Have you seen an increasing number of people looking at their phones, aimlessly pacing down the road and bumping into walls? Well, it’s not the next stage of the techno-rapture, it’s all down to a brand new game that’s getting users outside for once. If you’ve been anywhere near the internet over the past week, you’ve probably seen people obsessively chatting about ‘Pokémon Go’, and if you’ve been wondering what it is, allow us to fill in the blanks.
Pokémon Go, the latest bizarre internet global phenomenon, has just landed in Croatia. Already released in more than 30 countries, the interactive game is taking over both the internet and the actual, real-life streets. The mobile app that has been flooding Twitter, Facebook, Reddit and even the news uses your GPS to create a real-life map on your phone and displays where those sneaky Pokémon are hiding. All you have to do is wander the streets, happen upon one of the critters and collect them. You can even take pictures of the Pokémon in your natural habitat using your camera and refill your Pokéballs by walking to places of note that have a podium, clicking on the target and spinning the image of the landmark – you might even learn a thing or two about the local area as some podiums have little factoids for your trouble.
And if hoarding Pokémon isn’t enough, you can visit gyms which can be found at larger landmarks to go to battle with the AI.
So that explains why you might have seen a few crazed-looking people rushing to odd locations while clutching their phones. So far, the Konzum supermarket in Radnička Street has had players gathering outside, as the area became the first Pokémon point. Other Konzums are soon to follow suit - the chain has, unsurprisingly, capitalised on the marketing opportunity.
But it's not all fun and games. According to reports, nine people in the US have been mugged by three people who used the app to locate distracted users. A girl in Wyomming found a dead body while using the app. And everyone’s phones are dying a lot quicker as it drains your battery like no other app we’ve seen before.
The Croatian Mountain Rescue Service, meanwhile, have implored people visiting mountains on the Adriatic coast to refrain from playing the game. In their warning, they strongly advised against hunting Pokemon especially on Velebit and Biokovo mountains.
All that aside, it is ridiculously fun and there’s nothing like bumping into other 'Pokémon Go' players on the streets, even if it is outside your front door at 10pm at night or while you’re queuing to snap up your Pokémon while at Maksimir. It’s also a great way to clock up the step counter, learn a thing or two about your local area and play a video game away from your sofa.
So get ready to become addicted because there are 133 types of Pokemon available and a standard pack can hold 250, and you know what they say – gotta catch ‘em all!