What do you do if you're in an area of the world that doesn't have Pokemon Go [Free] yet? The answer for most people is to just wait, and maybe spend some time reading stories like these to follow the worldwide phenomenon. If you really want to play Pokemon Go, you can take the few simple steps to download a game from a different iTunes region. Or, if you're a developer in China, you just quickly clone the game. City Spirits Go [Free] launched when Pokemon Go was in beta, and aside from minor differences, it's every bit the Chinese clone anyone who follows the mobile scene was expecting.

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In City Spirits Go, players wander around collecting different spirits which each have their own elemental affinities. These spirits are then used to battle other spirits in 3v3 battles instead of conquering gyms like in Pokemon Go. What's fascinating about China and this particular clone is that it weirdly exists out of necessity. Pokemon Go and its predecessor Ingress [Free] lean heavily on Google Maps, which is blocked in China. For Pokemon Go to exist in China, they'd basically have to rewrite the game with an entirely different mapping mechanic, which is sort of what City Spirits Go has done.

As of this writing, City Spirits Go is #41 on the iOS top grossing charts in China, so, not only are tons of people playing it, tons of people are spending money in it. This world is weird.

[via Wired]

  • Party of No Compromise

    "As of this writing, City Spirits Go is #41 on the iOS top grossing charts in China, so, not only are tons of people playing it, tons of people are spending money in it. This world is weird."

    That world is no weirder than this one, where Pokémon Go is #1 on the iOS top grossing charts in the United States.

    • Michal Hochmajer

      Jeez comrade, use some imagination when making nickname. 🙂

      "This world is weird."
      No Eli, not this world. Just Chinese commie. 🙂

      • Party of No Compromise

        The "Party of No Compromise" refers to how people talk over each other instead of listening to each other. That it can refer to the Chinese Communist Party, any group that uses the term "safe space," or any fundamentalist or Conservative party is a bonus.

      • Michal Hochmajer

        Please, mark all proper groups You belong to:
        a. Chinese Communist Party
        b. any group that uses the term "safe space,"
        c. any fundamentalist
        d. Conservative party

        Just joking. Do whatever you want and have a fun. 🙂

    • https://twitter.com/ScotDamn Scot Damn

      I'm fairly certain he wasn't calling out China - instead referring to earth and society as a whole. 😉

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        Yeah, just seems crazy that we live in a world where "Hey this popular thing isn't here let's quickly clone it and make a ton of money" is a business plan that works.

      • https://twitter.com/ScotDamn Scot Damn

        Indeed sir. The speediness to capitalize is at least impressive.

      • https://twitter.com/ScotDamn Scot Damn

        In a world where Nintendo releases the NES mini in 2016. Yeah I'd say it's pretty weird!

      • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

        In a world where people will get REAL ANGRY that Nintendo is forgetting [insert obscure NES game here] as part of that pack instead of realizing you could build the world's most insane Raspberry Pi emulation dojigger for the same amount of money.

      • planetmidgar

        ... Which is what I'm doing as we speak. 😅

      • AppStore Cowboy

        Yikes! This one hit a little too close to home. Suddenly my five page angry letter to Nintendo about their omission of Contra feels a little...much.

  • Mightywiggles

    Keep it classy, Chinese app developers!

  • HelperMonkey

    When you think your own AppStore is choked with clones...
    Imagine using the search feature in China!

  • baldeagle86

    So does it work in NA? Battling friends sounds pretty fun

  • Qwazz Bre

    ... weird. For some reason, trying to access this article from Firefox consistently causes the browser to crash. Never happened to me before on any other article on the site.

    Maybe it's the foreign characters or font.

  • Stormourner of the Nature

    some developers are simply jealous over the successful games