Summer 2016 and catching Pokémon for realz was all the rage. The hype was off the charts. But let’s face it. After the initial heady delight of being a trainer wore off followed by the dawning reality of the daily grind, the bugs and that winter really was coming became patently clear, there’s a very good chance you deleted it off your phone along with thousands of others.
This week, Pokémon Go celebrated its one year anniversary with the release into the wild of a special Pikiachu wearing Ash’s famous hat from the animated series. But fun gimmicks aside, what else has been added to the game a year on that might draw you back in? Has much really changed?
The developers, Niantic have been making regular updates and in the last month have added some larger, new features. So, it begs the question: Have they done enough to lure you back out of the tall grass?
Let’s take a look at some of the big changes.
Generation 2 Pokémon
If you are already a pretty big Pokémon fan this may have been the update that already pulled you back into the game. If not then you may just have noticed a few more odd looking Pokémon hidden about the game world ready to be caught.
Also the Pokémon Generation 2 evolve options are now available meaning that you can evolve your favourite Eevee into an Espeon or Umbreon. However to do so you will need some special items that can be obtained, albeit rarely, from Pokéstops. Some other evolution paths including Horsea, Zubat and Slowking have also been tweaked.
One of the biggest changes to the game this year has been the addition of cooperative Battle Raids. For Trainers at level 5 and above you and your friends can work together to participate in a Battle Raid and challenge some high level Raid Bosses.
You will need to cooperate to compete; solo play is not really an option. Although up to 20 players can join in on a raid helping to greatly increase your chances of a win.
However, before you can participate in a raid you will need a Raid Pass. You can get one, for free, every day from a gym and you can only hold one pass in your inventory at any one time. Purchasing of additional raid passes is, somewhat unsurprisingly, available via the in-game shop.
Once the raid begins you have a three minute limit to defeat the Raid Boss. If you succeed you will have the opportunity to catch that type of Pokémon which could be quite rare. As well as that, you will also receive prizes in the form of rare candies, berries and Technical Machines (TMs).
Gyms and Motivation
Tweaks have been made to the Gym system moving away from the previous mechanics of Prestige and training and now allowing more slots for the defending team’s Pokémon. A motivation meter has also been added for each Pokémon defending a Gym. This will decrease over time when they are defeated in battles. Once the bar is depleted the Pokémon’s CP will lower which will make it much easier for rival trainers to defeat. When finally defeated with no motivation, the Pokémon will abandon the Gym and return to its trainer, possibly in need of a hug. Motivation levels can be maintained through feeding the Pokémon berries.
Is it enough?
These are some of the bigger changes to Pokémon Go that Ninatic hopes will be enough to tempt you back into the game. There have been some smaller tweaks to items, the addition of rarer berries, candies and TMs as well as a new search functionality within your Pokédex to make it easier to find your Pokémon amongst the hundreds you have caught.
But is it enough to call you back to hunt? Let us know in the comments below if you have stayed true to Pokémon since its inception or whether these new additions are enough to bring you back to the game.