If you’re a listener of the Let’s Play Video Games Podcast, our Best Phone Game of 2016 Award winner will likely not be a surprise to you. There’s only one mobile game this year that rocked the world, kept my attention through multiple months of continuous use, and motivated me to get up and walking when recovering from major surgery. Yes, the winner of our Best Phone Game of 2016 Award is…
Winner – Pokemon Go
This deeply mechanically unimpressive game is the culmination of two decades of my childhood dreams, and bringing those dreams to life is enough to have me invested in the long-term.
Pokemon Go is a very reduced version of the Pokemon’s core gameplay. And honestly? I don’t really care.
To me, Pokemon Go’s appeal is nothing to do with its frankly shallow mechanics. Pokemon Go’s appeal is that it takes my childhood fantasy of walking around the mundane, real world, and encountering Pokemon, and makes it a reality. The sheer fact that Pokemon Go allows me to add a little magic and mystery to my daily life is enough for me to want to play routinely still months after release.
The combination of putting Pokemon into the real world around me, and encouraging me to bump into gamers with a shared interest in little fake monsters has me enthralled, despite it ultimately being such a mechanically sparse game. I find myself not caring that I’m ultimately just flicking balls at Pokemon and tapping on enemies in the hopes of achieving victory, I still want to eventually catch them all.
Pokemon Go is one of the most enthralling mediocre games I have played in years. I know it’s not a great on paper, but I’m in love.