So it's been close to a month since the release of Pokemon GO, and needless to say, I'm having an absolute blast with it. Ever since I was a little kid, I've adored this franchise and have been keeping up to date with everything. From the trading cards to the video games, it's understandable to see why Pokemon GO has had me so active in trying to secure any nearby Snorlaxes and Eevees within my neighbourhood.
Though as fun as this app may be, I was starting to notice that some of my friends have become really distant from my new found hobby. This was apparent about two weeks ago following a previous escapade of procuring a nearby Hitmonchan with one of my friends. Irritated, my friend told me that Pokemon GO was nothing more but a lousy knock-off and that I could be using my time more wisely on "better" apps such as Tinder.
"Seriously dude, this app is the best," he said. "If you want to get yourself into some real action, you should definitely check this out."
From there he went his separate way, as I was left pondering at his recommendation. I mean, Tinder? I've never heard of this Pokemon game. Eager for some more Pokemon action, I decided to give this app a shot for about a week. To my dismay, what I found in this app was an uninspired repetitive mess of swiping right, boring conversations, and dull gameplay.
Tinder is an augmented reality, roleplaying app created by IAC. In Tinder, players assume the role as either themselves or pseudo profile through a fake Facebook account. Much like Pokemon GO, Tinder relies on players to track nearby monsters via a GPS system. Though unlike the popular app, Tinder cheapens the experience of going out to explore for Pokemon by allowing players to extend their search radius by up to 159km.
And that's not all that's different by comparison. Instead of aiming smartphone devices to throw Poke-Balls, Tinder allows players to procure Pokemon by swiping right on the screen. While this may sound incredibly dull, what struck me as even more bizarre was how the app allowed to also swipe "no" at particular Pokemon that may appear. Being a huge Pokemon nut, this option felt a little bizarre, and I saw no reason to even use this function (I mean, who doesn't want to catch them all?).
But while the app may seem a little lousy, one of the most innovative features was the ability to talk to Pokemon and engage in conversations. Rarely does this happen if you're picky about your monster selection. But if you swipe yes to everyone, you'll eventually find yourself engaging in several conversations. Surprisingly enough, the app actually has some pretty good writing. So much so that at times, it almost feels like you're talking to an intelligent human being.
In regards to graphics, what I found most striking about this title was how the Pokemon barely even look like Pokemon at all. In fact, a lot of them look exactly like people.
And I'm not just talking about people dressed in Pokemon themed clothing or anything exciting. Nope. Just a bunch of boring people.
What's most bothersome is the visual inconsistency in both the photo quality and types of images that are used. Some Pokemon will tend to hide particular features by zooming into the camera close to their faces. Most will dress in small, and often revealing, types of clothing. While others sometimes come up as an image of a cat. While this isn't explicitly explained, my biggest guess is that this is Tinder's version of new Pokemon types.
Overall, my time with Tinder was ultimately disappointing. While it was definitely interesting to observe how far their GPS technology had developed over the years, at the end of the day the app felt more like a glorified tech demo than anything.
I still have no idea why my friend recommended me this app.
Much like Pokemon GO, Tinder is free to download on all smartphone devices.