Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Pokémon Go... I don't get it

Pokémon Go is a free-to-play mobile game that has taken the world by storm. Millions and millions of people have been playing it actively for months. Wherever you live, every now and then you'll see somebody playing it on the street. There are videos out there of literally hundreds of people playing it at a given place (seemingly because there's some rare pokémon in the vicinity or something).

And the thing is... I don't get it. I have tried it, of course, but I just don't get it.

The entire game consists (barring the menus) of two screens: The map, and the capture screen.

And that's it. Sure, it's somewhat cool that the map is the real map of the place you are, and it updates in real time as you walk around, using GPS, but the gimmick gets old pretty fast. It's only barely more interesting than your average run-of-the-mill GPS app.

But perhaps the capture screen is more interesting? Maybe here you will have a team of up to six pokémon, and you will have to first weaken the wild pokémon before trying to capture it, or alternatively you just defeat it for exp? You know, like in the actual Pokémon games?

Nope. You just throw that ball and hope it captures the wild pokémon. That's it. There's no battle, no tactics, nothing. Just throw the ball and maybe capture the pokémon. You don't have a team. You don't battle. There's none of that.

Moreover, there is no story, no progression, nothing. You just walk around, and when a pokémon appears on the screen near you on the map, you tap it and go to that other screen and throw that ball. That's it. Essentially the whole game in a nutshell.

(Ok, there's apparently also some "gym battles", but you don't get there until you level up to a billion or something.)

It's not even that interesting in terms of collecting pokémon. Only the 150 pokémon from generation 1 are available. Ok, 150 is an ok number, but still... Considering that currently there's something like 700+ in the main games... (Yes, they have been promising to add the 2nd-gen pokémon to the game as well. As of writing this it has yet not happened.)

I got bored of the game pretty quickly. I think I reached level 5 or something, before I stopped.

I just don't get it. There's nothing interesting to this game. What exactly are people seeing that I'm not?

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