Gordon Myers

Articles on Life, Truth, Love, Computers, and Music

My Pokemon Go Wishlist

Like many, I've been sucked into the smartphone craze that is Pokémon Go. The nostalgia of reliving a game many of us played 20 years ago, combined with the pride of collecting as many little critters as you can, combined with the inspiration of wandering around your city and discovering hidden gems makes for a potent formula for success. Still, despite the game's immense and immediate popularity, I can't help but noticing that it's not exactly feature-rich. It's definitely an underdeveloped app, which isn't helped by the server-side struggles they've had to keep up with demand. Today I will present my wishlist of the top 3 features I'd love to see rolled out in future iterations of Pokémon Go.

1. Attacking before Capturing

One of the fundamental game mechanics that you learn early on in every other Pokémon game (and there are quite a lot!) is the importance of weakening new prospects by attacking them first before trying to capture them in poké balls. That mechanic is sadly absent from Pokémon Go. It's somewhat made up for with the use of Razzberries, but only somewhat as they often prove ineffective. I'd love to see future iterations of the app allow your existing critters to attack the wild Pokémon before attempting to throw a poké ball at them, with some sort of HP gauge on screen. That would be more true to the original. They could even introduce different consequences depending on the (predetermined) disposition of the Pokémon: perhaps certain animals would stay and fight while others might immediately try to flee when attacked. There are lots of possibilities, but right now it feels like a big missed opportunity.

2. Leveling up at gyms

In the real world, when you go to the gym to workout, you leave feeling stronger. In Pokémon Go, gyms don't exactly work that way. Presently the only way to strengthen your Pokémon is outside of the gym, by feeding them candy. This message seems incongruent with reality. I think the longer a Pokémon remains in a gym the stronger it should be. Or at the least, upon every successful defense of a gym, it should gain some additional CP. Right now gyms are little more than spectacles of pride, but the game would be much improved if they were more, y'know, gym-like.

3. Logging in

One feature that they should consider including in future iterations of Pokémon Go is the ability to log in. I really feel it was a big miss on Niantic's part by not including this feature right off the bat. It can be very counterproductive when you want to play Pokémon Go but you're unsuccessful logging in and thereby are prevented from playing Pokémon Go. It's really a strange game mechanic in which you're not allowed to play the game in the first place, and seems like a pretty glaring oversight on part of the developers. Hopefully, in future releases of the app, there will actually be a functioning app to play. That would seem like a great feature to include.

So that's my wishlist for Pokémon Go. What do you think? Do you have ideas of your own for features you'd like to see? Leave a comment below!

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