Catching Pokémon is both easy and difficult. The set-up is simple. A Pokémon appears on your screen and you tap on it to begin “battling”. This isn’t the Pokémon vs Pokémon battle dynamic we have come to know and love, but instead some oversimplified, bastardization that just breaks it down to tossing pokéballs in hopes of catching something. For Poké-veterans, this will basically feel like you’re in the Safari Zone since your only options are changing the type of pokéball you want to use or to throw Razz Berries in an attempt to calm the Pokémon down. The part that requires skill is aiming the ball inside the center of the concentric circle, with a high capture rate of you get it inside the moving one. The problem comes with the higher level Pokémon and not being able to reach how far they sometimes are. You may think you’re drawing a straight line to the Pokémon across your screen, but even the slightest millimeter to either direction and your pokéball will launch to the side. I’ve lost hundreds of pokéballs that way, which becomes more infuriating when you’re using greatballs or ultraballs. You’ll quickly learn this lesson and turn of your Augmented Reality because that only makes catching Pokémon more difficult.
The Augmented Reality (AR) is a fun option included in the game. It uses your phone’s camera to display Pokémon in front of you. This is a lot of fun when you just start playing because this is a dream come true for the adults that grew up on the franchise. This is the closest we’ll get to being real life Pokémon masters. It is also fun to use the screenshot option in the game to take pictures of compromising positions and situations when the AR is on. Is there an Ekans on that person’s butt? I guess that anaconda did want some. What’s that Rattata doing in this fancy restaurant? Oh, it must be a Ratatouille-like situation. The jokes are endless, but the novelty does wear off pretty quickly. Put that together with making it harder to catch pokemon and the added drain on your phone’s battery and you too will be turning it off.