Pokemon Mobile App Game Ideas

Pokemon Mobile Discussion

Having embarked upon a Google-led search for even the tiniest hint of a Pokémon game for mobile devices, I found myself drowning in rumours, hypotheticals, and quite frankly an ocean of heavy disappointment as a result of my efforts. Sure, I happened upon some embarrassingly poor attempts at what looked to be an attempt at a mobile game that was Pokémon-like in nature. Ok, so there are plenty of Pokémon-related apps out there which cover things like damage calculation, evolution levels, and general Pokémon statistics but these are merely a virtual and colourfully-illustrated version of reference text; a glorified app-cyclopedia, if you will. I even stumbled upon a few Java-based efforts, but even the look of these offerings had my eyebrows raised; not in curiosity, however, but in strong suspicion and overwhelming doubt.  Somehow my search for a viable, actual Pokémon mobile game has almost pushed the next best thing out of my head entirely. 

pokemon black and blue

Ok, so this isn’t what I was getting at, but an A for effort from PETA

Is a Pokémon Mobile Game Necessary? (The implied answer is yes)

 I think that the absence of a Pokémon Mobile game (not Java-based, browser-dwelling imposters; if it doesn’t appear in the app store or on google play, it doesn’t count) solely for mobile devices is more than a gap in the market; it’s a problem, and is a great, big Pikachu-shaped void in the mobile gaming entertainment industry. If you don’t like Pikachu, then this metaphorical void can be shaped like whichever Pokémon tickles your fancy; that’s the beauty of using a metaphor. Joking aside, perhaps the tiny little robots out there that are responsible for the conception, production and development of mobile games are simply dying to make a Pokémon adventure for iOS or Android, but they simply don’t yet have any ideas to even put onto the drawing board, let alone some solid concepts to transform into a virtual, graphical environment that lives inside each and every app-compatible telecommunications device or portable multimedia interface out there. Without your permission, I would love (or at least like as a friend) to float a few basic ideas into the wide, webbed world of the internet and see if these tiny robots of my own ridiculous imagining will be inspired to begin work on the world’s first Pokémon game for a mobile device.

Better than a Tamagotchi

Ok, so creating a mobile game that mimics the complexity and depth of any of the existing GameBoy/DS-based Pokémon games is something that is beyond the ‘feasible’ line by quite the distance, but what’s to stop developers from taking certain aspects of a game and focusing their efforts on these? After all, Pokémon possesses an incredible number of features and which stand side-by-side to create the whole experience. What’s to stop a game being created in which you must catch, battle, train and care for a selection of Pokémon whilst exploring a region and encountering other trainers? You could go one step further and include a Pokémon breeding feature in which Pokémon can have offspring which inherit certain moves and characteristics of the breeding pair. Again, complexity doesn’t even need to factor into it, and if Pokémon Tower Defence can manage it, why can’t the well-funded Pokémon sympathisers at a notorious games production company manage the same?

The game could be set in a fictional region, or even take place in ones that already exist for our convenience; this area doesn’t have to be huge, and the game doesn’t have to be ridiculously complex, but simply needs to be representative of the general idea of Pokémon (catch, battle, repeat). Players could catch, train and generally care for a few Pokémon at a time (as many as a mobile game could handle), focusing on the addictive task of levelling them up whilst exploring the small region in which it is set. This concept could be bigger than the ever-pointless Tamagotchi, and infinitely less irritating to boot. I’m sure Pokémon fans would perform naked, ineloquent cartwheels in the street if this game also had a Wi-Fi or similar function where you could battle other players through pairing the devices. A true Pokémon fan would already have de-robed by the time the game was announced.

To Protect the World From Devastation

Ok, so Team Rocket were the bad guys in the first and second generation of games, and Team Plasma went on to carry the flame of menacing and downright not-cricket behaviour in the following titles, but if you really listen to the Team Rocket motto (aka Double Trouble; don’t act like you don’t already know it word for word and aren’t singing it through in your head right now), then you will realise that they were only doing what they thought was right. This feeble defence of the antagonists of the Pokémon world is simply a lead-in for the next idea, whereby a future Pokémon game for mobile devices would feature a Half-Life style reversal of roles and have you playing as Team Rocket or Team Plasma, or at least a member of their organisation.

 Perhaps another twist on the idea is that you could play as your rival from the different generations of games. Of course, I’m neither ridiculous nor naive enough to be suggesting that a comprehensive, like-for-like account of the console games on a mobile device is possible or even plausible; I am fully aware of the limits of both the hardware and the production process involved in creating games for mobile devices. Nevertheless, it isn’t unreasonable to conceive of a mobile game where you are able to play out some of the more memorable encounters with Team Rocket/Team Plasma, with the storyline, graphics and interface of course built around the limitations of the Android/iOS operating systems.

Of course, the game wouldn’t have to follow the exact progression of the evil organisations as they are portrayed in the games, but the idea itself is a refreshing concept, and would give the player a chance to become more involved with the shady goings on of the ‘enemy ’ that make mysterious appearances throughout the games. Perhaps we could be immersed into the headquarters of the organisations, be responsible for training and progressing with the stolen Pokémon and gain a little more insight about the day in the life of a Team Plasma Grunt. It worked for Half Life: Opposing Force, so why not for Pokémon?

Wireless Fidelity Functionality

I’ve mentioned Wi-Fi functionality being the basis of battling in previous ramblings, but the creation of a Pokémon Mobile Game dedicated simply to battling anyone else in the world that also happens to be playing seems almost too good of an idea not to have already been done. Is there a licensing concern here, people? Or is it simply a hardware issue? I would more than happily pay up to four British pounds for a mobile game that allows me to indulge my very sad self into battles with other ‘trainers’ across the world. The function is of course already present for the Nintendo DS in with its Wi-Fi battle features, allowing players to engage in battles with pretty much anyone else in the world who wants to do the same. Some online battle simulators have the right idea, but we need this concept to translate to the mobile gaming arena. Gathering of experience points, levelling up Pokémon, learning new moves and eventually getting them to evolve into their rightful forms would constitute some excellent entertainment. This process is the absolute essence of Pokémon, and a game that focuses upon this idea would be sure to cause a stir among Pokémon fans out there.

Just picture the format of ‘Draw Something’, but with the content of Pokémon and all that comes with it. With Draw Something and the related online gaming site omgpop going on to be worth in the region of $ 180,000,000, surely the idea is worth some deliberation .

Put Away Your Link Cable

In the world of magical, airborne transmission of data through digital signals which take the radio waves train, the long-forgotten era of using cables for connecting media devices is being left increasingly to bite the dust kicked up by the invisible sorcery of Wi-Fi. As much as I love a big steaming cup of nostalgia at any time of the day, link cables are now a thing of the past, but Pokémon trading doesn’t have to be! A trading function would be an excellent augmentation of a Pokémon battling game, or could simply be a stand-alone idea in itself.

Gym Bunny

Having battled eight gym leaders per generation, perhaps we could be given the chance to become the owner of our own gym. As with all gym leaders, we would need to select from a choice of two types on which the Pokémon team would be based. To avoid the game being too massive, the levels of the Pokémon could be standardised or restricted; while this could lead to the Pokémon being stuck with the same moves, this could be overcome by selecting from a batch of identical Pokémon with varying move-sets. If levelling up were possible, it could be achieved through battling against challengers, giving you the chance to train up your Pokémon. Having Red from the first generation and the player characters from each of the generations of games, each sporting their own version-specific starter Pokemon would be a great way to appeal to long-term fans of the game as well as draw in new ones.

Blast(oise) From the Past(oria City)

Ok, so the wordplay in the title of this section is weak at best, but my literary shortcomings shouldn’t detract from the fact that if a (true) Pokémon mobile game ever graces the hardware of an android/iOS device, it would be a missed opportunity to base the selection of Pokémon, the region and the characters heavily (or even exclusively) on the first generation of Pokémon. That’s right, I’m talking about when there were 151 creatures in total: a time of link cables, battery packs and people playing the colour games on the original GameBoy, a device that entirely lacked colour functionality . I’m more than convinced that this idea would be met with at least some awkward applause from Pokémon fans, and cries of joy from the Original Pokémon Fan Group on Facebook.

pokemon pixels

I occasionally find myself missing visible pixels: Bring back the original 151!

Team Rocket Blasting Off Again

When it comes down to it, what every true Pokémon fan (who also happens to own a Samsung Galaxy, Nexus 7, Ipad, Iphone or ‘insert app-compatible mobile device here’) wants is a Pokémon mobile game/app that isn’t simply a statistical source of reference, an emulator that plays existing Pokémon games, or a damned memory or quiz game that is simply dressed up in Pokémon costume (I see the latter ‘games’ as a facade for a distinct lack of imagination). Every single app in existence which claims to be a Pokémon ‘game’ is missing the entire essence of what it is to be a true Pokémon title: the ability to train and develop Pokémon.

I’m not asking for the ability to pursue an adventure on the scale of the console titles, nor am I expecting the ability to catch the 649 creatures which currently comprise the national Pokédex. It simply fails to make sense to me that a training/battling/catching game – even on the smallest, most manageable of scales – hasn’t yet been conceived of and developed for the mobile gaming market. I wouldn’t claim for a second to be knowledgeable about the requirements of what it takes to build such a game, but I would hope that this article will one day digested visually by someone who is: perhaps one day we will be able know what it feels like to throw a Pokéball using the accelerometer in our respective mobile devices. Come on, don’t even try and pretend like you haven’t tried. 

Discussion by Craig Sherratt

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