After the attempt at logging in with your temperamental Pokémon Trainer Club account and then completing the near-impossible task of choosing a username, you are thrust into the world of Pokémon Go. After being briefly welcomed by the foxy Professor Willow, you are then left on your own to figure out every single aspect of the game. Even for the most experienced Pokémon trainer, the game’s design is completely unintuitive. There is no walkthrough, hardly any hints and even less clues of how most of the game’s key mechanisms work. Imagine being barefoot in a dark room with sharp-cornered furniture and jagged toys all over the floor. This is exactly the how steep the learning curve is once you start the game. Even several weeks into it people are still figuring out new options within the game.
I was one of the first people to play Pokémon Go as soon as the US servers were up, so I didn’t have Reddit or any of the other guides or resources that are now readily available to new players, so there was a lot of poking, swiping, slapping, flicking and even phone tossing. The interface is simple, clean and fairly basic. Navigation feels completely familiar, however, since it uses the Google Maps API. One of the more intelligent qualities of the game is how it utilizes that API to spawn correlating types of Pokémon. To find water Pokémon just go near large bodies of water, for rock types go to mountainous areas, etc. The game also uses time of day for releasing certain Pokémon, such as there being an influx of ghost and psychic type Pokémon after dark.