Is Pokémon Go a bad game?


There is little doubt that Pokémon Go is one of the most successful smartphone games ever released, having been downloaded over 75 million times already according to GameSpot and reportedly making creators Niantic and Nintendo millions in revenue.

And although people the world over have been wandering the streets of their cities hunting for those cute creatures known as Pokémon, and the game has become a social phenomenon like no other, it can be argued that there is a dark side to Niantic’s latest smartphone game, aside from the fact that the truth of the matter is that Pokémon Go is simply not a very good video game at all.

This has to do with the simplistic and somewhat boring way in which players capture, fight and train Pokémon in Niantic’s game, which had been designed in a rather uninspired way to be honest.

Because capturing Pokémon in the game just involves flinging Póke Balls at them until they submit, a process that is not so much fun even if you get to add another Pikachu or Eevee to your Pókedex at the end of it… Also, fighting Pokémon is just a matter of hitting their pretty faces until they yield, with you getting to dodge their attacks and little else to make these fights interesting.


Despite Niantic’s best efforts, Pokémon Go is not the promised land yet…


Training Pokémon is a similarly dull affair, as evolving your collection of Pokémon just involves applying enough “Stardust” or “Candy” to evolve your Pikachu or Eevee to another more powerful form, for instance (but at least there’s a twist to Eevee evolution that makes this process a bit more interesting). And in order to get more Stardust or Candy for evolution, you have to catch yet more Pokémon…

At least the “augmented reality” features of the game are a boon though, as trekking the streets of one’s city looking for Pokémon can be an exciting experience, and also gives players an opportunity to socialize with others while they hunt for the next Bulbasaur to add to their Pokédex…

Although wandering around searching for Pokémon recently became less exciting, as game creators Niantic not only removed the “3-step” tracking system the game had to make hunting down those Pokémon easier, but controversially also shut down third-party tracking services like PokéVision, which showed players where to find each Pokémon type on a map and was a favourite tool for millions of Pokémon Go addicts out there…

So the fact that tracking down Pokémon has become a hit and miss affair, and also the game’s recent glitch that makes capturing Pokémon much harder (forcing players to use way more Poké Balls in the process) have made Pokémon Go a way less appealing game to play overall, and many would be hard-pressed to call it a “good” game at this point, but rather a bad although wildly popular one.

But hopefully Niantic will be able to fix the game’s glitches and add an alternative to its old tracking system, while refining other aspects of the game so that Pokémon Go can become more than the short-lived phenomenon it’s been thus far, and also a good smartphone game to boot…

COPYRIGHT: Nintendo / Pokémon / Niantic.