It’s hard to remember the last time when a smartphone game became an overnight sensation like the Pokémon Go. Sure there have been a lot of games in the past that have caught the attention of mobile gamers (Flappy bird, Temple Run) however, none of them have been able to provide the users with an immersive gameplay like the Pokémon Go. Despite launching only in a few countries, Pokémon Go has become the fastest game to top the App Store and Google Play store. Furthermore, on 12 July, the game surpassed Candy Crush to become the most active mobile game in the United States ever with 21 million active users. So what is it about the game that makes it so addictive and fun? After hearing everybody talk about the game for the past week, I finally decided to jump onto the Pokémon bandwagon and test the game for myself. After playing the game for just two days, here are 4 reasons why I think Pokémon Go is the best smartphone game currently available.
- Different than other mobile games
I am an avid mobile gamer who always looks to try new stuff. Despite playing hundreds of smartphone games over the years, I have never found a game that is like the Pokémon Go. For those who have still not tried it, Pokémon Go is a virtual reality location-based game in which players have to catch Pokémons who are in different locations on a map. As you move in the real world, your trainer starts to move along in the virtual world on the map. Features on the map include a number of PokéStops and Pokémon gyms. PokéStops are popular places in the city which provide the players with various items plus also host a lot of Pokémon’s. In order catch, Pokémon players must first travel to where it is located and then throw the Poké Ball to catch it, which does take a little practice. All this adds up to a fun gameplay which is unlike any other game that I have ever played. While Niantic has in the past launched a similar game known as Ingress, Pokémon Go feels more like a successor to that game. Plus the lighter color tones and more options certainly make the game stand out when compared to its predecessor.
- Its mobile
Pokémon Go is not a game that you can play sitting in front of computer screen or with a console controller in your hand. In order to play the game, you need to go out. Once you have selected your trainer you are free to explore your neighborhood in search of Pokémon. Thus, while playing the game you are required to move around and stay active which adds another element of excitement for the fitness buffs. Furthermore, while moving around you also come across new places within your city. The exploration and the mobility factor really add to the gaming experience and after playing for a little while you really get yourself immersed within the game. Plus the fact that you are always moving from one place to another makes sure that you avoid boredom or repetitiveness.
- The gameplay
In order for any game to be successful, it has to feature a compelling gameplay plus it has to offer an incentive to the gamer to keep playing and last but not the least the game doesn’t need to be a walk in the park. And after playing Pokémon I can easily say that the game features all of the above-mentioned attributes. In the first point I discussed, I mentioned how the gameplay is different than any other game. Furthermore, as you catch more and more Pokémon’s you become an upper-level trainer. Once you reach the fifth level, you can also play the gym battles in which your Pokémon fights other Pokémon’s and the winner rules the gym. All this simply means that as a gamer you get enough replayable value to not keep your phone down. Last but not the least playing Pokémon Go isn’t easy. Don’t be fooled by the videos you have seen, just throwing the Pokéballs to catch the Pokémon’s requires a lot of practice. So in terms of gameplay the game ticks all the right boxes thus, making truly enjoyable and fun.
- Pokémon franchise
One of the major reasons why the Pokémon Go became an overnight sensation was the fact that it had the evergreen Pokémon franchise backing it. The game evokes nostalgia among all the former Pokémon fans who instantly wanted to try as soon as the game was released. This is one of the major reasons why in the past a game like Ingress couldn’t become as popular despite featuring an equally compelling gameplay. A familiar name on top of a unique gameplay is like adding icing on top of the cake.
All these factors make the Pokémon go one of the best smartphone games available. However; it will be interesting to see how Niantic keeps the game fresh once the initial buzz wears off. The game will only be truly tested once it loses its novelty, until then it is a must try for everyone who still hasn’t jumped on the Pokémon bandwagon.