July 6, 2016. The date may not tell you anything like that, but if I tell you that it was the exact day that ‘Pokémon GO’ was released, it will surely fit you. This date also has something else, and it is the day that the writer started playing this game. Since then, and knowing that I had a break of a few years, I have traveled 1,814 kilometers, caught 5,584 Pokémon and visited 3,068 Pokéstops. Since 2021, in fact, I haven’t stopped playing.
‘Pokémon GO’ is the only mobile game that has stayed installed on my device for more than a couple of months. I don’t always have it open and I access it intermittently during the day, but I always have it present. And yesterday, during the program we do every day on Twitch, talking to my partner Mario, I realized: we are in 2022 and, to my surprise, I’m still playing ‘Pokémon GO’. How is it possible?
A relatively passive game in which there is always something to do
The first thing, and before the typical “but are you really still playing that game?”, It should be said that ‘Pokémon GO’ is very, very much alive. In fact, in its six years of life it has generated 6,000 million dollars in income (at an average of 1,000 million per year, wow) and has not stopped evolving. In fact, there is not a single game in its category to face it, and it will not be for options.
Since its launch, ‘Pokémon GO’ has evolved a lot. I am not going to review all the changes because we would be here for hours, but suffice it to say that during 2020 it adapted to the pandemic and quarantine with options to play from home and that it has now been updated to invite you to leave home at least 15 minutes with a daily incense. It is always changing.
The community is still active, even in a small city like Córdoba, where you can still see people fighting in the gyms, sitting in the squares doing a raid with friends or catching a Pokémon on the street. Not the craziness that was the summer of 2016but hey, there’s that loyal community of gamers.
Of course, ‘Pokémon GO’ has been adding more creatures to capture. Do you remember when there were 150 Pokémon from the first generation? Well, now there are 905 Pokémon, to which must be added the shiny/multicolored ones, the forms of Alola and Hisui, and the different versions of the same Pokémon, such as Deoxys.
That’s fine, because you always have goals. Also, many of these new, more “exotic” Pokémon come out of the two, five, seven, ten and 12 kilometer eggs, which somehow forces you to walk. Fortunately, Adventure Sync still works like a shot and helps you do that without having to have the game open.
All this is accompanied by a system of daily missions, continuous temporary events, long-term missions (those of Professor Willow and other characters that will appear)… My feeling is that, without having to open the game all the time, I always have something to do. I can play passively, capturing a Pokémon from time to time, or I can dedicate time to it and go for a walk and, in addition to taking a walk, play objectives: destroy a gym, do a raid that interests me, etc. The fights, however, do not finish convincing me.
I used to spend more of the gyms, but in recent months I have focused more on this competitive aspect of the game. Why? Because gyms are the only way the game gives to get coins. These coins can be exchanged for backpack space, Pokémon storage, and among other things, remote raid passes, which are the ones that interest me.
And there are pages dedicated to remote raids. You arrive at a gym with a raid of a legendary Pokémon that you are not going to throw away even for a joke, you put the raid on that website, people add you as a friend and you invite them to join with a remote pass. In this way, you can get Pokémon that, in another context, would be very difficult or almost impossible for you.
I still see a problem with gyms, and that is coin earning is limited to 50 coins, no matter how long the Pokémon spends in the gym. After eight hours and 20 minutes (yes, that’s how long it takes to get 50 coins and yes, I’ve calculated it), it doesn’t matter if the Pokémon spends that time or two weeks: you’ll earn the same coins.
Be that as it may, the truth is that ‘Pokémon GO’ It has managed to captivate me like practically no other game has. Maybe it’s childhood nostalgia, maybe, but I’m still there, playing day in and day out, it has to be just to do the daily missions when I don’t have time. And at the rate at which Pokémon games are coming out, I’d go so far as to say that ‘Pokémon GO’ isn’t going to be over anytime soon.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism