Pokemon fans heading to Motherwell in bid to Catch ’Em All

Screenshots from the new Pokemon Go! game
Screenshots from the new Pokemon Go! game

Pokemon fans are set to invade Motherwell this weekend as a new app craze sweeps the nation.

Hundreds of Scots have downloaded augmented reality game Pokemon Go! on their smartphones and are trawling the cities and countryside to find tiny creatures.

The game uses the clock and GPS functions on a phone to make Pokemon (short for Pocket Monster) characters “appear” around a player, through their screen.

The player then has to “catch” the Pokemon as they walk around the real world.

Although the game has not been officially launched in the UK, gamers have managed to download it onto their phones by changing location settings and playing via American servers.

Game developer Niantic had planned to officially roll it out to Britain faster, but the company’s servers were unable to cope with the demand from players in the US and Australia, where it was launched last week.

It is estimated that around 500 to 1,000 people in Scotland have already downloaded the game, although it is believed that tens of thousands could join in once it is officially launched on this side of the Atlantic.

David Graham from Livingston founded the Pokemon Go Scotland Google Plus community which has almost 100 members.

He suggested many people will be searching in Motherwell, but he himself will be heading abroad as he hunts down Pokemon.

He said: “People are travelling far and wide to find Pokemon.

“Someone posted recently that there was a rare one in Motherwell, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of people head over there at the weekend to find it.

“I’m going to Paris in September and I can’t wait to see what I find there.”

“I was determined I was going to wait for the UK release, but once the hype started, I just had to be part of it.”

Lanarkshire woman Anne-Marie Keanes says the game had become entertainment for the entire family, including five-year-old daughter Alyssa.

She said: “My husband started playing last week and introduced our five year old daughter to it.

“I have honestly never seen her so excited to go out walking our local area in the rain. I then started playing, so we have something to do during these grey summer holiday days and honestly it has been a godsend.

“This game has helped me keep my eldest occupied whilst my youngest naps in the car as we drive from pokestop to pokestop.

“We spent all weekend walking our local area too. It has been fantastic.”