App, Game

Game Review: Pokémon Go


Game: Pokémon Go
Publisher: Niantic, Inc
Release Date: July 6, 2016
For: iOS and Android devices
Rating: 3 Achievements

Summary (From Apple App Store):
Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise, Pikachu, and many other Pokémon have been discovered on planet Earth!

Now’s your chance to discover and capture the Pokémon all around you—so get your shoes on, step outside, and explore the world. You’ll join one of three teams and battle for the prestige and ownership of Gyms with your Pokémon at your side.

Pokémon are out there, and you need to find them. As you walk around a neighborhood, your smartphone will vibrate when there’s a Pokémon nearby. Take aim and throw a Poké Ball… You’ll have to stay alert, or it might get away!

Search far and wide for Pokémon and items
Certain Pokémon appear near their native environment—look for Water-type Pokémon by lakes and oceans. Visit PokéStops, found at interesting places like museums, art installations, historical markers, and monuments, to stock up on Poké Balls and helpful items.

Catching, hatching, evolving, and more
As you level up, you’ll be able to catch more-powerful Pokémon to complete your Pokédex. You can add to your collection by hatching Pokémon Eggs based on the distances you walk. Help your Pokémon evolve by catching many of the same kind.

Take on Gym battles and defend your Gym
As your Charmander evolves to Charmeleon and then Charizard, you can battle together to defeat a Gym and assign your Pokémon to defend it against all comers.

It’s time to get moving—your real-life adventures await!

I, like many others, have become kind of obsessed with this game since it was released last week. I’ve been playing this basically nonstop and I’m pretty sure my friends who don’t care about Pokémon in the least are sick of hearing me talk about it. However, as much as I love it, I also have quite a few gripes.


I’ll start with the good things. This game is so nostalgic for me. Anyone who’s played the original games or watched the TV show has thought about what it would be like to catch Pokémon in the real world and this game allows you to do that, whether it be with the augmented reality (AR) on or off.

Although the style of catching Pokémon and battling is very

AR Off

different from the original games, it still feels similar. You have the anxious wait of hoping the rare, very powerful Squirtle doesn’t escape. Staring at my phone, the anxious feeling in my stomach is pretty much the same as actually playing the game while waiting for that third wiggle of the Pokéball.


img_0837I also very much enjoy that the game is getting people out and about. Exploring neighborhoods and meeting people who are trying to do the same things. One of the game mechanics is hatching eggs for Pokémon and in order to hatch said eggs you need to walk a certain number of kilometers. The more KM for an egg the more likely the egg will be something rare and/or powerful.

Now for the bad. When the game first launched the servers were down more than they were up. Thankfully, they’ve fixed this issue in recent updates. However, this doesn’t fix my main other gripe. The tutorial is severely lacking.

I understand that the original games don’t have a very detailed tutorial but it’s still way better than what you’re given in Pokémon Go. Most of the mechanics of the game are never explained you’re just left guessing or taking to the internet to find tips and guides.

img_0841Just a fair warning, this game does feature microtransactions. So you can pay real money for gold and then use gold to upgrade your inventory or buy more equipment. I understand that the App needs to generate revenue somehow and I’d prefer this over obnoxious ads but for some people it’s a no go.

I’m excited to see where this app goes in the future. Niantic has stated that they will be adding Pokémon trading in the future. Personally, I’m hoping they expand the Pokémon included so that my favorite, Mudkip, will eventually be in game. For now, I’m content collecting all 151 Pokémon.