I have been playing games for a long time and have never seen such a large reaction of out our society because of one. For the first few months of the games release parks were full of people attempting to catch Pokemon and battling for gym domination. It was something that I did not expect and something we will probably not see for a very long time again.
I started to play Pokemon Go when it was released for North America. The game is pretty simple. You character walks around a 1:1 replica of earth. The game is based off of your phones GPS so where ever you go your character goes. Along your travels Pokemon will pop up and you can attempt to catch one. To catch a Pokemon you have to click on its avatar that shows up on the map. You are then taken to a screen in which you will have either a cartoon background (which made catching a whole lot easier) or a background that was created by using your phones camera (which made for some fun pictures *see below). The Pokemon will show up in the middle on the screen and you will have a Poke ball beneath him. You have to flick the Poke ball at the Pokemon and if you hit him with it (and he does not doge it or knock it away) the Pokemon gets captured inside the ball. The Pokemon then has a chance to escape the ball as you watch the Poke ball rock back adn forth three times. You have a better chance of catching a Pokemon if you throw the Poke ball at the perfect size of a little ring that gits larger and smaller around the Pokemon. The ring around the Pokemon will go from the size of the Pokemon to really small and if you land the Poke ball inside the circle you get more points for catching it and a higher chance of it not escaping. After you catch the Pokemon you get a candy with it which allows you to level up the Pokemon once you collected enough of the candy. Some Pokemon require 25 candy some 100.
That is the game, you travel around finding Pokemon and trying to catch them. You then catch more of the same Pokemon, sell extras to the Professor, the only NPC in the game, and level up the ones that you want. You can then use these Pokemon to take over Gyms that are found around the maps. The Gyms are usually a special or unique place like for instance an Airport or some notable clock tower.
I played Pokemon Go pretty solidly for about 2 months after its release but then I started to get bored of the game. It was neat having the real world and game world blend in but the way you captured the Pokemon was kind of a let down. I grew up playing Pokemon for the Game Boy starting way back when I was in middle school. Those games are RPGs where you battle other Pokemon in a turned based battle. I wanted something a long those lines, where if you win in combat your Pokemon get stronger and stronger. I don’t find it fun having to catch 50 Charmanders to make one of them stronger. It takes away from one of the most important aspects of the show and game where your Pokemon are special. You grow as it grows and you have a “bond” with it. In Pokemon Go there is no bond between you and your Pokemon. You simply get 50 of the same thing and pick one to level up while discarding the others.
Battling is another let down. When you are trying to take over a Gym you enter a battle screen where you flick you Pokemon back and forth dodging attacks and attacking the other Pokemon. Again has a long time player this was also disappointing. Battles became how fast can you click the enemy Pokemon in attempts to attack it. Some battles became a simple exercise in swiping your Pokemon twice making it dodge twice then clicking the enemy Pokemon to attack. Dodge doge attack until the enemy Pokemon feints and you win.
The social aspect of the game is pretty cool. For the first time in ever me and my friends would go out to some park which was known to have rarer Pokemon and walk around trying to catch them. We would split up in the park and call each other over if we found something. Some of us were on the same Team (Mystic, Instinct, Valor) and we would all attempt to take over the Gym and keep it on lock down for ourselves. The really neat thing about this game is that we were not the only ones doing this. The park would have hundreds of people walking around attempting to catch Pokemon too. It was quite a special moment. This part of the game was fun and it got us out doing things we wouldn’t normally be doing. However, I stress again the rest of the game was a let down. After I caught a sizable chunk of the Pokemon it stopped being as fun. I caught hundreds of Pidgeys in attempts to level my character and after a while it just got to be a chore.
Pokemon Go is a special game. Hundreds and thousands of people were out walking around catching Pokemon and helping other players. People of all ages played too. However, the simplicity of the game and, in my view, crappy battling eventually turned me away. Maybe with updates and being able to battle your friends I will get interested in it again but for now I have it uninstalled on my phone.