Google Maps introduces new Pokemon Challenge app

Posted on 1 April 2014
By Ashleigh Panther
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Google are famous for their April Fools day tricks, with stunts such as the shutdown of YouTube, but this year they are sure to create a stir with the announcement of a partnership with Nintendo and an augmented reality game, inviting users to become Pokemon masters.

Using your mobile phone, you are invited to play the game by updating the google maps app either through the Apps store on an apple device or through Google Play. The update will allow you to see and try to catch different Pokemon depending on your location using your mobile phone camera.

The video advert for the game says “At Google, we seek to hire the most exceptional people. Today we are announcing a new job role and challenge – Pokémon Master. Pokémon Masters are the world’s greatest digital explorers, and their passion for exploring will take our maps to the next dimension.”

Players who are successful were even offered jobs at Google.

The game starts at the ‘Pokemon Lab’ in Tokyo’s Roppongi Hills district and comes with a Pokedex so you can track all of the pokemon that you have seen and captured, just like in the Nintendo games.

“Leave no stone unturned or city unzoomed as you seek out wild Charizards and Pikachus to add to your Pokédex. Be vigilant—you never know if a wild Steelix will appear in Tokyo, Japan or New York City, USA.”

The advert for the game shows a traveller searching caves and hills for new Pokemon to catch, he comes across a Charizard, which he then captures, before putting his phone away and showing off his range of Pokemon badges.

Although the game advertised in the advert, the full augmented reality game is not actually available, there is a feature available on Google Maps which can be accessed by tapping the search bar and pressing ‘Start Now’ which will open a map full of wild pokemon for you to capture.

Watch the advert here and head over to Google Maps to check out the challenge.