Pokémon GO, Huge Potential Yet Disappointingly Flawed Overall

Whatever facts you wanted to support this game and against my subject line, by the likes of earning British Academy Games Awards 2017 and has 65 million monthly active users as of Apr 7, 2017, my current opinion on Pokémon GO is that it is currently not living up to gamer’s expectations and the game is fundamentally flawed on the platform it is being designed. Although I had not played other versions of Pokémon games, but for this existing game, especially that it is the first (if not first to be this popular) on Augmented Reality, here are the things I really hate and would really wish to see changes in whatever ways possible.

  1. The game offers good amount of Pokémon to collect, but that’s all: Look, we all love to collect things and we all love to have our own account to show off to others. Everyone has the urge to collect things and spend a great deal of time to collect things. Where is the story? Why do we start collecting? How do I know more about the Pokémon without having to go out of the game to Google it? And why is that appraise function so not user friendly?
  2. Missing game plays and endgames: This is nothing new although we heard that this is being addressed. But I am not keeping my hopes high because they still have no solid plans of making this work. No trading, no meaningful interactions with players from developers, and no meaningful gym fighting, and really lack of in game descriptions of what is going on, and as the same as point one, I have no satisfaction and found little depth in playing this game. Little quests or some story will really help. And multiplayer interactions as well will help very much. The really boring gym fights offered little to help, especially you keep seeing the same Pokémon, Blissey Dragonite etc. Here is a quick link: Best Pokémon to evolve and power up in Pokémon Go — Updated for Gen 2! Look, what next after you have that best one? Nothing really… And why can’t you buy things and why are each gym identical and without extra help? Can’t you at least have a special menu listing players around the location?
  3. Meaningless updates with events and gimmicks only: The small updates are okay, but trying to do a bigger updates with graphic candy gimmiks on a Pikachu, some water events, changing the poster, adding Pokémon, instead of making real meaningful updates to players. See how SuperCell’s Clash Royale is doing it?
  4. The game being played on a mobile phone put player’s life at risk, the way they designed it was fundamentally flawed and didn’t put player’s first: In my opinion, it is very dangerous to play this game. Not only you might get into trouble for trespassing (Reference WSJ Apr 4, 2017 ‘Pokémon Go’ Suit Makes Case for Virtual Trespassing), there were trouble cases as well (Reference Fox News Jul 14, 2016 Death by Pokémon? Public safety fears mount as ‘Pokemon GO’ craze continues) and deaths (Reference CNBC Aug 2016 ‘Pokémon Go’ behind second fatal traffic accident in Japan, Kyodo reports), it hurts the eyes when you walk and play, you attention were totally on the mobile phone not the environment around you, and accidents can happen. I really don’t recommend people playing it holding the phone, risking you dropping and breaking the phone, and also for obvious concern on your own safety. How about making it run on the background, teaching users to run the game in a certain phone setting, and having needing the player to stay stationary (not moving) while playing the game? Look, throwing the Pokéball now is not the best gaming experience anyways, how about making it safer and concern the safety of the players first? Or shall you wait for better versions when the smart watch or VR is more popular? I do not have the solution, but I see that people putting full attention on their phone screen while walking on the street (and crossing the streets as well) is extremely dangerous.
  5. Bad on your phone battery: It drains the phone battery, I use the latest Google Pixel XL and it just drains the battery more than when I play 3D games like Asphalt 8, and the phone gets quite hot from the battery discharge.
Pikachu, adding a hat is cute, but it doesn't solve the key issues of the game
Pikachu, adding a hat is cute, but it doesn’t solve the key issues of the game

I am at level 25 and I have not catch them all yet. But at this moment, the game is really lacking some core elements in game play and is really unsafe to play. Until then, hopefully we see better updates soon but at this very moment, I do not recommend playing the game especially when you are out there walking on the streets.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments below!

NKBDL (Louis)

Apr 9, 2017

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Developer’s Blog by Louis, Week 5 (Week of May 28, 2017) – Design Elements for Collectible Games – NK Homepage

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