Pokemon Go: Far from a “dead” game

We’ve all heard of this game. It’s one of the few games to transcend its fan base and become a part of public media as a whole. At the time of it’s release it became so well known that it was commonly referenced by major news media, public figures and even political candidates. I’m speaking of course about the worldwide phenomenon that is Pokémon GO.

Released in summer of 2016, Pokémon GO instantly became widely popular sporting over 5 million downloads on the first day alone. If you’re unfamiliar with the game, the general premise is that there are creatures spread across the world called Pokémon, and it is your job as a trainer to capture them all and train them to be stronger. At first, the game only contained the original 151 types of Pokémon.

Today, the game contains 386 Pokémon from the first three generations, with the potential to include another 300+ Pokémon down the road. Even though some have claimed that the game is “dead” at this point and no longer has many users, the game still has 20+ million active daily users. To put that in perspective, more people play Pokémon GO every day than there are people living in many countries. I would hesitate to call a game of that magnitude “dead”.

In Pokémon Go, all players are divided into three color-coded teams. The most popular of the 3 teams is Team Mystic (aka the blue team) sporting a membership of 43% of all players. Next is Team Valor (the red team, and my own team) with 32% of all players. Finally is Team Instinct (the yellow team) holding the remaining 25% of members. The three teams are constantly battling for control of the various “Pokémon Gym” locations in the game, generally linked with real world churches, monuments and statues. Capturing these gyms for your team generates the in-game revenue called PokéCoins. This currency can then be used to purchase in-game items, upgrades or more clothing for your avatar.

The variety of Pokémon that appear in the game has certainly increased in the year-and-a-half the game has existed. In the initial days of it’s launch, you were lucky to find something other than your standard Pidgey or Ratatta, but with a greater number of Pokémon comes a greater variety of appearances in your area. A player can also gather a few friends (regardless of team colors) and work together to defeat a rare and powerful Raid Pokémon.

These Pokémon appear fairly frequently at Pokémon Gyms and usually require multiple players working together to defeat them. After defeating one of these Raid Pokémon, all participating players will have the opportunity to capture the Pokémon. This is an important feature because some Raid Pokémon cannot be captured anywhere else. With these features combined, players should have no trouble capturing a wide variety of Pokémon.

In conclusion, Pokémon Go is a game that still is constantly adding new features and Pokémon, has a very large active user base, and is still commonly played even on this very campus! Pokémon Go is far from dead, and still has a few surprises to offer in the future.

The Games Club regularly plays Pokémon Go (along with many other games). If you’re interested in the club, come to Glat 104 on Friday and Saturday nights at 8PM.

Good luck in catching them all!

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