Lonely Planet Writer

Pokémon comes to life at famous landmarks in cities with release of Pokémon GO

Pokémon, the video game which most millennials will remember playing or collecting and trading cards for, is about to come to life at landmarks around the globe.

Pokemon Go
Pokemon Go augmented smartphone game coming to life

‘Pokémon GO’ is a new augmented reality smartphone game which will bring some of the game’s characters to our streets, parks, roads and famous landmarks in cities and towns all across the world. Similar to Ingress- the smartphone game which required people to visit real life locations- Pokémon GO will take on many of the same rules.  So you just never know where you might find one of the pocket monsters hiding. The game- which also requires users to wear a wristband which will alert them to a new nearby portal as they are on the move- is being designed by The Pokémon Company, Nintendo and Niantic. Users will be able to capture Pokémon and battle opponents in ‘gyms’ on the mobile game, as per previous video games in the popular series.


But this time, users will be alerted to the so called ‘Poke Stops’ and ‘gyms’ at various portals as they travel around the world.  The smartphone technology will then employ your camera to bring your surroundings onto your screen, revealing a Pokémon in the location before you. So far users who have been testing the game have reported finding some of the so-called ‘Poke Stops’ near the world famous Bay Bridge in San Francisco, as well as the Cupid’s Span art installation which is along the Embarcadero in the American city.  This is also the same city where the world games will be held later this year.

Bay Bridge, San Francisco.
‘Poke Stops’ near the Bay Bridge, San Francisco. Image by Sancho McCann / CC BY 2.0

The gaming world has gone into overdrive about the upcoming and highly anticipated release of the application and it was announced this week that it will be launching for Android and iOS users in July. Just like Ingress, it is expected that millions of landmarks and points of significant interest will take on a whole new meaning for the gaming community. The concept of finding Pokémon around the world was initially introduced as an April Fools Day prank by Google on their Maps several years ago. But the idea soon gained momentum and interest, leaving fans wanting more. Pokémon was a popular children’s cartoon, card trading and computer game in the late 90s early 00s. Mashed.com reports that JC Smith from The Pokémon Company said: ‘it’s exactly what Pokémon games are about… you’re a kid in a town, and you go and explore it, and capture Pokémon, and battle.’ There has been a great reaction to this weeks release date revelation with many fans pledging to buy the game and the accompanying wrist accessory.