It's safe to say that anything trying to stage a second act — be it a movie, game, or toy — faces an uphill battle. Sequels tend to fall flat and attempts to modernise old-school favourites often feel contrived and silly. So, it's come as a surprise to those who aren't Pokémon diehards, that Pokémon Go, a free mobile game based on the original 1995 Game Boy release and trading card universe, is an uncontested success. It’s one of Nintendo's earliest ventures into mobile games and it’s giving the Pokémon franchise a second chance at taking over our lives. The game has gone viral, with everyone from parents to kids and college students geeking out over catching the little monsters. Since launching in the App Store and on Google Play earlier this week, Pokémon Go has become the top-downloaded and highest revenue-grossing iPhone app in the U.S. (U.K. release date TBC). Not a bad comeback. Pokémon Go is different from your typical smartphone game. Instead of staying on your screen, it's brought what was, for many millennials, a beloved childhood game into a very 21st-century world. The game uses augmented reality a to place the Pokémon in your life. You have to walk around to play the GPS-based game, seeking out critters like Abra and Electabuzz and "throwing" Poké Balls to capture them. You're walking down the street and — bam! — there's Ekans. People are actually risking their lives and interrupting important life events, like the birth of a child, for this phone app. As many players have noted, your safety isn't exactly the game's first priority. They've caused some people to travel to creepy, hilarious, and, at times, dangerous places. Here are some of the most craziest: They are present in the hospital room, while your wife is going through labor:
They make you chase them into the middle of the street:
They sit, taunting you when you're out eating dinner:
They even glare you down while a cop writes you up for a ticket:
They're present at funerals — but not to pay their respects. (Note to users: a funeral probably isn't the most appropriate place to capture a Pokémon, no matter how obsessed you are with the game).
Is Pokémon Go the new Neko Atsume? It definitely seems that way. Apparently, we can't resist virtually "collecting" things. Prepare yourself: If you're not obsessed yourself, you'll be spending at least the next few months hearing friends complain about failed captures and never-ending quests for Pokémon medals.