Back in 2016 I jumped on the craze that is Pokémon Go. I played for a while, and then eventually put it way. However, recently, many of my friends have gotten back in to the game, and so I’ve started playing again, and I’ve found it to be way more fun than when I tried it originally.
One of the biggest components that was added recently was the ability to create a friends list. Once someone is your friend, you can send them gifts that you collect when you visit various Pokéstops. This adds a whole new dimension to the game, because it’s creates more of a social community around playing. It’s fun to open the gifts that I get each morning, because they are tagged with a picture of where the Pokéstop was. A few weeks ago I was visiting a college where a friend of mine had attended, so I specifically collected a few gifts from there and sent them to him over the course of a few days. It was a fun way to bridge the gap between reality and a video game.
Niantic (the game developers) have also spent a lot of time improving the various mechanisms in the game to add more depth and playability. Battling in raids and gyms is a fun way to meet new people, and do more than just catch random ‘Mons. The addition of Community Days brings people together at parks all over the place to look for special spawns, and to take down legendary bosses. Overall, every thing just feels cleaner and more refined than when it first started. It also helps that many technical glitches have been taken care of.
I still wish there were a few things that they would change. One of those is more transparency. It’s incredibly difficult to optimize your playing when there is so little official information on how things work behind the scenes. Unlike traditional Pokémon games, you’re often left guessing, or relying on random internet sites, to tell you how good or bad a specific Pokémon would be in a given situation. I understand the desire to not tell everyone all the secrets, but a bit more data would be useful.
Overall I’m having a great time, and my friends and I are enjoying our Poké-time together when we’re out biking and enjoying beer. I’m sure I won’t play constantly forever, but I can see myself being more regular now that they’ve made some solid improvements to a great game.