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Review Pokémon GO
Take all of your favorite Pokemon with you
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 19 Sep 2016, tested on HTC One M8
Good graphics, awesome concept, features original pokémon
Shallow gameplay, very repetitive
Pokemon Go for Android is the biggest craze to hit the mobile platform since, well, just about anything. Niantic and The Pokemon Company were smart to only include the original set of Pokemon for the release because it caters specifically to an audience that easily gets wrapped up in the nostalgia of when they were young. Unfortunately, the game is really only puddle deep.
So the entire idea behind the app is based on the original alternate reality game Ingress. What the developers did was actually strip a lot of features from the original game while slapping a Pokemon skin on it. Sure, updates are coming in, but it already looks like it is too little too late seeing as the player drop-off from the game has been huge.
In the game you play as a Pokemon trainer who walks around in the real world, randomly discovering Pokemon as you travel. Pokemon pop up randomly and when you tap on one of your phone's screen then you'll instigate a Pokemon battle. Except it's not really a battle. Instead, you throw a poke ball at the Pokemon and play some weird mini game that just isn't fun.
Catching Pokemon is often based on random, pure luck and evolving Pokemon involves catching many of the same Pokemon over and over again to get candy that will evolve them. Poke Stops are all over the place, too, and going to these places will give you extra rewards like lures and more Poke Balls. Gyms are also included in the gym and splits players into three teams: Mystic, Valor and Instinct. If an opposing team owns one of the gyms then you can "battle" the Pokemon left to guard the gym and take it for your team, which grants you experience points and other cool rewards.
I was cautiously optimistic when I first heard about Pokemon Go, and while I definitely value the community that has cropped up around the game, I can't help but wish it was just better. The ability to actually fight other trainers outside of a gym would be great, as would the ability to trade. Perhaps these updates will come in time, but for now, the game is only fun at a glance.