A year ago, Pokemon Go was taking the world by storm. Everyone was playing. YouTubers were getting incredible video view counts for their Pokemon Go content and it looked like the world had a new obsession. Sadly, the game didn’t really live up to the hype and people slowly stopped playing as there was nothing new to do. But that hasn’t been the experience of all games like Pokemon Go.
Ingress, the lesser known predecessor of Pokemon Go, also made by Niantic, has a stable, dedicated player base. They regularly hold events around the world, have groups in just about every city in the world meeting up, sometimes as often as once a week, but it isn’t the most attractive game and it lacks the big name that Pokemon Go had. Unfortunately, Pokemon Go was a bit more shallow than Ingress and it didn’t quite meet the expectations that players had from trailers. This got me thinking, what other games could be given the Pokemon Go treatment?
World of Warcraft Pet Battles
Imagine being able to take the pets you’ve gathered in World of Warcraft with you into the real world where you can fight other players. Be able to fight anywhere in the world or host local tournaments at nearby arenas. Imagine Pokemon Go gyms but a little more rare that act as gathering points for live events. Prizes for these events could include WoW merch and of course in-game exclusives. Leaderboards from local arenas lead to regional competitions, regional leads to national, and I’m sure you see where this is going, national leads to international. Suddenly you’ve got yourselves a new eSport.
The Secret World
Unlock clues to find yourself in the secret world of The Secret World, or you know, just download the app. You are just one local person who finds themselves in The Secret World. Maybe you live in a creepy New England fishing town that has been invaded by creatures from the sea. Or maybe you live in New York, headquarters of the Illuminati. Giant creatures rampage that require large groups to take down. You walk past an old church and get an alert on your phone about a strange symbol, a clue for you to investigate. Do you chase the clue or do you take a photo of it, saving it in your quest journal for some time when you aren’t going to be late for work. Every time you go on vacation you unlock new mysteries to solve.
This one might be a little bit more of a challenge to make a complete game. Go around buying up property, in this case, we’re talking about real life buildings. Pay a small amount of rent whenever you pass a building owned by someone else. If you run out of money put one of the properties you own up for sale and let the bidding war begin. Or just wait until you pass Go again, that’s the daily login reward. Put houses and hotels on the buildings to increase the amount of rent people have to pay. This is a game that would have to have some kind of ending. The end of the round, the winner is declared and it all starts again.
Any Zombie Survival Game
We’ve already got zombie based running games but this won’t be like them. In this game every time you go out you’re looking for supplies. Pass a grocery store? You found food! Pharmacies have bandages, hospitals and doctor’s offices have antidotes. Get alerts when you pass fellow players, allowing you to trade supplies with them, but be careful, around every turn there might be a zombie. If you do run into one you have only three options; run away, fight, or die. If you die you lose everything you’re carrying and respawn next time you go to your home base (your house). Keep caches hidden anywhere you like, but there’s a good chance that any player could come along and steal from you, only your storage at home is safe. That is until you invite friends over. How combat works isn’t clear yet.
Anyone who spent time on the internet in the early 2000s has played Neopets, the adorable browser pet game that is still going today. Your poor, poor starving Neopets. There are a few potentials here, like Neopet’s take on Everquest: Neoquest. Or you could make it into an arena game with your pets, petpets, and petpetpets. Find new petpets and petpetpets out in the open world then sell them in-game. Neopets has a lot of options thanks to the minigames they’ve had through the years.
The Division would be all about fighting for territory and might actually end up being a bit similar in gameplay to Pokemon Go’s predecessor Ingress. To keep things exciting there might be three factions; two player factions, and then one NPC. There’s opportunity for quests to pop up randomly while you’re walking through town. Completing them unlocks special rewards and achievements. Parks could be PvP zones, allowing for combat scenarios similar to those that you can find in The Division already.
While Pokemon Go may have only had temporary success, it was an important step in the popularity of mobile games and has shown that there is a lot of potential for games that are based partly in the real world.
These were just a few ideas that I had for games that I would enjoy seeing. I would love to know your ideas for a Pokemon Go-like game. Do you have any ideas for how to make Monopoly a better game? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear your ideas.Related: ARG, Column, Listed, Mobile, Pokemon GO