Parents! 4 tips to safely catch em all

Local authorities have released a warning advisory and another country has already banned the game. Take heed, the dangers of Pokémon adventures can be horribly REAL!

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If junior appears to be oddly enthusiastic about that MacRitchie hike you have planned for the weekend, it could be that they’re — much like their peers — in the grips of Pokémon GO-mania.

Pokémon GO, a smartphone app was launched in Singapore last weekend to much fanfare. The Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Civil Defence Force have both published advisories on their respective Facebook pages cautioning players on the perils of playing the game while walking or worse, driving! Overseas, the Iranian authorities have gone so far as to ban the game, for fear of security risks, according to a BBC report.

Here’s some basic details about the game you should take note of:

About the game

For the unacquainted, Pokémon GO is the latest iteration of the Pokémon game — the name of the game, “Pokémon” stands for pocket monsters and is often commonly used to describe the little creatures. It was first unveiled some 20 years ago. The game was played previously using the Nintendo Game Boy or Nintendo DS and 3DS handheld devices.

The objective of the game is for players (called Pokémon trainers) to catch “monsters” using Pokéballs — and use them to defeat other monsters that either belong to other players or are found in the wild. The GO version requires a fair bit of walking outdoors for one to successfully capture all 151 Pokémons.

“Pokémon GO isn’t a game that’s all bad news. As the gameplay will usually require physical activity, it’s a good enticement for your kid to get a good workout.”

The Pokémon GO app uses the GPRS connection on your phone — which can be draining on your phone’s battery — and through a virtual route map, direct players in their search for these illusive monsters and other players. Here are other in-game features parents should know about:

• Pokéstop – denoted with a blue marker on the map (looks like a floating blue cube). Tapping on the marker shows you a picture of a real world monument/building; swiping that picture will reward you with Pokéballs and an assortment of crucial supplies.

• Pokémon gym — these can appear at different locations, much like Pokéstops. Here, you can fight another player’s monsters with your own, and the winner gets “leadership” of the gym (according to team affiliation) and game currency.

• Pokécoins – the virtual currency used in the app which can be purchased using real cash/credit cards or earned by gym fights.

• Incense – a mysterious fragrance used to lure wild Pokémon to your location for 30 minutes. Can be bought with Pokécoins.

• Lure Module – a way to attract Pokémon to a Pokéstop for 30 minutes. Other players who might be in close proximity to you can also benefit from its use. Can be bought with Pokécoins.

• Candy and Stardust can be accumulated by finding and hatching eggs (walk a distance) or by catching wild Pokémons.

• The game is free to play on both Android and iPhone.

Click on to read our expert’s opinion on how you can safely integrate the game into family life…