7. Pokemon GO (iOS, Android)
Number seven in our Top Games of 2016 list is Pokémon GO, developed by Niantic Labs and published by The Pokémon Company for iOS and Android.
Yep, another Pokémon game. After quite the spot on Super Bowl 50, nobody could’ve predicted that the 20th anniversary of Pokémon would lead to a Pokémania renaissance.
Pokémon GO was released for mobile devices in the middle of the summer, and it instantly dominated the App Store and Google Play charts for months. The game’s concept is simple. Just catch Pokémon. Using their foundation set up by the GPS-based game Ingress, Pokémon GO forces players to venture out in the world in order to find and capture Pokémon.
To say it was a phenomenon is an understatement. Niantic actually had a small Pokémon GO panel setup for San Diego Comic-Con, but due to the game’s immense popularity, it was moved to Hall H–a venue that’s usually saved for Comic-Con’s biggest announcements. Thousands of people were at the panel hosted by Chris Hardwick, as a bunch of people expected a legendary Pokémon to show up within the conference walls, and it ended up feeling like an awkward bashing of Niantic from the Pokémon fans.
Be that as it may, what Pokémon GO was able to accomplish is simply extraordinary, and while people will say the success was short-lived, thousands of people are still enjoying the game, thankfully with improved stability since its launch. A few of us here at SmashPad, including yours truly, still play it (maybe not as much as we did when it was first released), and it’s still quite enjoyable.
“This year, Pokémon GO will be nobody’s underdog when it comes to mentioning the best games of 2016, despite the fact that it’s on a mobile platform. There’s no denying the success it had, and while people will believe it was short-lived, it was long enough to make the mobile gaming sphere (and the world) take notice.” – Danreb Victorio, Managing Editor