You may have noticed more people than usual wandering aimlessly around town staring at their phones these past few days. This is because of the new phenomenon, Pokémon GO – a new Pokémon game for iOs and Android devices. It just came out and is already encouraging gamers to spend more time outside finding creatures to capture, than they have in a decade.
The new mobile game requires aspiring Pokémon trainers to roam the world (or their immediate neighborhood) in search of Pokémon in the wild. The game uses your phone’s GPS to pinpoint the trainer’s (your) location and shows a map of where wild Pokémon may be found as you roam about Arizona. When you get close enough to a Pokémon, you can capture it with a Pokéball by aiming and swiping your screen. The best part? You can take screenshots of the Pokémon you find, especially if they wind up in odd places like a toilet or an office chair. #selfieop
Pokemon GO

In addition to capturing Pokémon, you can also battle other’s captured Pokémon at local Pokémon gyms, which are usually large local “landmarks” such as Bookmans Mesa. That’s right, Bookmans is a Pokémon Gym! We also have a PokéStop at our location where you can attain more Pokéballs and other items to help you catch ’em all! PokéStops are located all over town and show up as blue markers on your map. We’re anxiously awaiting to hear where Tucson’s PokéStops are, because you best believe we’ll be there.
Pokémon GO is a fun excuse to get outside and explore your local neighborhoods and city/town, but here are a few Do’s and Ds Not’s when it comes to playing the game:
Do pay attention to your surroundings. It can be very easy to lose track of where you are walking when you’re staring down at your phone trying to find a Pokémon because #obsessed. Make sure that you’re glancing up regularly so you don’t run into anything, or anyone. The game gives you a warning on the loading screen about this…but reiteration never hurts.
Do not play Pokémon GO while driving. This should be an obvious “don’t” but nevertheless people have tried. No Pokémon is worth risking your life or anyone else’s. Please, put the phone down and keep your eyes on the road.
Do transfer duplicate Pokémon to Professor Willow. The variety of Pokémon you’ll find depends largely on where you are. Parks and lakes usually have a ton of Pokémon but most often you’ll find yourself catching the same types over and over again if you’re just searching your immediate surroundings. Luckily, you have the option of transfer these duplicate Pokémon to Professor Willow in exchange for candy. Candy can be used to make your Pokémon stronger and evolve them. We wish it had the same effect on humans.
Do not close your app if you are trying to incubate a Pokémon egg. Eggs are a great way to capture a random Pokémon by incubating them in an Egg Incubator that you can purchase or find at a Pokéstop. You receive an egg automatically when you start a new character. However, the incubation process is based on how many steps you take (incentive) and the app only logs your steps when it’s active, which means that if you close the app or your device is in sleep mode, your egg won’t grow. You have to keep the app open while you’re walking around to make sure your egg will hatch, so it’s best to start the incubation process at the beginning of a hunting session.
Do hunt during different hours of the day. Different Pokémon show up at different times of day, so going out at night can increase your chances of finding nocturnal Pokémon. Just be sure to bring a friend with you and don’t go wandering unfamiliar at night places alone. Safety first, then teamwork.
Do not trespass into illegal or dangerous areas. Again, no Pokémon is worth getting into real life trouble for, so be careful when you go hunting for Pokémon in unfamiliar areas. Sometimes they can wind up in strange places including private properties where the owners may not take kindly to strangers skulking around their yard at night, even if your excuse is the coolest one we’ve heard all year. And please do not enter a Police Station to catch a Pokémon (yes…someone did this, and no, “Can you please move? Pikachu is behind you.” won’t make you sound sane).
Do use Incense to attract Pokémon to you. Pokémon = Yogi? Sometimes you may not be able to get out and about as much as you would like in order to find Pokémon. The solution is to use Incense to attract them to you wherever you are. Incense is an item that can either be bought from the in-game shop or randomly found at Pokéstops. Once used, random Pokémon will show up near you in about 30 minutes.
Do not play Pokémon GO while you’re working. Pokémon GO is incredibly distracting (we mean awesome) and it’s easy to lose track of how much time you spend playing it. Save hunting for your breaks or before or after work, although an office challenge could double as team building. Just saying.
Do explore and battle in various Pokémon Gyms. While wandering around and capturing Pokémon can be loads of fun, the real game starts once you hit level 5 and can join one of three teams (Red, Blue, or Yellow) to take over local Gyms. To take over a gym, you can assign one Pokémon to an open (unassigned) Gym, or if there is already a player’s Pokémon assigned to a gym (only one can be assigned per gym) you can battle their Pokémon to try and take it over. There are many gyms scattered around town and it’s worth exploring different ones and to battle and try to take it over for your team. They appear as large markers on your map. (The Mesa Bookmans location is a gym currently under Blue control).
A bonus do…Do meet up with other trainers and share tips. One of the fun things about Pokémon GO is that it gives people the opportunity to meet other trainers while out hunting. You may run across other trainers trying to catch Pokémon in a park or even in your local Bookmans and can share tips about where you found certain kinds of Pokémon. Amazing game and friend finder in one.
Now go out there and catch ’em all!
By C’loni Bailey, Asst Manager Bookmans Mesa