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A "Pidgey" Pokemon is seen on the screen of the Pokemon Go mobile app in a photo illustration taken on Toronto July 11.

CHRIS HELGREN/Reuters

Prospective Pokemon trainers can officially download the mobile gaming sensation Pokemon Go in Canada as of Sunday afternoon.

EXPLAINER: Your guide to Pokemon Go, the game that's captured the attention of millions

The augmented-reality game launched in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Japan earlier this month.

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But before Sunday, Canadians had to find workarounds to play the game north of the 49th parallel.

The game sends players into the real world to search for the mythical digital pocket monsters known as Pokemon, who appear onscreen when users hold up their smartphones in various locations at various times of the day.

GUIDE: Pro tips for the Pokemon Go novice in Toronto

On Sunday afternoon, it was announced on the app's Twitter page that the game is available for download in Canada on Android and iOS devices.

But the app's servers overloaded in the hour after the announcement, and wannabe players had to wait a little longer before they could register an account.

The game has been a boon to the bottom line of Nintedo, the creator of the franchise. Shares in Japan's Nintendo Co Ltd soared last Monday, bringing market-value gains to $7.5-billion in just two days based on the runaway success of Pokemon Go.

Advertisers have also been able to use the game, which cemented itself as the biggest mobile game ever in the United States, as a marketing tool. Since its launch in the U.S. the game has seen higher average usage time than social media giants WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook's Messenger.

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It hasn't been all positive, however. Even before the game officially launched, police forces across Canada saw reports mount of people getting injured or landing in trouble as they play the wildly popular game.

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