If you noticed this morning that a lot of people on your daily commute were staring avidly at their phones while wandering aimlessly, there's a reason for that — well, a better reason than usual. They're all trying to become Pokémon masters.

The long-anticipated mobile app game "Pokémon GO" was released on both Google Play and the iTunes store in the U.S. on Wednesday (July 6), and it lets you catch Pokémon in real life all over the world by mapping them out to actual physical locations on a GPS. And yeah, it's as incredible as it sounds: 

First, you meet this nerd.

Come on, Professor Willow, crocs? I know Professor Sycamore from "Pokémon X" and "Y" is a super tough act to follow — seriously, look how dreamy he is — but you can do better. 

Anyway, if you've ever played a "Pokémon" game in your life, you know the drill from here: you're going to help the professor collect Pokémon!

Then you get to customize your avatar:

This is a relatively new addition to the Pokémon experience and YES IT IS AWESOME. 

From there, you're taken to a screen that lets you locate Pokémon, "landmarks," and Gyms near your real-life location...

But without John Travolta, of course.

And then you're off to the races!

Be prepared to find Pokémon everywhere.

Like ... everywhere, though.


You have to throw Pokéballs to catch them ... but not your phone. Don't throw that.

While you're wandering around, you can stock up on Pokéballs at landmarks.

Though they're not all "landmarks" in the strictest sense ...

And you don't have to go INSIDE the landmarks to get the Pokéballs, as this one police station has helpfully pointed out.

An Australian police station had to explain this to its citizens the hard way.

The game's not perfect and still crashes a lot ...

It also eats up a lot of your data and your battery life, so be careful.

But it's a small price to pay to be a real Pokémon master.