If you like Pokémon and spending time outside, The Pokémon Company and Alphabet’s Niantic Labs would like to have a word with you.
The long awaited Pokémon Go is now accepting beta users in the United States. You can sign up for the privilege right here and, if selected, you’ll get to shape the development of the Pokémon-themed augmented reality game ahead of its release later this year.
After months of hype-building, complete with a number of leaked gameplay videos, Pokémon Go is in the final stages of development. To iron out the last minute kinks – and to see how real word players actually interact with the game – Niantic and The Pokémon Company are looking for beta testers with real world gaming experience, the right OS (Android 4.3 or higher), and a willingness to play, uhm, pokéball.
If you’re not familiar with Pokémon Go, but feel the urge to catch’em all, you should know that the game tries to translate the Pokémon master experience to the real world. Wild Pokémon are scattered around town and you have to track them down and capture them with an expert pokéball throw. The twist is you have to actually go outside and physically get to the location of the Pokémon in order to catch. And, in the process, you may actually meet other Pokémon masters and challenge them to a friendly match.
Here’s a super-idealized interpretation of what the game should feel like:
And here’s an actual look at the gameplay:
For now, developers are keeping mum on the release date of Pokémon Go for Android, but with the beta underway, it probably won’t be too long.
So, who’s signing up for this?