Boston has been invaded by a vast assortment of battle-ready beasties, visible only on mobile phones equipped with a new app ... and people love it.
Pokémon Go is proving a Snorlax-sized hit in the town since the mobile phone game was launched in the UK last Thursday.
Players in Boston are crediting it with an array of benefits beyond merely providing a bit of fun – from revealing the town’s hidden gems to helping bring a supposedly segregated community together.
The game sees players track down, capture, and battle with fictional characters known as Pokémon.
It is the same concept as the main Pokémon computer games, but instead of having a character walk around the in-game landscape looking for Pokémon, players explore the real world to find them.
The Pokémon Go app uses Google maps to alert players to virtual Pokémon in their area, which they can then capture with a flick of a virtual Poké Ball.
It also guides them towards so-called PokéStops where they can acquire helpful items. In Boston, this has seen such sites as The Guildhall and the Stump take on new significance.
We asked readers for their thoughts on the game. Among those to get in touch was Rachael Dilly, 21, of Boston.
Rachael, who was already a fan of the Pokémon game series, said she feels it has brought the town together.
She said: “With all the negative media lately about how Boston is a segregated town, I feel the game has bought many different communities together and it’s always a nice feeling seeing many different people at the different Poké Stops around town socialising and being friendly.
She added: “When it comes to exploring Boston, I’ve walked around places I’ve never seen before and I’ve lived here for 21 years, so it’s quite exciting seeing the secret gems of this town.”