It’s been just over a week since the world went Zubat crazy with everyone lining their neighbourhoods to fulfil childhood fantasies of actually catching Pokemon.
The social game, which makes use of GPS and augmented reality by utilising your smartphone camera (thereby superimposing the image of a Pokémon onto your surroundings) has become more popular than the “dating” app Tinder. That’s right folks. Pokemon Go is going to be the end of procreation as we know it.
Jokes aside, the game is awesome. I’ve been playing for a week and while I don’t have as much time as some students out there, I’ve found myself walking to and from work more regularly in an effort to catch more and more Pokémon.
That’s right folks. Niantic (formerly owned by Google) plans to not only make us asexual but also super fit. I picture a post-apocalyptic Mad Max-esque world with many old people walking around who are super fit and still trying to catch Mewtwo.
A week down the line and people like myself have already voiced our opinions about what’s great and what’s not with the game.
Here are some of the improvements I’d like to see in future updates for Pokémon Go:
This is a big issue for Pokémon alumni like myself. I have played many of the original Gameboy Pokémon games in my misled, geeky youth and one thing I loved was the turn-based battles you could engage in with Pokémon in the wild, with other trainers (via the archaic system link) and of course, gym battles.
These traditional turned-based battles meant that you could customise your move list and use various moves to paralyse your opponent's Pokémon instead of just tapping on your screen while (hopefully) dodging attacks.
- Turn-based battles!
At the moment you can only battle at gyms. Imagine how great it would be to battle a friend online via the internet. Or even better - using Bluetooth to battle someone while sitting next to them at lunch.
- Online Battles
This is was advertised in the first teaser trailer for Pokémon Go and it’s something that would really take the social aspect of the game to the next level. Certain Pokémon only appear in certain places so it would be ideal to trade off a Squirtle to a mate who doesn’t have one in return for a Charmander that I don’t have.
- Social Updates
I might get flack for this point as the game seems to want to us to get out more and not necessarily interact with people on a social media level like Facebook or Instagram. I think a system where you can add friends and receive updates whenever they do something would be great. For example, I’d love to know when one of my mates catches a new Pokémon or posts an update about where possible rare Pokémon can spotted. If anything it would extend the already powerful social engagement the game possesses.
In a Pokeball (nutshell) these improvements are merely suggestions, however, I feel that they'd help The Pokémon Company and Niantic improve on an already addictive game.
Pokémon Go is currently the most downloaded app in the United States and has more user engagement than Facebook!
Maybe with a few tweaks, it could finally help us do the impossible and catch them all.