Pokemon Go's US beta period begins today


'Limited testing'

Developer Niantic Inc has announced that Pokemon Go's beta sessions are now being extended from overseas to the US as of today. As a "limited" beta, specific people will be chosen to test out the app. New gameplay details have also been shared, like the ability to throw Poke Balls, locate PokeStops (at "interesting" locations like art galleries and monuments) for items, and the option to join one of three teams.

Players will also dodge attacks by swiping the screen, and defeating enemy Gyms will decrease their "Prestige" rating, at which point a hostile takeover can begin (think "checking in" in any number of social apps -- which is fine in theory, but could be problematic with the microtransactions being pay-to-win). They've also provided us with more screens, and uh, I have to say the Niantic models and UI look really weird next to the colorful Pokemon.

I've heard not-great things about the beta, but as always I want to judge for myself at some point. This sounds really cool in theory, but without literally thousands of people adopting the app it will fizzle out and become an isolated venture.

Pokemon Go [Niantic Labs]

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