What a wonderful time this is for kids from the 90’s! Who would have thought that every child who spent his time obsessed with anything that had to do with Pokemon would be doing the exact same thing decades later, as an adult!
Pokemon has made quite the comeback with Niantic’s Pokemon Go and it’s a gigantic deal for the Pokemon-verse and all that are consumed by it. Niantic has been dabbling in the field of augmented reality gaming for quite some time. With around 17 million following their last augmented reality game- Ingress, Niantic has now come forward with a game that already had a strong base of users that would gladly give every waking minute of their time to the game.
In a world of business deals, profits and losses, products and services, something so simple has hooked the entire world. Less is more and that’s exactly what Niantic banked on this time over with Pokemon. Ingress was a complex, strategy based game. While that was its USP, it lost a lot of gaming enthusiasts because of the same reason. Pokemon GO has taken over both the virtual world – and reality, attracting over 20 million active users within 10 days of launch- and all this when it wasn’t even officially available in many countries.
Like any other successful game Pokemon Go has its own set of critics that are vocal about what this game lacks in terms of graphics, UI, etc. but what makes Pokemon Go so popular is the community of users that are so engrossed in it. Pokemon Go brings out (literally!) a whole community of gaming enthusiasts who have been following the Pokemon franchise for a few decades now. It’s impressive how much of an effect this game is having the world over with people venturing out of their homes to walk and catch Pokemon, interacting with others while on their ‘quest’ and trying to hatch the Pokemon eggs and becoming a better trainer – and of course, working up a sweat while they’re at it.
It is the very first real-world-sized, real world game. There is no stopping once you start playing because of the beauty that augmented reality holds where you actually do have to get going on your very on two feet to play the game. Pokemon Go isn’t going away anytime soon because of the immense amount of players it has, and how it’s designed to include socializing. When I got my hands on this game and started playing it, I realized how most of the poke-stops had lures and that would lead me to get into a conversation with a fellow player who came to get on with some Pokemon fun, and how if I walked with a friend we mostly saw the same Pokemon, which is a nifty design choice. I would have to agree the user experience was disappointing initially and dissuaded me from playing, but seeing how people around me were still playing, prodded me to get back on it.
When you come to think of it, the awkward UI of Pokemon Go coupled with the absence of a tutorial might just be a brilliant strategy by Niantic to get the players interacting about the tips and tricks they have to offer. This might just be a viral game design with hiding spots for Pokemon and confusing gym battles, the game expands with every level, thus giving way to a lot of discovery sharing among friends, family, forums, websites etc. With no capping on how many Pokemon exist in the game and no clearly defined ending, this game can literally go on and on. A game changer for mobile gaming, it certainly has opened up gates for a lot of development in the augmented reality gaming arena. It is very addictive and will literally keep you on your toes! Now, why don’t you go catch them all!