Gamers Can Literally Follow Jesus On Catholic Church-Approved ‘Pokemon Go’ Clone

Photo: James D. Morgan / Contributor (Getty Images)

When the Catholic Church found out that Pokemon Go has made billions of dollars, it knew it wanted a piece of the action.

For the past year, a group of Spanish developers has been working on Follow JC Go, an iPhone and Android app that hopes to replicate the success of Pokemon Go. However, instead of having players collect hundreds of pocket monsters, they are tasked with finding important biblical and real-world religious figures including the Virgen del Carmen, Adriana Fortescue, and even Pope Francis.

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The primary focus of the game is the collection of dozens of these figures that are found while navigating using GPS. Along the way, you’ll require bread and wine to survive. Players looking to shortcut hard work can donate to Fundación Ramón Pané within the app in exchange for a currency called “spirituality.”

The app doesn’t seem to try and hide its influence. Everything, from the UI layout to character customization, is unabashedly similar to Niantic’s game that has grossed over $2 billion since July 2016.

Follow JC GO screenshots

Screenshots: ‘Follow JC Go’ from the iTunes store

“Never has the Church had a project like this. This is the Catholic app with the most advanced technology there is,” Ricardo Grzona, executive director of the Foundation Roman Pane, told  Crux Now. “Everything today, language and relations, among young people, go through smartphones. We wanted to be there and propose to them an educational video game, that is religious and interactive, and with which they can form evangelization teams.”

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Although Pokemon Go will serve as the primary competitor for this app, Niantic is currently working on a Harry Potter augmented reality game that is expected to release in Q4 2019 or early 2020.

Follow JC Go is currently available for free download on iOS and Android.