Jul 12 2017

Whatever Happened To Pokemon Go?

Last year Pokemon Go was the thing; everyone everywhere was playing it (or at least those who had decent phones were). You couldn’t escape it!

Now, you see only the die-hards even bothering to fire up the game. Granted, only a few months ago I finally got a chance to play it, but that was due to me finally getting a phone that *could* play it (going back to an Android based phone for a time from my usual Windows Phone) and I had fun with it, for a while, but between the game not running all that great (I couldn’t even use the augmented reality features due to my phone being a more basic one) alongside some other gameplay issues I had, I quickly gave up on it.

It would seem many others had the same feeling as time passed – the games popularity quickly faded (unlike, let’s say, the now 6 year old game Skyrim). It’s funny to think about it, but it makes sense.

The game goes to show how much of a fad augmented reality (much like virtual reality) can be – the game was novel at first but eventually it got old because, even with the addition of new monsters, it was still the same thing which required you actually going places constantly. In this case, I think the fatal flaw to Pokemon Go was actually the fact that the places chosen to be Gyms, and the places to be Pokestops (where players would restock on required items to play the game) were just not the best – it really depended on where you lived, where you were willing to go, and just random chance that something good near you, that you actually could visit without issue, was actually a Pokestop or a Gym.

Even for me, living near plenty of stuff, it was more trouble than it was worth to actually go to these places – I don’t want to spend that much time at the mall (add in that the GPS signal within the game was terrible) and other locations were just plain odd – things you wouldn’t just “go to” on a whim, including a nearby cemetery!

As I said, the game had bugs beyond that – it ran poorly, even in non-augmented reality mode (which honestly, I felt was the better way to play anyway) but was also a battery hog and was super slow to load.

Granted, I was playing on a lower-end Android device, but damn, it shouldn’t have been that hard to make a well running Pokemon game of this type, right? I’m debating trying that Magikarp game that’s out there now, but given the general crumminess of my phone, I wonder how that will go.

In the end, I like what Pokemon Go wanted to be but in practice the game just doesn’t work. It would need to basically be completely revamped to really keep people’s attention for more than a few weeks again. More monsters, better functionality, less dependence on where you are for things other than the monsters, stuff that I can’t really explain but I think anyone who has played the game and given up would understand.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.xadara.com/whatever-happened-to-pokemon-go/

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