I admit it - I was not too excited for Pokemon GO when I heard about Niantic, Inc. working on the game. It's not that I don't think Niantic is a cool company, just the opposite. They're doing great things and trying to get people out into the world to explore where they live. Unfortunately, where you live has a great deal to do with how their games play out. I played Ingress for awhile, and LOVED it. That is, until I was actually having to schedule when to make the drive to town to play the game.
In Pokemon GO, much like Ingress, you have to walk around not only to capture Pokemon, but also to acquire more items. This usually involves visiting some sort of historical landmark or point of interest. That's a bit of a problem when you live somewhere like here:
Granted, it's only around 30 miles away to get somewhere like here:
Where, after having played Ingress, I know I could spend literal hours playing. This is the bad part of having a game like Pokemon GO using augmented reality. It's absolutely cool, and is probably loads of fun if you live in a more populated area. But if you live in a more rural area, it makes the game feel worthless.
When I downloaded the app, I was a little pumped. Here's this Professor Willow guy who wants me to capture Pokemon.
I even got to customize my avatar, which is usually one of the high points in any game for me.
After going through the short tutorial, and capturing my very first Pokemon (Charmander), I was let out into the world to achieve my dreams and help Professor Willow research as many Pokemon as I could catch. What I was greeted with was one single Rattata in my backyard.
I went ahead and caught it, but it was extremely obvious to me that I was not going to be able to play this game as intended, much like I felt with Ingress. As expected, after catching Rattata, there were no other Pokemon or points of interest in my area. That didn't surprise me, since the closest grocery store is 22 miles away.
Even when I loaded it up later, I was shown there were Pokemon "nearby", but nowhere on my map. Considering there are no sidewalks where I'm at, and the fact that it's over 100F, I don't think I'm going to go strolling for miles looking for virtual Pokemon.
The biggest bummer is the fact that this is obviously a good game. It's like actually living in the Pokemon universe, much like I wanted to while playing Pokemon Red when it first came out. It's unfortunate that I'll have to drive to actually get anything out of the game, which really defeats the whole purpose of getting out there and walking around, discovering cool places I wouldn't have in the first place.