Pokemon Go has quickly become a worldwide phenomenon. For those who don’t know, Pokemon Go is a joint effort between Nintendo and Niantic Labs to create an Ingress style game that allows players to hunt for Pokemon in the real world. For many people, this is a dream come true. However, there are some shortcomings to the game. Not just to mention that it hardly works, I’m going to talk about some of the top things we want to see make it into Pokemon Go that for some reason haven’t yet.
It seems that Pokemon Go takes inspiration from multiple different mobile games that have been popular as of late and attempts to incorporate them into their game. From the walking of Ingress, the tapping of the recent monster fighting tap games, to the flicking the Pokeball that is oddly similar to Paper Toss. However, there’s one place where Pokemon Go misses the mark in gameplay. They have no actual Pokemon gameplay. You know, the turn based combat where players each get a turn to use their attacks. You don’t even battle Pokemon when trying to catch them, and when fighting in gyms you just tap away at your screen. I’ve heard many people disappointed by this fact, and it loses some of the feel that has always been a part of the Pokemon experience.
Another miss of the game is the fact that you cannot interact with other players. Training with other players like yourself isn’t a thing, making the only way to increase your Pokemon’s combat power is through candy. You can’t even trade with other players. Pokemon Go is so fixated on getting you outside, but missed the mark when it came to the fact that people will go out into the world together- which is definitely important to do and the safest thing. In this day and age, multiplayer games are the norm, and it’s quite disappointing that they excluded that ability entirely. When you find your way to a Pokestop where someone is using a lure module, it would give you a reason to actually talk to those around you to see what they have, if they want to trade, etc. It would make Pokestops more than just “places on a map”. They could actually become places for those not so social to be just that. Not to mention how cool a gym battle would be if you could team up. While the “teams” exist in game, actually being able to work together in real time to take a gym over for your team would be awesome.
While Pokemon Go is missing some core components players would love to see, along with its server struggles, it still remains an incredibly popular game that keeps players coming back for more. There are no limits to what the game could be once it resolves its problems, and only time will tell if it can pull it off.
Please remember that this game can be dangerous. For a good overview on the possible dangers and ways to stay safe, the Miami Police Department shared a video here that can be very helpful.
UPDATE: Since writing this article, there have been some reports saying the CEO of Niantic, John Hanke, has said in interviews they intend to improve Pokestops and Gyms, as well as incorporate trading into the game. However, there is no confirmation yet as to when this will be happening. Keep an eye out in the updates, which Niantic also says will be released on a biweekly basis.