You probably think we're kidding and we don't blame you because it took a bit of seeing to believe it, but it's actually true - we've come across a Pokemon GO clone game called Follow JC Go! that totally should've been called Popemon GO.
Seriously, Popemon GO would be miles funnier, although we see how some may mistake humour for plain malice, which is in no way our intention. Besides, Pope Francis is apparently a huge fan of the game, which would surely complicate things a bit, even though we're quite confident Popemon would make him crack a healthy laugh as well.
The game is made by the developer Foundation Ramon Pane, Inc and is initially available only in Spanish, with English, Italian and Portuguese versions expected in the following weeks. It can be downloaded for Apple's iOS and Google's Android for free from their respective stores.
As far as gameplay goes, JC Follow Go! follows the same formula found in Pokemon GO, except it's not Pokemon you catch but saints, biblical figures, Marian devotions, etc. As you'd expect, players will get a chance to learn more about these persons as they play.
JC Follow Go! gameplay also has players collecting food, water and spirituality, all of which are needed to survive in the game. The game notifies players when they're near a church so that they can go and pray, a clever twist on Pokestops, or Popestops if you will. Okay, we'll stop now.
The executive director of Foundation Ramon Pane, Ricardo Grzona, said that the Church never had a project like this, where they're actually using cutting-edge technology to interact with their followers. Apparently, development of the game took 43 designers, theologians, Bible experts, Church historians and engineers about 32,000 hours of work time, which started back in August 2016.
Fundación Ramón Pané, Inc
Grzona pointed out that in the time and age of smartphones, Follow JC Go! is a great game to spread the message among the youth. “We wanted to be there and propose to them an educational videogame, that is religious and interactive, and with which they can form evangelization teams”, he added.