Smartphone game that’s still Go-ing strong in Huntingdonshire more than a year after first hitting screens

PUBLISHED: 12:57 01 September 2017

Pokemon Go is still as popular as ever in Huntingdon with dozens meeting to battle

Pokemon Go is still as popular as ever in Huntingdon with dozens meeting to battle

Archant

If you see a sudden rush of people turning up at a park or housing estate in Huntingdonshire then you might be a little concerned, but it is likely they are playing mobile phone-based game Pokemon Go.

If you see a sudden rush of people turning up at a park or housing estate in Huntingdonshire then you might be a little concerned, but it is likely they are playing mobile phone-based game Pokemon Go.

The augmented reality game first sprung to smartphone screens last year, and it is still as popular as ever with more than 400 people signed up to be part of a Facebook group exclusively for fans of the game in the district.

The Huntingdon Pokemon group was launched last year by Ross Chandler, and its popularity has grown so quickly that now it has its own messaging feature to allow fanatics to meet up and share the latest “gym” – a place to find one of the creatures.

More recently, the game has evolved to include raids which contain a rare Pokemon but, to be in with a chance to catch the creatures, players must battle for it, which has become more of an event since the group’s Facebook chat was launched.

“Originally, we would turn up to these raids and find one or two people waiting for someone to battle it with,” chat founder Tom Burton said.

“We would then be disappointed as we didn’t have enough people to do it. But now we can get a big group together and do it.

“It is connecting people all over Huntingdon and our raids have increased over the past year.”

Tom, 32, decided to sign up to Pokemon Go in March after his wife, Marie, began playing it, and since then he has walked almost 600 miles to collect the elusive Pokemon.

“I’ve been surprised at the number of adults that are playing compared to kids,” Tom, of West Street, in Godmanchester said.

“I am actually a member of a national group and there are people who live in major cities who don’t have anyone to play with so it is unusual that so many people from this area have met up.”

Recently the group rushed to a housing estate in the town to battle and have also met up for a raid in Hinchingbrooke Country Park.

“There were 35 of us that met up in the park all of us looking at our phones. We get a few funny looks and people twitching curtains but we haven’t had anyone call the police on us just yet.” Tom added.

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