Pokémon Go Hits The UK: Time To Freak Out

Time to get your Fudge hair wax out, slip on your fingerless gloves and bid adieu to all your loved ones. As of right now, Pokémon GO is available for download in the UK on the app store. Hurry. Hurry. Go. Go. They will not catch themselves.
We've already heard of Jigglypuff spottings in Lewisham and a Bulbasaur loose in Dalston. If you're not following here, where have you been? We're of course referring to the animated gaming phenomenon of the '90s, Pokémon, that is taking the globe by storm. It has been available in Germany, the US and Australia for some time, and we've been patiently warming the players' bench in anticipation of its UK release. The app was designed by Niantic and the Pokémon Company, and it's been quite popular... According to The Guardian, yesterday (the day before launch) there were 350,000 active "trainers" on mobile network EE in the UK. The game overtook Candy Crush as the biggest mobile app game in US history, with over 20 million users in a day. So what's all the fuss about?
Beyond being immediately transported back to your youth and the year 1995, you'll also find yourself fully immersed within the geo-social app that uses GPS location and real world maps to create an augmented virtual reality: i.e you'll see Pokémon superimposed onto your real environment; they'll pop up at your bus stop, you'll find them hanging out at Tescos and peering round the London Eye (if you happen to be there.)
There are also Pokéstops where you can pick up gear for your Pidgey and your Rattata, who you'll want to train up so you can battle your friends and their Poké-squads. Sounds amazing, right? Demand for the app is so frenzied, there have been periods where new accounts haven't been able to load. The app has added millions to the value of Nintendo, which co-owns the franchise. In fact it's already made Nintendo an estimated £1.2million according to The Telegraph, and their shares have increased by 50%. And, wait for it, the term "Pokémon Go" has outstripped the word "porn" on Google. Holy Pikachu. Better than sex? Only one way to find out.

More from Pop Culture

R29 Original Series