Have you been playing Pokemon Go? Our team is O-B-S-E-S-S-E-D… which is exactly why we felt the need to share this editorial guest post about what makes games today so awesome. Read on!
One of the really cool things about modern gaming is that there’s limitless potential for crossover, imitation, and reboot titles. Developers can now make games for consoles, computer play, or mobile download, and sometimes they’ll make games that can be enjoyed on all of these different platforms. The industry is freer than ever before when it comes to development, and one of the results is that popular titles quickly inspire others, and gamers are able to enjoy more of what they like.
The clearest examples are in console-to-mobile crossovers of mainstream franchises. We’ve seen everything from EA Sports’ FIFA franchise to Call Of Duty titles adapted to the smaller screen following incredible popularity on leading consoles. And more recently, we’ve seen developers working on optimizing smaller forms of console games for mobile play. For instance, among the games provided by Square Enix, you can now find selections like Hitman Go and Lara Croft Go, which are puzzle apps that invoke themes and characters from the Hitman and Tomb Raider franchises. These games came out more or less alongside the most recent console releases in their respective series, and thus capitalized on existing popularity to thrive in app markets.
We’ve also seen some games that initially found popularity in those same app markets sparking trends elsewhere. In other words, not every fun crossover trend in gaming has to begin with a massive console title! Consider Temple Run, for instance, a relatively simple mobile game that became a viral hit (and inspired sequels and spinoffs) not long after its release. The game basically involves running through a jungle as an Indiana Jones-like adventurer, collecting coins and avoiding obstacles. And while nothing that exactly resembles it has popped up elsewhere, the exclusive games hosted at Gala Casino now include a game that looks to have been crafted with a similar atmosphere in mind. “Jungle Treasure,” as it’s called, replaces slot reel images and backgrounds with imagery from the jungle, and the animation even looks a little bit like that in Temple Run. It’s hard to imagine this game really standing out if not for the fact that it bears that resemblance.
But the most exciting aspect of the crossover and reboot culture that’s developed in gaming is that we’re constantly seeing vintage video games updated or mimicked. Whether you once loved Frogger and have since come to enjoy Crossy Road, or you can’t get enough of classic fighter games and now have Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat apps on your phone, there seems to be something to suit just about anyone’s interest. But now, at least in the millennial generation, there’s something to suit everyone’s interest. And you guessed it—we’re talking about Pokemon Go.
Released earlier this month after some eager but uncertain anticipation, Pokemon Go may be the biggest gaming sensation since the original Pokemon games themselves. It functions very similarly to those games, except that instead of directing Ash Ketchum around on a Game Boy screen, you’re the trainer and the Pokémon are out in your world. You go out on walks and your phone buzzes when a Pokemon is in your immediate vicinity. You then tap the Pokemon, and your phone’s camera will activate, showing the very real environment around you, complete with a Pokemon just waiting to be captured. From there, you simply capture, train, and enter battles at local arenas. There’s a little bit more to it than that, but in short, Pokemon Go brings the original Pokémon experience into your real life.
There has already been a lot written about the nostalgic appeal of this game to millennials, but it’s impossible to overstate that point. Try to remember just how popular Pokemon really was; it was like Mario and the Beanie Babies mashed up and turned into a video game, card-trading game, and animated TV show all at once. This was one of the cultural phenomena of the ’90s, and most ’90s kids/millennials haven’t forgotten it. In fact it’s a good bet that as Pokemon Go continues to gain popularity, this writer isn’t the only person trying to dig up an old Game Boy to play through Pokemon Red or Blue again.
Make no mistake about it. Pokemon Go is childhood reborn for an entire generation, and it’s because of this that it’s the most exciting mobile gaming reboot or crossover yet. Oh, and it’s absolutely dominating the app market.
The Girl with the Golden Lightsaber