As the Pokémon Go craze sweeps the country, scenes reminiscent of a zombie apocalypse unfolded in the middle of Napier this week.

Heads down, faces illuminated by their cellphone screens, gamers descended on the corner of Emerson St and Marine Parade at about 7.30pm on Tuesday night.

When asked what they were doing, one woman who was there with two children said they were looking for a trap, indicating a red pulsating blob on her cellphone screen.

Described as "augmented reality" the Nintendo game, based on the original Pokémon that was launched in the 1990s, uses a phone's GPS and clock to determine a player's location and the time, and then plants Pokémon virtual creatures around them.

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While the game has been lauded for getting people active and out and about, and businesses have devised ways to cash in on the trend, it has also been reported in the United States to have led to the discovery of a dead body, been used to help set up armed robberies, and caused injury to distracted players.