Why am I still playing Pokemon Quest?

I have no idea.

Pokemon Quest isn’t far from mobile games like Candy Crush when it comes to playability, yet I keep coming back to it. You start the game off with five charges that replenish every thirty minutes. To use one of these charges, you jump into one of the missions with your team of Pokemon and fight it out. You have the option of using your Pokemon’s special abilities when their cooldown is up, and that’s about it.

There’s a surprising amount of depth for this type of game. Your teams include three Pokemon that battle concurrently so combinations of teams greatly affect how successful you are in missions. Completing missions nets you experience for your Pokemon, food items and stones that can be equipped onto your Pokemon to increase their hit points or attack power.

Your base camp has a cauldron that you use with your found food ingredients from missions to try and lure Pokemon into your grasp. Different combinations of food items will make different types of meals, and attract different types of Pokemon.

Each recruited Pokemon can either have one or two special moves that can be used as well. While recruiting Pokemon with your vats of food that you create, there is a chance for them to have one or two special moves, something that becomes increasingly important as time goes on and you get further into the ‘story’.

Completing areas on the map and defeating the area boss will reward you with a decoration for your base camp. The decorations make it easier to level up Pokemon, a decent reward in case you find that Pokemon you’ve been searching for, but happens to be low level in comparison to where you’re at in game.

Micro transactions. The phrase you really don’t want to see in any form of gaming nowadays unless they are for cosmetic reasons, are present in Pokemon Quest. Does it take away from what you can do without spending any real cash? I don’t think so.

Every day, you receive 50 ‘PM Tickets’ which are the currency used in Pokemon Quest. Buying new decorations could cost around 800 PM Tickets, or expanding the amount of Pokemon you can have at one time costs that 50 tickets you received for logging in that day. It’s very forgiving when it comes to games with micro transactions. You don’t need to spend money to progress and the time difference in being patient vs. spending money isn’t drastic.

So why am I still playing Pokemon Quest? I think that Pokemon in general has the benefit of nostalgia attached to it. I ran around in middle school with my Gameboy and Pokemon Red. I collected the cards and distinctly remember finding that foil Zapdos from a pack in Toys R Us. I still think about a Pokemon MMO and how much I want to get lost in that world.

Along with nostalgia, I think about time. The reality is that the older I get, the less time I feel I can dedicate to video games. Pokemon Quest taps into two things; you’re only required to spend a few minutes of attention per day on it and it’s based on something that was vital in my childhood. And for that, I can still tap into it once a day and enjoy the experience.

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