I first read about Pokémon GO on twitter a few weeks ago before it was released in the UK.

On the day it was released here I added the app to my iPhone and went outside to just test it (along with all the other parents who were just ‘testing it for their kids’)

Just seeing if it works… Before the kids are home. Honest #pokemongo

A photo posted by Jo (@geekfairyjo) on

I caught my first Pokémon in the garden and thought well this is easy….I didn’t realise then that would be the last garden Pokémon.

The basics of the game are you walk around and when a Pokémon is near you can see it on the screen, you then throw a Pokéball at it and if you can hit it you catch it.

The aim of the game is to ‘catch them all!”


The first issue for letting your kids play this is they will probably need your device.  The minimum requirements for phones and devices can be found here.

And then you have to think about safety of the device when they are walking around with a possibly £300+ phone, and add to that the chances of them dropping it.

I have a loopy case on mine meaning it is harder to drop even for small hands on a gist iPhone 6s+

They need to be aware that walknig around with the phone they still need to look where they are going, they need to be aware of traffic and also in busy places of other people and the slight chance someone might try and take the phone.  For most under 11’s (I am guessing after that they might be out on their own?) they will be with you, so I explained they need to walk next to me and stay with me.

For this reason as well as battery life we turned off the AR Mode (see here how)

Playing the game

Basically you walk around and you will get Pokemon pop up on the screen, and then you chuck a pokeball at them and try and hit them.

For trickier Pokemon (as you progress the HP of the Pokemon increases and they become harder to catch, the colour ring around the can be green, yellow or orange,. A green ring indicates the capture is low difficulty, orange indicates intermediate difficulty, and red indicates extreme difficulty.) you can feed them a Razz Berry and use a Great Ball to hit them in stead.

Once the Pokemon arrives on your scren, hold the ball and the ring colour will change, when it is at its smallest you will get the best hit.  To use a Razz Berry tap your backpack and choose it, same for swapping to a Great Ball once in the catching the pokemon screen.

Sometimes once caught, they get out.  And you can take lots of balls to catch them, (our max is 13 for one Pokemon.  And sometimes they get out, you use a load of ball and they run away (REALLY ANNOYING!)


As you catch more Pokemon you get XP and progress up the levels, you will then get to choose which team to be on, Team Mystic, Team Valor and Team Instinct. Team info here

Is that it?

Well it depends, it can be, it can just be about catching as many as you can, or it can get way more complicated.

We have really enjoyed having the summer holidays to get out and about playing Pokemon, we have walked far more than usual and been to places we wouldn’t normally go, and whilst we have been looking at a phone some of the time, it isn’t all the time.

I’ll let the small boy explain some more about the different things you can do

Evolving Pokemon

Transferring Your Pokemon

Hatching Eggs

Gym Battles

A few things that have helped us are having a decent portable power pack, this one is brilliant, also fantastic for camping and days out.  Kept 2 of us with watches and phones charged for 3 days away.

And leads for the chargers, I only use the Syncwire cables at home, in the car and when out for all devices (apple, android and kindles etc.) They don’t break or fail and are reasonably priced too.

One of the best things we have found is letting Ben have the phone on car journeys, he can do pokestops and catch things and we can drive without ‘are we there yet’ A win win!

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