Pokémon Go was released to mixed reviews, with critics praising the game’s concept and the incentive to be more active in the real world, while criticizing frequent technical issues apparent at launch. Despite such reviews, it quickly became a global phenomenon and was one of the most used mobile apps, having been downloaded by more than 130 million people worldwide. It was also credited with helping local business grow. However, it has attracted controversy for contributing to accidents and becoming a public nuisance at some locations. Multiple governments expressed concerns over the game’s security, with legislation regarding it being passed in some countries as a result.
Pokémon Go was released to mixed reviews according to aggregator review website Metacritic. Upon release, critics called the experience enjoyable, but noted the game’s technical issues. There are views from various experts and top gamers of Pokémon Go.
Oscar Dayus (Pocket Gamer) said that the game was an immensely enjoyable experience and continued with how “the very personal nature of catching Pokémon in your own neighborhood made me smile more than any game has for years”.
Jeremy Parish (US Gamer) compared the game and its social aspects to a massively multiplayer online game. Reviewers also praised the game enabling the promotion of physical exercise.
Terri Schwartz (IGN) said it was “secretly the best exercise app out there” and that it changed her daily walking routine.
Patrick Allen (Lifehacker) wrote an article with tips about how to work out using Pokémon Go.
Julia Belluz (Vox) said it could be the “greatest unintentional health fad ever” and wrote that one of the results of the game that the developers may not have realized was that “it seems to be getting people moving”.
Philip Kollar and Allegra Frank (Polygon) both agreed that “Pokémon Go is an exciting social experience” though they said they were not sure how long the game would last, and depending on how frequently Niantic updates it, it could either last for coming years or end up as “a brush fire craze that the whole gaming world is talking about for a few weeks and then is forgotten”.
Other critics expressed more negative opinions of the game, with many citing frequent crashes and other technical issues, along with shallow gameplay.
Kallie Plagge (IGN) said that despite the game lacking in polish and depth, the overall experience made up for it.
Matt Peckham (Time) criticized the game for its frequent crashes.
Mike Cosimano (Destructoid) also took issue with the game, saying the original idea showed promise, but was improperly executed.
Kat Brewster (The Guardian) wrote that although she thought Pokémon Go was not a good game, it was “a great experience”. The server problems also received negative press.
Miguel Concepcion (GameSpot) said despite him enjoying the game’s strong social appeal and visual design, the game’s “initial iteration is a buggy mess on all levels”, with one of the reasons being the constant server problems. Another glitch that appeared a few days after launch was the “three-step glitch”, reviewers also gave this bug negative press.
Patricia Hernandez (Kotaku) said, “the three step glitch adds to what has been a terrible launch for Pokémon Go”.
Paul Tassi (Forbes) said that due to this bug it’s “anyone’s best guess where Pokémon are 99% of the time” and that it “renders almost all traditional methods of tracking pointless”.