by Graham Pierrepoint
As reported recently, 2016’s massive mobile hit, Pokemon GO, is still very much up and running – and is still turning over a very healthy profit in the bargain. It may sadly have shed a fair fraction of the regular user base who were regularly catching monsters a year ago, but it has continued to offer occasional events and prizes to those who still want to have a shot at catching ‘em all. In recent months, it’s even introduced creatures from the second generation of games, boosting the roster and, in effect, extending the game. The app, however, has come under criticism for not opting to introduce trading between players and for keeping battles under wraps outside of selected gym locations. These were two facets that made the original games so playable – and, for many players, waiting for updates simply became too much of a task.
Developer Niantic, however, seem to have a few big changes lined up to enhance the game significantly – at least, it seems, when it comes to gym battles. Gyms – which can be found in a variety of locations throughout the world – are set to undergo a revamp, with a maximum of six monsters holding fort and restrictions on duplicate Pokemon coming into play. You’ll also be able to collect and upgrade gym badges, and your party’s motivation to battle may be affected if you find yourself beaten back too often.
Beyond this, you’ll even be able to work with up to 19 other players in an effort to raid or take down a gym – and you’ll be rewarded handsomely in a number of ways. You may even be able to get the chance to capture the type of Pokemon sitting atop a gym – meaning that there’s now even more of an impetus in place for you to go gym hunting. This will be great news for those players still roaming the streets trying to capture the last of those elusive beasts.
Pokemon Go will arguably go down as one of the biggest headline grabbers and crazes of 2016 – but Niantic are keen to try and recapture last year’s Pokemon summer madness with a few tweaks on the game’s first anniversary. It may still be a few strides behind introducing full trades and battles beyond gyms – and it may well introduce a few more monsters into the mix before it’s done for – but will it ever hit the heady heights of its fame ever again? Let’s wait and see.