Some people hear the word Pokémon and think of that game they played some years back on the Nintendo Gameboy. Others will think about the most recent installment of the now famous series on the Nintendo 3Ds or Switch. However, relatively recently Pokémon along with Nintendo themselves have been taken in a new direction and began to explore new territory. This is the ever growing market that is apps and Mobile Gaming. This specific app in question is known as Pokémon GO!
Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game (Or AR game) that encourages players to go outside and explore the world now transformed into the world of Pokémon! Upon starting up the game, the Pokémon Professor Prof. Willow will introduce you to the world of Pokémon just like the handheld games of old. He’ll even give you 100 free Pokéballs and set you up with a starter Pokémon! From there your adventure is all about what you want to do! Do you want to catch ’em all and track down every Pokémon known to man? Or do you want to dominate in battles and take total control of the gyms in your area in the name of your team? The Choice is yours!
The reasons that I find this to be my favorite app all come down to what it motivates me and others to do. The app encourages you to explore the area around you and be open to visiting new areas. New Pokémon could be down the street or a continent away so there is almost always something new to go out and find. Research tasks, which are the app’s version of “quests” encourage you to do certain thing like find new stops to reload on items, find a certain type of Pokémon, or complete certain other tasks to try and find an illusive Mythical Pokémon! Being encouraged to do these things give me a new reason to get up, be active, and meet new people! Already my life has improved and I’ve met so many new and interesting people, some of whom I can even now call my friends!
The game is also always updating and subverting expectations such as refining lacking features, adding new ones requested by users, adding new stops and gyms to restock and battle, and adding in new Pokémon from newer generations of games including even some that haven’t appeared in any other games yet!