory, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. When the M4 iPad Pro was unveiled last month, Apple touted it as the company's thinnest product ever, and even compared it to the 2012 iPod nano to emphasize its slim dimensions. Writing in the latest ...