Today marks six months since I started playing Pokemon Go, and unlike millions of former players, I’m still going strong. What’s still attracting me to the game when so many others have quit? I’m so glad you asked! Keep on reading to see why I’m still having fun.
Improvements to the game
Pokemon Go certainly isn’t a perfect game but it is far, far better than when I first downloaded it. Niantic could have just been satisfied with their initial cash windfall but they’ve made steady improvements, many of which were based on user input. The buddy system is great for getting candies for those Pokemon which are really hard to find, and the tracking system actually lets you know what Pokestops your quarry are near. Daily rewards have somewhat alleviated the limiting reagent of Stardust. Gyms are easier to train up. And best of all, special events such as Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day have increased the drop rate of certain rare Pokemon and other resources. There were so many Lickitungs yesterday I started running low on Ultra Balls. (That’s what she said? doesn’t quite work…)
Opportunity to kick ass since everyone left
It’s no secret that Team Yellow got shafted in the first few months of the game. Almost half of new users picked Team Blue, a third picked Team Red, and Team Yellow got whatever was left. Guess which team I picked? (groan) But now that so many people have left and since higher levels have diminishing returns, my team has a chance, and we have enacted our vengeance. It used to be a special day when I had my Pokemon at two gyms at once; now the 6 closest gyms to my house are yellow 90% of the time from my efforts and those of other loyal partisans.
Nostalgia and Completionism
Of course I wouldn’t have started playing Pokemon Go at all without the strong nostalgic draw of the first generation of Pokemon. The second half of my senior year of high school our AP Statistics teacher went on maternity leave and we got a long term substitute fresh out of college. Joel didn’t just ignore our game playing – he actively encouraged it as long as we were caught up on work. On long period days we would finish our assignment early and have 90 minutes+ to level up our team and hasten the demise of Team Rocket, sometimes with our teacher playing along right next to us. I never did “catch em all” but now I have the opportunity to rectify that error and complete the quest. User created tools like thesilphroad.com are making it much easier to find nests and complete my collection; ignoring the incompletely released 2nd gen Pokemon and the others you can’t get right now, just 28 to go!
Many thanks to my patient wife who has not yet murdered me when I ask her to drive slowly by a park so I can catch an elusive Squirtle. I love our Pokewalks around our neighborhood!
Are you still playing? If not, why’d you stop? Let me know in comments!