Pokemon Go

pokemongo-mobile-game

Wildly Popular New Mobile Game

Pokemon Go is a relatively new mobile game for Android and iOS. It is a wildly popular game. It was anticipated in advance and has been downloaded more than almost anything out there. Despite any criticism it is still in heavy use. Players continue to play and people are still constantly downloading. At this time it is the highest earning mobile game out there. You can walk down the street in a populated area and spot people playing everywhere.

How it Works

The basic concept of the game is that you walk around on an overlay on top of a map of the real world using GPS while searching for and capturing monsters ( cute animals ) called Pokemon. When you find a Pokemon, you can view with augmented reality using the camera on your phone. The objective is to capture and train as many different Pokemon as possible. In order to stock up on in game supplies you need to either travel to real world locations, called PokeStops or buy them with an in app purchase.

Novel Idea

The idea was not just to bring Pokemon to mobile phones but to make use of GPS and maps as a core component of the game. They wanted to force people to get outside and have to move around. This worked and people are going all over to find Pokemon. They were striving for something novel and it worked out better than anyone could have imagined. It is developed by Niantic, not Nintendo although it did indirectly cause Nintendo’s stock to go up.

Missing Features

While Pokemon Go has had great success, it is not without it’s flaws. These may go unnoticed by people who are playing this as their first Pokemon game. They don’t know what it is missing. People who have played Pokemon before have come to expect certain things from the series. Certain core game play elements are missing. That would be forgivable but these are very important elements that add a great deal to the game. The thing that kills me is that it had so much potential. It would have been so easy to make this game so much better and to make everybody happy. There has been speculation that some of these features may be added in the future, maybe.

Player vs Player Battles

One missing element that would have worked out well is the ability to battle friends. The potential is there. They could have added either the ability to battle your friends or battle people you meet outside while navigating the map. This would have resulted in the most amazing experience. It seems like this would have been obvious and relatively easy to implement. It seems kind of intuitive that you would be able to do this in a multi player game. It would make even more sense since you could do this in the “real” Pokemon games. As a consolation, the closest this game comes to allowing people to battle is by allowing the player to fight other player’s Pokemon that have been left behind to guard gyms. This means you can only fight at a gym and not with the actual owner of the Pokemon, just with what they left behind. You can’t battle people on the map and you can’t battle your friends. Both of these things would give people what they want and what they have come to expect.

Trading with Friends

Another missing feature the people tend to feel is missing is trading. Currently, you can’t trade in the game at all. This is one of the most missed and most requested features. People want the ability to trade with friends. This one basic thing could go a long way to boost player satisfaction with the game. This would have been a killer feature and would have worked perfectly with a game that is played in the real world on a map.

Leveling Up

Another shortcoming is the leveling up process. In the “real” pokemon games you could gain experience from battles and level up that way. The other way would be to feed your Pokemon rare candy. This works out great because it allows you to pick your favorites and work on developing them. Then you build an attachment to them which adds another dimension to the game play. This is not the case in Pokemon Go. In this game you don’t have much opportunity to level one specific Pokemon. Even when you do, as your player level goes up you will catch more and more powerful Pokemon. Here you level up by trading an existing Pokemon with candy that can only be used on that specific type. You then use that candy to level up that specific type. Basically, you end up having to catch multiple Pokemon of the same type just to level one of them up. Since you can’t really develop your existing Pokemon they quickly become much weaker than whatever the newest thing is that you have caught. You just keep catching and trading them in. Never really developing one good one.

Other Issues

When first released, the game had a large number of issues. These were mostly due to the games immense popularity and the huge amount of people who started playing all at the same time. The centralized servers couldn’t handle the load. This would result in everything from lag and getting kicked out of the game, to sometimes not being able to even login for a while. There have been other glitches with the game, which is to be expected for anything this new and this complicated. Most bugs and issues have been worked out by now.

Ultimately, it is a fun game. Just don’t expect it to be the same as the other Pokemon games.

android_robot-svgFree for Android
apple-xxlFree for iOS – iPhone/iPad