The Vatican commissions a Pokémon Go style game that will have you searching for Jesus in the bushes of your neighbor’s yard.
[Edited 8:00PM to better clarify gameplay specifics]
Remember the overwhelming feeling that overcame you when you finally captured Pikachu or one of the more elusive Pokémon, like Articuno, in Pokémon Go? Now imagine the feeling of discovering Jesus Christ himself!
A new Pokémon Go style game called Follow JC Go will have you up and out of the church pews exploring your local parks, yards, and streets in search of digitized Catholic saints and other holy dignitaries who are hiding behind trees, park benches and even in your own house. Follow JC Go features gameplay similar to that of Pokémon Go and Jurassic World Alive, but with several unique religion-based elements.
Instead of training your holy eTeam (evangelization team) to battle other Saints, or go face-to-face with demons in an exorcism – players collect various religious figures which they can then use to answer certain Biblical questions, with points tallying up on an international leaderboard.
Commissioned directly by the Vatican with blessings from the Supreme Pontiff himself, Pope Francis, players will embark on a journey to collect every holy figure in hopes of eventually discovering the games most elusive catch, Jesus Christ himself.
During your travels, you might be in need of some booster points. Just use the app to locate the nearest church and stop in. You can also level up by staying healthy through eating, hydrating and of course, praying for the sick in hospitals.
Follow JC Go was developed by the Florida-based Catholic evangelical group, Fundación Ramón Pané, which is composed of 43 designers, theologians, historians and engineers, and reportedly cost close to $500,000 to develop.
For the church, Follow JC Go is an opportunity to use AR technology to reach a younger generation after an almost 20 percent drop-off from a 25 and under demographic leaving the church.
Of course, the marketing team behind the app was wise enough to release the AR game before the 2019 World Youth Day in Panama, a massive holy event organized by the Catholic Church to bring young people together.
The app has been in development since the summer of 2016, which was largely considered the height of the Pokémon Go phenomenon. It appears as though the Church hopes Follow JC Go can capitalize on the success of previous augmented scavenger hunts and assist in promoting their ongoing campaign towards modernization.
Image Credit: Ramón Pané Foundation, Inc.