Pokémon Go came close to being the Zeitgeist of a generation. People were outside for the first time in decades, their legs creaking from disuse and wobbling underneath the weight of a full grown human. And then they all went back inside after they thought they had seen everything. Alas, what was once a movement became a lack thereof.
What made Pokémon Go (briefly) successful wasn’t just the titular pocket monsters. Granted, an aging generation of Pokémon fanatics arose bright-eyed to answer the never-ending call of Nintendo. But others were drawn in (or out) too. Many had little to no knowledge of Pokémon before they started playing. Why were normal, everyday people leaving their homes to find a Pikachu that wasn’t even really there?
Maybe it’s part of our society’s obsession with virtual reality. Or maybe it’s a latent desire to actually go outside and roll around in the dirt. Whatever it is, it started something. For better or worse, the platform of ‘Go’ games is here and duplications are not only likely, but inevitable. We regret to say that we won’t be making any of them any time soon, but we sure do love speculating on what they’ll be. What if the following concepts were turned into ‘Go’ games?
15. Harry Potter
From one mega-franchise to the next. Harry Potter seems a fairly obvious choice. With a new movie on the way and a book (play?) recently released, Harry Potter is, much like Pokémon, still very much in the public eye. Also like Pokémon, it has a rich mythology to draw from. Specifically, all of those fantastic beasts. And it could be your job to find them. Indeed, with the next installment in the franchise, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on the cusp of release, the wizarding world is ripe for “Harry Potter Go.” Choose from which Hogwarts House you’ll be from, learn spells, go on wizard missions, and similar to Pokémon Go, players could roam the Muggle streets and recapture all of the escaped monsters, creatures, and evil wizards lest they wreak too much havoc. Perhaps they’ll wave their wands to cast various spells on them as well?
14. Grand Theft Auto
Speaking of havoc, no gaming experience is quite like that of Grand Theft Auto. Morally defunct and often despised by the world’s great mass of pearl-clutching wet blankets, GTA has become a powerhouse of gritty, borderline-sociopathic behavior and, surprisingly, great storytelling. Crime, through a virtual, repercussion-less lens, is fun! Thus, “GTA Go”. Going back to its auto roots, your phone is your steering wheel. As you walk, your vehicle moves and you may choose to do missions around town, all while driving. Virtually, that is. Don’t play while you’re actually driving because that’s really stupid. Roam around town, select unknowing pedestrians to run over, collect points in doing so, select cars to rob, collect more points depending on the make of the car you get. And, because this is augmented reality, it’s all real-world info transferred to your screen. You see a Mercedes? Open your “GTA Go” and grab that beautiful set of wheels, then run over that innocent old lady crossing the street.
13. Dragon Ball Z
Fellow anime classic and 90s staple, Dragon Ball Z must undoubtedly be considered for its own ‘Go’ game. Appealing to 20-something males everywhere, this concept could easily combat the popularity of Pokémon. And then they can make a mash-up because they’re both anime and basically the same thing! Ok, ok, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. That doesn’t even make sense. Moving on…
Granted, finding the seven dragon balls could be an overarching goal within the game, but more frequently, Pokémon Go’s battle system could be implemented for player-vs-player Saiyan fights. Challenging friends in meet-ups or just stumbling upon fellow players on the street, all of your fight club fantasies could be realized, sans actually having your ass kicked. What else could you ask for?
12. Fashion Go
Something a little more low-key, but virtually guaranteed to appeal to every girl. Players have a big event they have to plan for, whether it be a date or an important meeting. The object of the game would be to roam around until you find all of the appropriate elements of your outfit. It’s like playing dress-up without the cost of going to a mall. Plus, bonus, you can avoid going to the mall in general. Other players are also looking for outfits, though and you might stumble upon one of them in your travels. In this instance, if you both happen to be vying for the same item of clothing, you could haggle over it with in-game currency. Otherwise, you could try and snatch it and run before the other player can retaliate. Fashion can wreak havoc too.
11. Super Mario
No saving princesses this time. Here, we have another cult classic. This concept is just dying to be realized. In this iteration of Mario, the ever-dubious Bowser has rounded up the citizens of the Mushroom Kingdom and turned them into his mindless servants. They are now wandering the world and causing trouble for everyone. Minor misdemeanors, mostly, but enough of a nuisance that you and your friends have been called in to save the day. The mission is not to hurt the citizens, but to neutralize them. Using the vast array of tools (your phone) at your disposal, you are trying to snap them out of their evil-induced state of servitude. We’ll be waiting by the phone, Nintendo.
Waka waka waka waka! Please don’t eat anything off the ground. Let Pac-Man do that! As Pac-Man, you’ll be looking for power-ups and fruit in order to stave off the ever-approaching ghosts. This is a cardio game and involves a bit of constant movement. Best played in wide open spaces and away from cars. You choose the pace and direction. If you avoid the ghosts for long enough and eat enough power-ups, you’ll be given the chance to chase down your former pursuers and win the game. Winning the game gives you a score and time that can be shown off on the leaderboards. Just another way to tell your friends that you’re better than they are.
9. A Nightmare On Elm Street
Halloween is fast approaching and, with it comes a slew of horror-related fun. People start re-watching their favorite scary movies. Kids go grabbing candy from the hands of strangers. Pumpkins are torn to shreds in an insane cultural activity we still haven’t questioned. And, should someone care to design it, an Elm Street Go game is fresh for the playing. Or speculating, on our part. The game would involve being a little creepy. You’re stealing people’s dreams after all. You are Freddy Krueger, famed monster, child-killer and self-anointed comedian of the macabre. Your fellow players and general passersby are your target. One wonders how long this would last until someone finally started noticing all the people suddenly pointing a phone in their direction. “Just stealing your dreams, brah”. Or perhaps game designers will take the less stalker-ish approach and go with a “keep him/her awake” ‘Go’ game? Find things in your surroundings and throw them at sleeping innocents to protect them. Less creepy? Not so much, but at least you can do this from a reasonable distance.
8. How To Train Your Dragon
Also around the corner is the notorious wallet-robber, Christmas. What will you get your kids this year? Toys are so last century and video games are expensive. Why not download How to Train Your Dragon Go on to their phones and watch them go nuts. Or don’t watch them. You didn’t need supervision when you were a kid, after all. The object of the game is to collect dragons and, as the name implies, train them. Contrary to what the name implies, there is no instruction manual. Each dragon will be unique and you will be forced to respond to different personality traits effectively. Or maybe we can include a Pokédex of sorts for the various types of dragons? Either way, you’ll even get to participate in, of course, dragon races and fight to be the first to collect all the sheep! What a delightful experience for an increasingly socially-stunted world.
7. I Spy
Keeping with the theme of kid-friendly fun, here’s a modern take on the classic game of I Spy— because we know your kids aren’t going to play a game if there aren’t several inches of high definition glass between them and the outside world. This one is a little tricky, though. Utilizing the phone’s camera, users will be prompted to do a 360 degree sweep of the room with their phones’ built-in camera, allowing for the camera to record its surroundings. Once it sees everything, it will generate questions based on what it could pick up on. Soon, your kid will be wandering around the house, looking for “something green.” Aren’t we all, kid. Aren’t we all.
Speaking of kids, do not let them play this game. It’s barely acceptable for adults and it doesn’t even exist yet. The idea behind Saw Go is simple: You are the hero, a cop trying your best to save the doomed victims of Jigsaw’s experiments and games. Your time is limited, though, and as soon as you start up the game, you are given a nearby mission to complete within a certain amount of time. How do you get this mission? Through a creepy video recording of course! Make it in time to save the victim and you gain points. Fail to do so and suffer the irritating condescension of Jigsaw. Heard that guy is a real douche.
5. Lord Of The Rings
You had to see this one coming. It’s a story about walking, really. One long cardio session that, in the end, seems like it could have been solved by the birds. Plot holes aside, Lord of the Rings is a pinnacle of storytelling. Which, in turn, makes it a pinnacle of marketability. All good things must succumb. As a result, it also lends itself to gaming quite handily. But in a ‘Go’ game, one cannot merely have a singular goal (i.e. tossing a magic ring into the fire). Thus, in LOTR Go, you are not Frodo on a quest of unspeakable burden. You are a Ringwraith. The evil corrupted men of Sauron that tirelessly hunt for the magic ring. Or rings, in this case. Your mission is to roam (middle) Earth and find that which you most crave. And rack up some steps along the way.
Zombies are about as ubiquitous as it comes these days. The never-ending parade of television shows, movies, and books about zombies has made the concept of the living dead about as passé as sparkling vampires. And jokes about sparkling vampires. But, from the depths of the mid-aughts they came, and here they still remain. To ignore the staying power would be to pass up the ample opportunity presented by Zombie Go. Maybe zombies became boring because we never got to shoot any. We were always busy running away from them. With this game, though, you get to do a little of both. Meant as a high-energy game, Zombie Go focuses on keeping up a pace that avoids the walking dead, but still intends to put you face to face with them. You know, so that you can subsequently blow that face off. Just please keep in mind that guns are not toys. No matter how fun they might (virtually) be.
Much like Zombies Go, Halo Go is about blowing the faces off of unwanted invaders. Only this time, the invaders are a lot smarter and better suited than you. The Space Marine Corps of Earth has enlisted you, a technologically savvy Earth-dweller, to take care of the impending invasion. Using your highly sophisticated weapon system, conveniently uploaded to your smart phone of choice, you are responsible for quelling the alien forces. Be wary, though. They can shoot back. It’s not a duck and cover sort of game so much as a turn-based one-on-one with various aliens you’ll find littered about your hometown. Walk around town to discover the hidden invaders, cloaked in invisibility until they are revealed by your phone. A word of caution: the aliens get bigger and scarier with time.
2. Silent Hill
Everything is not right in the world. Horror and fear permeate the towns we once called home and mysterious figures have begun popping up all over. You are pit against these cult-like beings, armed only with a phone with a light and a blunt instrument. Using your phone’s swiping motion, you take chancy hits at these looming creatures, hoping only to survive. This game is desolate. It is not about winning nor finding the secret to prosperity and victory. It’s purely survival, avoiding the worst of it by bypassing challenges you know you cannot yet complete. Silent Hill Go involves a slow pace and a watchful eye. Best played at night and with a group of friends, Silent Hill Go is what will get people outside on Halloween again. Besides the call of alcohol, that is.
1. Angry Birds
Throwing birds at pigs. Had you said that, this would not be our national obsession ten years ago, we would have laughed at you. Now there’s a freaking movie starring actual movie stars. What can you really say? Perhaps the idea of piling another game on top of the original seems excessive. But this fundamentally misunderstands the trend started by the original Angry Birds in the first place. That fun should not be halted for anything, even bathroom breaks. So, what started as a diversion from the family on Thanksgiving has evolved into a full blown adventure. Pigs are stacking themselves all over town. For whatever reason, this angers the bird population. You have been tasked with throwing birds at these pig stacks until they eventually collapse and thus render their futile attempt at civilization impotent. Heck, just drive right into the stacks. Run into them. Smash into them. Whatever you want. The world is your oyster. Also, it’s a fun game for the kids.