Unless you’ve been passed out under a rock somewhere, you’ve probably heard of Pokémon Go by now. For those who have been passed out under a rock (I’m not judging), or who have selectively ignored the phenomenon, stay tuned. I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to get you up to speed.
I should probably start out with a full confession: I’m a user of Pokémon Go. While the badges and medals aren’t going to get me anywhere in life or achieve world peace, they’re fun. They push me out of my comfort zone, make me get out of the house and actually do things. People laugh when I tell them I play, and I get it.
But hear me out. Chances are if you’re reading this right now, you’ve probably heard of or used the Untappd app. And again, if you’ve been passed out under a rock (still not judging!), in short, it’s a beer rating/rare-beer finding/social drinking app (and—obviously—I’m an Untappd user). I’m sure some of you are rolling your eyes at the mere thought of playing Pokémon Go, but thinking, “Dude, of course I use Untappd.”
I have some news for you, eye rollers: they’re really not that different. Let’s take a look, shall we?
Here’s the lowdown on Pokémon Go:
- Download the app to your phone and set up an account. Link it to Google, and kiss your online privacy good-bye.
- Once you’re in, drink a beer. You’ve earned it. And while you’re at it, see where your nearest PokéStops and Gyms are located, and let your friends know where you’re headed.
- Get off your butt and go outside. Use the handy map in the app, and start exploring.
- If your phone buzzes, you’ve stumbled upon something awesome. You might have found a Pokémon to collect, a Training Gym, or a PokéStop. When you’ve racked up enough Experience Points, head to a Training Gym where you can kick some local Pokémon ass. Woo-hoo!
- The goal is to collect all the Pokémon, but there are coveted rare Pokémon to hoard, which you can store in your backpack, along with all sorts of other loot.
- Level up, earn Pokémon fame, and become the master of all. And just look at your friends’ social media posts. They all have lame, easy-to-find Pokémon, while you hiked through a boa constrictor-infested jungle to get your latest. Peasants.
You’re shaking your head, right? This is something you’d never do. I mean, how juvenile is it to collect medals on an app that will get you nowhere in life?
Let’s look at Untappd.
- Download the app to your phone and set up an account. Link it to Facebook, and kiss your online privacy good-bye.
- Once you’re in, drink a beer. You’ve earned it. And while you’re at it, check in that beer you’re drinking on Untappd and let your friends know what you thought of it.
- Get off your butt and go to your local brewery or beer bar. You’ve finished all the beers in your fridge and you need more to rate. Use the handy map in the app and start exploring (responsibly).
- If your phone buzzes, don’t answer it. You’re at your local watering hole and have just ordered the freshly tapped special cask that’ll be gone in an hour. And IT’S IN YOUR HANDS. You kick ass. Woo-hoo!
- Don’t forget to rate the beer. If you didn’t rate it, it didn’t happen. What’s that? You got a badge? Hell yes. Now you must GET THEM ALL.
- Level up, earn Untappd fame. Keep seeking out rare beers, going to breweries and beer bars before they’re cool, and racking up badges. And just look at your poor friends’ pages—they have, what? Like five badges, all for peasant beers, while you have the highly coveted badges that make you a prince(ess) among humankind.
And there’s the whole social component of the two apps. While some of us are a bit more introverted, others are rolling out the social media red carpet for our discoveries. A feature in the Pokémon Go app allows you to superimpose the Pokémon you run into onto whatever your camera is capturing for an even more immersive experience. Untapped will automatically post your milestones for you if you sync it to your social media accounts, but Pokémon Go relies on you to take the photos and post them online. On Untapped, you can take a beer selfie, maybe show off where you’re drinking it and who you’re drinking it with, and bonus coolness points if you happened to get a shot of somebody famous in the background.
So really, is all of this so different? The whole time we adults are rolling our eyes at the kids playing Pokémon Go, should we maybe step back and look at what we’re playing, too? I mean, Untappd isn’t all that different, and while Untappd can get us drunk while Pokémon will get us some exercise, the premise is basically the same. Maybe we just should say “to hell with it,” and download both of them and get the best of both worlds.
Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone that you just downloaded Pokémon Go “just to check it out.” And I certainly won’t tell anyone that you’re using it in tandem with Untappd, killing two birds with one stone and all that. Nope. My lips are sealed.