A new Pokémon app is sweeping the nation and bringing people together in Grand Rapids.
Pokémon Go, which uses GPS, camera and augmented reality, creates a virtual experience for users to capture Pokémon characters in their own neighborhood. Users walk to various Pokestops to collect potions, eggs, and pokeballs. Pokestops are usually landmarks, parks and local businesses. As the user walks, Pokémon characters appear and are able to be caught. The more Pokémon, the better.
There are 133 Pokémon to be caught. With every Pokémon that’s captured, the user gains experience points to then be used to level up. The higher the level, the more the game allows the user to upgrade their Pokémon. Once a user has strong Pokémon, they can attempt to capture a gym.
Besides Pokéstops, there are gyms in highly populated areas around town. A gym is a place where users can battle each other’s Pokémon, in an effort to take over the gym completely.
The free app creates an experience similar to the 1996 Nintendo video game, where the anime character explored his world and captures Pokémon. A new feature in the app is the creation of competitive teams – red (Team Valor), blue (Team Mystic) and yellow (Team Instinct). Users are able to pick a team and battle for gyms once they reach level five.
A Pokémon meetup in downtown Grand Rapids is scheduled for 9 p.m. Friday, and details can be found on the Facebook event page. Currently, 4,300 people have said they are attending the event that will start at Rosa Parks Circle.
The app can be found on both Google Play and the Apple Store.