Thanks to the ability to transfer critters via a link cable, and later infrared, the core Pokémon games have always had a social aspect. Try as Nintendo might, though, this idea hasn’t extended much further than school playgrounds due to the franchise’s demographic. It pains us to say it, but there’s a slight stigma against playing Nintendo handhelds in public too. That’s unless it happens to be an original Game Boy, which in this day and age will doubtlessly earn extra hipster cred. Unkempt beard optional.
Now Nintendo has finally embraced mobile gaming, Pokémon’s social aspects have become fully realised. All it took was moving their games away from their own hardware; who would have thought it?
By featuring generation one ‘mon, Pokémon Go draws heavy on nostalgia to create something that anybody can play anywhere. There is no stigma in whipping your mobile out for a few minutes as if you were merely checking Twitter or seeing what year old memes have finally found their way onto Facebook. Perfectly suited for on-the-go-gaming, a few minutes is all it takes to load up Pokémon Go (servers permitting), catch a critter or two and grab some extra consumables from nearby PokéStops.
With an attractive entry point of sweet nothing, Pokémon Go has become a worldwide sensation in just one week. This success can also be attributed to a simple core mechanic. It’s one that’s perhaps even a little too simple for its own good, bearing an uncanny resemblance to 2009 mobile hit Paper Toss.