You may have seen people running around meaninglessly now and then, but you must have noticed that this incident is on the rise. If you follow carefully, you will find that most of these people are running with their faces glued to the phone. No, this is not a new type of selfie or anything. They are just indulged in Pokemon Go. This game, which is based on the original Pokemon TV series makes the user a trainer like Ash Ketchum used to be. The user’s job is to find Pokemons, capture them, upgrade them and fight gym battles or duel with trainers. Now, the question is whether Pokemon Go will strike it big. Going by the current popularity of the game it sure looks like it but on the other hand, it has not yet got a worldwide release and there are some other problems that are cropping up which may hamper its progress.
Pokemon Go Gameplay:
Remember Ash Ketchum, the Pokemon trainer who went on journeys with his two best mates in search of powerful Pokemons and gym battles and battles with other trainers in order to win badges. Well, you are placed in a similar position in the game. You have to go around looking for Pokemons and catch them with the Pokeballs when you do find them. In your quest, you also get other things to collect like the Pokeballs itself.
Pokemon Go takes control of your phone’s GPS and clock to find out where you are on the map and in accordance with your position, it will show you Pokemons that you can capture in and around where you are. It is the basic premise of the game. Unlike other handheld first person games, the map and movement on this one are completely different. It is partially because the game encourages a lot of travel. The more you move around different places and at various times, the higher probability there is to catch a Pokemon.
There are also Poke Stops which are like marketplaces for the trainers to get things. From Pokeballs to eggs, you also get Pokemons there. Based on the colour of these Poke Stops, the user gets to know what is present there. A pink glow denotes Pokemons. The game also offers battles against other players but unlike the original cartoon show, the battles are quite different. Instead of the four moves for each of the six Pokemons selected for battle, the action here involves around the stats that each Pokemon comes tagged with. The user only gets to dodge enemy attacks and instruct the Pokemons to attack.
The gameplay is innovative in the sense that it promotes the activities and aims that were present in the original show while getting it out on onto the real world. Finding out Pokemons at bus stops, on your friend’s lap or even in the office washroom is exciting. All those who dreamt about playing Ash Ketchum in real life are now fulfilling their dreams. This is one of the reasons the game has debuted on the Top 10 list of every device market, be it Android play store or iOS.
Let us now get down to the technical aspects of the game. The first and foremost reason this game might deliver an indelible effect on the games to come is Augmented Reality or AR. AR has the ability to put in virtual objects that can be manipulated in real environments. This is a new concept that is just beginning to grow. VR is already here. AR is just coming to the fore. With Android and all other device manufacturers moving higher on the rungs of development, AR will be the next big thing that all smartphones will have and therefore, this game is one for the future.
This game has unlimited play time. Play Time means the highest amount of time that one can spend on a game in a session. Let us take Clash of Clans, one of the most popular games currently. You finished your loot, put all your builders to work and started the troop making process. You have little to do after that. You will again come back when the troops are ready. Pokemon Go is never-ending. The more you explore and travel, the pitstops will increase, and you will get new Pokemons and subsequently newer things to do. This factor which keeps users hooked is one of the most significant aspects of the game that has made it wildly popular right now. Retaining the users has also undergone a lot of brainstorming on the part of the developers. The real exercise that users get if they choose to walk invigorates many to keep at it. The unique positions that Pokemons are found roaming around; it becomes a challenge for the user to catch it. People like the strategizing part and Pokemon Go requires quite a lot of it. And then there is the competition. The more users gain expertise, the more they are enthused to carry on. Also, the perpetual presence of someone just better than the user keeps the competition alive and kicking.
Well, this is the most important thing. Money is power no matter how good or bad the game is. If your game is good but it does not make money, then it is useless. Pokemon Go, however, focusses on the money making part quite efficiently. The developers have put up multiple points in the game where the user can spend money for something. There are opportunities to extend capture sessions, get Egg Incubators, speed up growth and get Lure traps by simple payment of real world cash. It is, however, not mandatory. You can choose to pay and get ahead quickly, or you can travel the slow and steady way.
Following the runaway success of the game, there have been recent reports that could be troubling for the game itself as well as the developers. Some major incidents were reported where robbers lured their victims using the game, and a girl found a dead body in her quest for Pokemons! The thing is, with this AR thingy, it can get really messy. People could reach targets simultaneously, creating a dilemma as to who should capture the Pokemon. It is okay if the dilemma is between two rational and balanced individuals who can work out a compromise. But for aggressive people, it could really be a problematic situation.
There was also a recent case where hackers were using the game to get into the user’s system and steal credit card info and other sensitive data. It generally occurred when users tried to sideload the app into the system, which has been resolved now. The battery it consumes is also a big headache. Considering the game and the activity it requires, the app has to be open as long as the player wants to play, which in turn, leads to the quick drain of battery. But this is a common feature in nearly all big games and therefore is not much of a problem.
Pokemon Go ticks all the right boxes of the Android gaming world. Its take on the future, monetizing capabilities, user feedback, and gameplay has the potential to make it the king of the Android gaming world in the weeks to come. If they can work out the little chinks, here is our next viral game!