POKEMON GO in Singapore: My Early Days in Hunting and Finding Pokemon

Since it had been launched in Singapore yesterday, Pokemon Go fever has swept Singapore. And more people than usual seemed to be outside yesterday – possibly to catch Pokemon.

Even when I had been at a running event at Sentosa, I could see plenty of people playing the game both before and after the run, and several friends were catching Pokemon together.

POKEMON GO fever has swept Singapore.

POKEMON GO fever has swept Singapore.

A great way to get people outdoors

For starters, this game is definitely a great way to get people outside and be active. Those who are normally sedentary, now have a great excuse to go outdoors. Even businesses such as ION Orchard have capitalised on the Pokemon Go fever that is now sweeping through Singapore, with ION Orchard releasing lures to attract players to PokeStops at the mall – to catch Pokemon and hopefully visit the shops at the same time.

And I can see why cafes and eateries all around Singapore are releasing lures to get players to their nearest PokeStop and thus their shop, to help boost their business too. Pokemon Go players may eventually cave in to buy themselves a drink or possibly even a meal when they are out catching Pokemon. For example, some of the cafes and eateries that have gained from being PokeStops are Killiney Kopitiam at Killiney Road, Fish & Co at Penang Road and the Maxwell Road Food Centre.

At the same time, the Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Air Force have issued Pokemon Go themed warnings about safety and trespassing. I do feel that safety and being aware of where you are walking, is one of the most important things when you are playing Pokemon Go. In fact I had already seen online that there had been a cycling related accident involving Pokemon Go, in one of the parks yesterday.

Locations across Singapore can benefit with Lures and PokeStops.

Locations across Singapore can benefit with Lures and PokeStops.

In addition, Wildlife Reserves Singapore have also used Pokemon Go as a great excuse to attract people to visit. This is because they have released an advisory to let people know about the Pokemon Gyms and PokeStops that are on their reserves.

May be distracting to catch Pokemon whilst running

However, for runners who enjoy clocking their miles, I feel that it may be a little distracting to catch Pokemon while running. This is because Pokemon seem to appear every few metres, which means that you have to keep on stopping your run in order to catch them. While it is possible to aim PokeBalls whilst you are running, the chances of you catching the Pokemon and so wasting your PokeBalls are increased.

I also found that while it is really easy to catch Pokemon in the lower levels, it gets harder as you level up, with Pokemon breaking out of the PokeBalls and you will thus be required to use more balls on the same Pokemon. If you are running, this can be rather annoying – walking will be much more productive in this case.

Catching Pokemon can be distracting when trying to focus on running.

Catching Pokemon can be distracting when trying to focus on running.

Runners can benefit from the hatching of eggs

And during their training too, runners can hatch their eggs at the same time. This is because eggs are hatched after either 2km, 5km or 10km of either walking or running, depending on the quality of the Pokemon hatching from the eggs. Driving does not help because the Pokemon Go app relies on your phone’s in-built pedometer – this means that you will have to actually walk or run. Slow cycling may also do the trick but then again, you will have to go really slowly.

For runners, this means that they can easily complete a 2km, 5km or a 10km run to hatch their eggs. And it is the 10km eggs that are the most valuable in terms of the quality and types of Pokemon that hatch from them.

Not everyone can run 10km, but for a runner, it is certainly not a problem. I wonder whether more people will sign up for running races now, with the purpose of hatching eggs in Pokemon Go? And perhaps they may then even take up running regularly…

When you run, it is a great time to hatch your eggs!

When you run, it is a great time to hatch your eggs!

What better way to tell your fellow runners that you had initially picked up running because of Pokemon Go?

But to hatch eggs faster though, you do not always need to go out for a run – if you keep one egg in the incubator at all times – and then have your daily walk from say the MRT station or the bus stop to the office, and vice versa, this will go some way into helping to hatch eggs and thus completing your Pokedex. The only drawback is that it will certainly be a massive drain on your battery, as you will be required to keep your phone on all the time.

PokeStops and Gyms are close by

With Singapore being so small, local players are at an advantage in that the Pokemon Gyms and PokeStops are so close by. Unlike in large countries such as the United States, we do not have to do a lot of travelling to get from one PokeStop or Gym to another one. In fact, on a simple bus ride from Dhoby Ghaut to East Coast Road, I saw at least 15 to 20 PokeStops around.

Some of the PokeStops and gyms are also a great way to find out more about Singapore history and iconic landmarks on the island. This is great for parents who are taking their children out on Pokemon excursions. The mums and dads can elaborate more about the actual places as they and their kids catch the Pokemon. For example, the Chinese Garden, which had first opened to the public back in 1975, is known to have plenty of PokeStops as well as Pokemon gyms in the area.

PokeStops are a great way to find out more about Singapore.

PokeStops are a great way to find out more about Singapore.

Pulau Ubin is also a great place for Pokemon Go players – this island holds lots of significance in Singapore, as it is commonly known to be the last kampong community here. The rustic roads and coconut palm trees are a great reprieve from the bustling city lifestyle of Singapore and a great link back to Singapore’s past. And in Pokemon Go, it contains a large number of PokeStops as well as gyms. What better way to get young Singaporeans to explore one of Singapore’s last remaining places of historical significance, than Pokemon Go?

CLICK HERE for tips to play POKEMON GO.

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