Games Review – Pokémon Go! What’s the fuss about?


Pokémon Go!images

What’s the fuss about?

One day I logged onto my internet and it was abuzz with Pokémon Go!

Pokémon, that adorable little cartoon character all of us who are in our 20s or 30s today, remember to adore.

“But What’s the fuss about?” I wondered.

Gasp! Pokémon is back

Pokémon was ancient for all I knew. With the era of apps and games like Temple Run, Angry Birds and the like, Pokémon it seemed had been long forgotten.  There were no Pokémon for smartphones, the devices that are found in everyone’s hands today.  Nintendo had not introduced any of its famous characters like Pokémon, Mario or Zelda and the likes to the smart world.

But, Pokémon Craze of the late 90’s is back.  And this time with a huge leap in technology as well as madness, it’s Pokémon Go!

Evolution of Pokémon

Pokémon is a term derived from a Japanese brand Pocket Monsters and it refers to over 700 species of fictional monster species which include famous Pikachu specie as well.  The classic Pokémon were baby monsters who were bred by Pokémon trainers, the humans, and the goal was to collect all the Pokémon, breed them and so on.

Yet another AR Game!

Pokémon Go! is pretty much the same game but with augmented reality (AR) incorporated into it.  This new game makes you get up and get moving if you want to succeed.  Pokémon players have to get up on their own two legs and visit the real-world locations in order to catch their Pikachus and Wigglypuffs.   The game is said to lure players into nooks and corners of their towns they’ve never visited before.  People have been complaining of their sore legs and feet ever since the release of the game.

Location database of Niantic’s original augmented reality game, Ingress, is made available to the user community.

Scope for Business and Marketing

Revenue is derived from sponsored game locations, in which McDonalds was the first to cut the deal with around 3000 outlets in Japan.  And, this is just the beginning.  If Pokémon Go manages to keep up its popularity, numerous sponsored PokéStops and PokéClubs will spring up bringing in a huge chance of business and marketing.

Meanwhile, the game is earning revenue by microtransactions, like sale of Pokéballs, lucky eggs, special items, and expansions, etc. Monetization at the moment isn’t intrusive while playing the game which is a very smart move.  Too much focus on monetization this early can result in losing players.  Also, augmented reality games do not have a successful history and it’s wiser to wait till the game is stable before digging into the goldmine of its capability and outreach.

Availability and breeding opportunity for malware

Pokémon Go is still not available worldwide.  The official version of the app is being released around the world slowly.  But, such is the hype of its release that people have been passing APK files to friends in regions where it’s not available yet. One of such files was maliciously infected by DroidJack.  Just 72 hours after the release, Proofpoint spotted the infected version of the game intended for android users.  On their blog, they have highlighted some of the features that can help a user differentiate if they have downloaded the infected version.

It’s not necessary that if one downloads software or an app from third party or unknown source, it would be infected but there’s always a risk.  That’s why the firm urges people to download software from a reputed or well known app store.  The infected game software is very similar to the real game and thus easily fools the user.  Hence, it is better to wait for the official release than to get the risk of getting your system wrecked or worse, hacked.