Developer: Niantic | Publisher: The Pokemon Company | Release: July 6th, 2016 | Platform: Android, iOS
Pokemon Go Review
- Pokemon Go is legitimately the worst app I have ever used in terms of functionality and reliability
- The app needing to be open and active even in power saver mode is a real annoyance and hindrance. Especially when you want your steps to count towards hatching a Pokemon egg.
- Rural areas are boned in terms of Pokemon variety and number of Pokestops (the real world locations where you get free pokeballs, potions, eggs, and other Pokemon accoutre ma)
- This game is getting people out into their town or city in a way that I’ve never seen. I mean pre-PokeGo I’d been to some parks in my area, but I’m now traveling to parks I didn’t know existed and seeing tons of people out and about solely because of this game! That is amazing.
- The actual catching and collecting of the Pokemon is much more interesting to me than any of the million other Pokemon games, mostly because the user input matters more (although you still get screwed sometimes)
- The In-App purchases seem to be reasonably priced, though they are not merely cosmetic/quality of life as players can buy experience boosting lucky eggs to level faster
From the 1 hp bug at gyms to the latest tracker bug, and of course the server time outs and crashes that have been a mainstay of the experience since release, it’s undeniable – this is the worst app I’ve ever used. In fact when explaining the game to a new player this weekend I found myself saying things like “oh yeah the pokeballs freeze sometimes, you just need to wait a bit and restart to app to see if you caught the Pokemon or not”. There is no other situation where I would find this acceptable in a video game and yet… somehow with this app it is. Why?
Oh right, it’s the Pokemon. It’s because everyone was brainwashed to enjoy Pokemon in the 90’s and 2000’s, and now we can do that on our phone so it’s Pokemon time again. Pokemon, Pokemon, do you have a Snorlax yet? I have a Snorlax. I hope we can trade soon. And now you’re outside talking to a stranger and that’s the magic of this game.
I guess what I’m saying is that the story of Pokemon Go is that brand trumps bugs so get out there, catch your 80th Rattata, talk to someone about your battery life or the way to force Eevees to become your choice of evolution, and accidentally get a tan and some exercise.
Playtime: ~15 hours? I’m level 17.