Unless you’ve been hiding in a Poké Ball, coiled in the fetal position while squealing “Pi-Pika-Chu!” in a high-pitched voice for the past week, you’ll know that Pokemon Go has been something of a mega-hit.
The premise of the augmented reality mobile game is simple: go outside, whip out your phone and hunt down as many of the titular creatures as you can.
In Pokemon Go’s short lifespan, it has been credited with all manner of benefits – from helping to fight depression and anxiety, to making friends and even getting in some good old cardio.
It’s pretty much a matter of time before other app developers mimic its winning formula, so here are five other games that we think deserve the Pokemon Go treatment.
1. Fatal Frame
The spooky snap-em-up would fit Pokemon Go’s formula like a glove due to its main gameplay mechanic, which basically sees you wander around haunted locations exorcising ghostly apparitions with a camera.
Rather than tracking down cutesy Mudkips on street corners during the day, you’d be hunting down headless specters in your friend’s fusty basement.
You would need to play it with headphones on for the authentic ghostbustin’ experience, obviously. Imagine the bragging rights! “John, I can hear the Headless Horseman in your bathroom!”
“That’s my dad, idiot.”
2. Lords of Football
A little-known soccer management sim for the PC that made it into our best football games round-up, Lords of Football is all about what goes on in players’ lives off the pitch.
We’d like a mobile version that focuses on what must be one of the most annoying aspects of being a handsomely-paid ball-kicking megastar: being hounded by the paparazzi. And in our Pokemon Go-styled reinvention of the game, it’s you that’s doing the hounding.
For fans of the sport, each and every mundane shopping trip out with their other half would be transformed into an edge-of-your-seat, celeb-snapping experience.
Here’s one scenario: you’re apathetically browsing a pair of mustard-colored khaki trousers in GAP when, what’s this? Your smartphone whistles; you hold it up and scan the store with its camera. MLS superstar Steven Gerrard is only sat on a stool, sighing into a paisley green-colored shirt! Snap that picture, pronto.
Go on – sell the image to TMZ. You’ll be the envy of your friends.
The zombie-hunting survival-em-up could take on a whole new dimension by integrating location-based and augmented reality features in a smartphone app.
To add a realistic element to the proceedings, it could require you to head out into the real world to use your smartphone’s camera to find items scattered around the landscape. Once found, you could head back home and they would be transferred to your character.
But here’s the smart bit: the app would position items where you find them in the real world. For example, wooden sticks would be peppered around parks and forests, while alcohol tincture would be hidden in liquor stores. Sawed off shotguns would be, well, impossible to find unless you frequent gun ranges and stores with firearms.
Of course, you would be able to trade your discovered items with other out-and-about survivors. Hopefully without being bashed over the head with a spade, and duly robbed of them five minutes later.
The only thing in Bethesda and id software’s excellent reboot that’s more satisfying than punching an Imp’s face in is finding a Field Drone to unlock new, high-powered weaponry.
But instead of having to slog through Doom’s campaign to find the well-hidden robots, what if they were all around you? Hidden up trees? Down alleyways? That end cubicle in the train station toilets that nobody dares venture?
They could be concealed in the fish counter at Walmart, or waiting for the number 32 at the bus stop in the city center. You could head out, pick up your groceries and unlock a Mobile Turret for your Chaingun all at the same time. Now that’s multitasking.
There seems to be something of a drinking culture when it comes to Blizzard’s curiously addictive card game – from Reddit dwellers who claim that their card skills skyrocket after downing a tipple or two, to gamers who have bought thousands of card packs after a night on the sauce.
As such, we propose a Pokemon Go-styled app that lets you track down powerful cards using your smartphone’s camera. Only this one features a twist: you can only find cards laid on tables and stools in bars, pubs and other social drinking establishments.
Such an app would take Hearthstone to its naturally crapulous conclusion: crawling around boozers while inebriated, smartphone in hand, sobbing over how you’d spent half of your wages trying to find Fandral Staghelm in the Dog & Duck. What a night.