mark cerqueira well-rounded nerd

Pokémon Go

Last week, the world was forever changed with the release of Pokémon Go a.k.a. Nintendo letting Niantic reskin Ingress with Pokémon to make tons of money. I’ve been playing the game for a few days and it’s fun. Walking around outside and seeing tons of people playing this game was truly unexpected; I never imagined “Pokémon on mobile” was going to be delivered like this. It’s refreshing – both to be outdoors and to see gamers who are traditionally recluse out and mingling.

So many people outside!

But the game has its fair share of issues:

  • The game is very buggy. I’ve had it crash and completely lock up at least twice each day since installing it. I’m sure stability will increase with coming patches.
  • Servers are having trouble keeping up with the huge spike in popularity. This isn’t too shocking. It reminds me of how terrible the servers were for the rebooted Final Fantasy XIV back in 2013.
  • There’s also been some privacy complaints about the iOS version having full access to your Google account. Given how buggy the app is, I was not shocked when they said it was a configuration mistake.
  • This game destroys my battery. Got 80% battery left? You mean 80 minutes left of Pokémon Go playing time! I can now empathize with Android users who live under the tyranny of terrible battery life.

Drawing people in with the Pokémon IP and getting them into the Ingress geo-caching game model has been successful so far, but Pokémon Go is just scratching the surface today. I’m really hoping Niantic is cranking on social features. I’d love to have a friends list, trade Pokémon, get bonuses for hanging out with other trainers, make clans, gift Pokémon to friends, and see friends on the map.