It’s the game everyone is talking about – Pokemon GO is taking over the world and sending Nintendo’s share price soaring.
The augmented reality game lets people “catch” Pokemon in real life using an augmented reality screen overlay, and is already one of the most popular smartphone games ever released.
So whether you’re a Pokemon obsessive or you don’t know your Pikachu from your Pidgey, here’s everything you need to know about the hit game.
:: It’s not out in the UK yet – but there is a sneaky workaround
The game is out in the US, Australia and New Zealand – but UK users have been told they’ll have to wait until Nintendo has upgraded its servers before getting their hands on the game.
But there is a workaround for UK iPhone users to download it right now.
By signing out, then registering a new account – with the United States location checked instead of the UK – the game should download without any issues.
:: It is single-handedly destroying the cliche that gamers are lazy couch potatoes
With armies of Pokemon GO users combing the streets to the find their next creature, gamers are inadvertently getting fit.
Some users have pointed out that while US First Lady Michelle Obama has been trying to encourage children to live more healthily during her husband’s two terms in office – Pokemon GO is proving to be a bigger success.
One Twitter user wrote: “Pokemon GO has done more to combat childhood obesity in 24 hours than Michelle Obama has in the past eight years.”
Nintendo’s share price is soaring
As Sky News reported on Friday, Nintendo’s shares have surged after Pokemon GO shot to the top of Apple’s app chart.
Nintendo was late to mobile gaming, but the success of the free-to-play game (which has in-app purchases) has cheered investors.
Nintendo is due to release its latest console next Spring. One of the reasons it has been reluctant to embrace mobile gaming is to protect its lucrative console business.
:: It has led gamers into some sticky situations
The game creates a virtual overlay across the real world, using your phone screen.
That means that to find Pokemon, you actually have to leave your home.
But with that comes risks – one concerned Pokemon GO player tweeted a screengrab of the game with the caption: “Real talk though – why is this Jigglypuff leading me to this unmarked white van?”
Another had a road safety warning: “Pokemon GO is dangerous. The amount of times my friends have been walking in the road while playing, it’s getting out of hand.”
In rural Wyoming, it led a 19-year-old woman to a dead man’s body in a river.
Meanwhile four teenagers have been accused of using the game to lure victims to certain locations to rob them.
:: Pokemon GO will eventually allow players to trade Pokemon
The chief executive of game developer Niantic, John Hanke, says the game will eventually allow players to trade their Pokemon with their friends.
It harks back to the Game Boy era, when trading Pokemon across different versions of the game was one of the franchise’s more enduring features.
:: More people are now talking about Pokemon than ever before
Google Trends data shows that more people are searching for the word Pokemon than at any other time – despite it being a 20-year-old gaming franchise.
Most searches come from the Philippines, Chile and Peru – despite the game not being released there yet.
In the US, the state that searches for Pokemon GO the most is Indiana, closely followed by Ohio and California.
Meanwhile on Android, Pokemon GO is about to clock up more daily active users than Twitter.
:: Everyone seems to be playing it
A YouTuber called Chase took a walk in his neighbourhood – and spotted dozens of people wandering the streets, staring at their phone screens.
He posted a video of him approaching them and asking whether they were playing Pokemon GO, and the majority said yes.
It’s distracting people from their work
There have been several sightings of workplace warnings, telling employees to stop playing the addictive game during work hours.
One message to employees warned: “We are paying you to work … save it for break time.” Read more here: http://news.sky.com/
— 9GAG (@9GAG) July 10, 2016