'Pokemon Go' now live in Ireland

Pokemon are everywhere, including the Sunday World's office
Pokemon are everywhere, including the Sunday World's office

‘Pokemon Go’ went live in Ireland last night as the worldwide gaming phenomenon finally became officially available for download in this country.

The game has sparked an international craze since its launch in the US earlier this month and has been downloaded by a mind blowing 20 million gamers around the world.

The app encourages gamers to walk the streets of your town in search of wild Pokemon – which are virtual mini-monsters.

Walk near one, and the app uses your camera to reveal a virtual reality creature onto your real life surroundings. 

And yesterday, Nintendo made the game available for download in 26 new countries across Europe and is can now be downloaded in Ireland from the Play Store or App Store.

Meanwhile, Irish ‘Pokeman Go’ fans were warned yesterday not to download a fake app which locks your phone and then automatically clicks on paid-for porn ads.

Last night, security experts warned there were at least three fake Pokemon apps available to Irish customers on Google Play which were being used to scam money.

Security firm ESET said smartphone owners should be particularly on guard for an app called ‘Pokemon Go Ultimate’.

Once the app is run, it will freeze the phone with a screen lock of a Pokemon Go image, forcing the user to restart the device, a spokesman for ESET claimed.

Following a restart, the malicious app is actually still running in the background. It will then go online, secretly clicking on porn ads to generate revenue for the app’s developers

Lukas Stefanko, a researcher at ESET, said gamers should be cautious about downloading anything.

“The other two apps to be wary of are ‘scareware,’ meaning that they trick users into paying for unnecessary services. In the case of “Guide & Cheats for Pokémon Go” and “Install Pokemongo,” users could’ve been tricked into signing up for phony services.”

But while the game has won the hearts of millions of fans, it has also lead to a series of robberies and accidents in the US and other countries.

It has even resulted in several gamers being lured to isolated locations where they have been robbed, some at gunpoint.

One of the biggest selling points of the new game is that it promotes users to get up and out in order to score higher points and reach a higher level of the game.

But the flip side of that means that Pokemon gamers can now be seen wandering aimlessly around busy urban streets attempting to catch the virtual critters.

Hundreds of incidents of players walking out in front of cars and walking into obstacles have already happened with one hapless user in England even walking into a lake and catching the whole incident on the unique Facetime function of the game.

In New South Wales in Australia, two users were lured to a patch of isolated land where they were held up at gunpoint and robbed. The craze has led to a lot of watchdog authorities coming out and warning players of the perils of the game.

In two separate incidents in the US (Wyoming and New Hampshire), bodies were found in rivers while the player was interacting with the game. Both bodies were discovered and the police immediately stepped in to cordon off the crime scene.

In Washington DC several players entered the Holocaust Museum which was built decades ago as a memorial to those who suffered at the hands of the Nazis. Andy Hollinger, the museum’s director of communications said on Wednesday. “We are attempting to have the museum removed from the game.”

Museums and churches have become ‘Pokestops’ along the players’ journeys where they can collect the monsters as well as game-related rewards.