Sunday, 7 August 2016

Pokemon Go Review

Pokemon Go has been out in the UK for coming up to a month now, and I've had a good while to play through the game and start to get a feel for what is one of the riskiest, most innovative and popular Pokemon games since the series began.

After years of trying to get players to get out of the house and interact with other people in their Pokemon training and trading efforts, and their attempts to get gamers active with the Wii, Nintendo may have finally succeeded in creating the most physically active in history, and one that millions of people are eagerly playing.

Creating a MMO that uses the real word, rather than a purely digital one, that actually encourages people to leave their homes and walk around their home towns and beyond is one of the most simplistically brilliant ideas that they could have had.

The game is so simple in its design, with little more created other than an incredibly basic map screen, creature animatics and a woodland capture minigame.  Yet, despite having so little in comparison to even the first Pokemon game it's managed to capture the hearts of so many people by its simple gameplay mechanic.  Everytime I go out I check to see if there are Pokestops along my route, and every time my phone buzzes I'm on the lookout for what Pokemon has arrived on the scene.

Whilst occasionally I may be happier to sit at home and play one of the other Pokemon games whilst watching TV I've found that in the last few weeks I'm excited to leave the house and go for walks to find new Pokemon, get fresh supplies and hatch my next egg.

Pokemon Go was also something that added a lot to my recent holiday.  Whilst my partners and I always do a lot of walking when we go away, this year we had an added incentive to our physical activity, something that encouraged us to go to new places and explore where before we would have only stuck to the main areas.

It might seem like a simplistic game, and it's not without it's glitches and failures, there are a lot of issues that need to be worked out to make the game a lot better, but it's so enjoyable that I can't help but love this game.

I've liked Pokemon since the very first generation, and my girlfriend is absolutely mad for the franchise (one of our rooms is wall to wall plushes, and that's not even the whole of her collection!) so we were guaranteed to be playing this game since it was first announced, but seeing so many other people falling in love with the game and talking about Pokemon is something I never thought I'd see.  The days of Pokemania may have ended a long time ago, but the franchise is definitely getting its second big push, and that can only be a good thing.

Pokemon Go might not be a perfect game, but for a free game that captures the spirit of the series and actively encourages people to get walking and get fitter it's a pretty amazing game, and one that I hope to see continue on and go from strength to strength for years to come.


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