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4 games from the '90s that we could bring back like Pokemon Go

July 12,2016 04:14

Not only has this real-world video game sent Nintendo stock soaring, but according to one estimate, the game will soon have more users than Twitter on Android. The writing's on the wall: These little animated monsters that began life as a Nintendo game ...

Confession: I tried to avoid learning what Pokemon Go was for as long as I could. I hoped that maybe the app was one of those internet things that would be huge for a day or two and then quietly fade away into the cyber ether, only to be mentioned alongside The Dress or Peach. I mostly hoped this because I’ve never understood Pokemon, and didn’t want to have to start now.
But come Monday morning, it was clear that I was going to have to pull my head out of the internet sand and click some of those explainers. Not only has this real-world video game sent Nintendo stock soaring, but according to one estimate, the game will soon have more users than Twitter on Android. The writing’s on the wall: These little animated monsters that began life as a Nintendo game and morphed into trading cards and a television show in the 90s aren’t going anywhere.
Luke “Nerd” Kerr-Dineen
For those of you who may still be clueless, my colleague Luke Kerr-Dineen downloaded the app and played all weekend in the name of journalism. He seems to have enjoyed it. He also does a better job explaining it than I can, but it’s something like this: You walk around with your phone trying to catch little guys that the app superimposes onto your surroundings through your phone’s camera. You then train them to become stronger or something — I don’t really know. I’m having trouble retaining information about this game because I wasn’t into Pokemon when it came out in 1996, and it turns out that, as an adult, I still just don’t care.
But I’m thrilled other people do and that it seems to be giving a lot of them reasons to walk around outside when they otherwise wouldn’t. I do, however, have some ideas for other games from the 90s that we can bring back to give Pokemon Go a run for its money. Here they are.
1. Tamagotchis
AP Photo/Richard DrewTamagotchis were virtual pets that existed in small plastic pods that you had to keep alive. Imagine how much fun we could have superimposing these onto real life. Sitting at your desk? Just open up your phone and there’s a dog on the ground that you may have to take for a walk or perhaps pat. You might have to feed it. Heck, it could even play with other people’s virtual pets! You could watch your fake dog get into a fight with your coworker’s fake dog! You could, of course, just get a real dog. It would be more rewarding and less sad. So never mind, maybe forget bringing Tamagotchis back.
2. Mario Kart
Bob Riha, Jr./Nintendo of America via Getty Images
How awesome would it be if you walked around with your phone out and Rainbow Road were superimposed over the sidewalk? You could play other people around you and shoot off those little turtle guys at the other players in your vicinity to try to derail them like you do in the game. Although now that I think of it, this might get violent. And it would mean that you’d end up interacting with strangers in ways that could be very dangerous. Perhaps this is too risky.
3. Pogs
POGS
Remember Pogs? They were those little cardboard circles that you stacked up and then hit with the piece called a Slammer, and whichever ones landed face-up were the ones that you’d get to keep. What if there were a virtual reality game where you walked around and collected Pogs? You could find certain ones in certain places and then get together with your friends to virtually slam eachothers’ piles of Pogs.
Oh my god. Someone stop me. This is a terrible idea.
4. Bop Its
Bop Its were great — you had to do whatever action the toy told you to do, whether that was bopping, flicking, twisting, or pulling various levers and buttons on the plastic contraption. Here’s an idea: You have to do this to people you pass by on the street. “Bop It!” your phone would say, and you’d have to go hit the person nearest you. And then they’d file assault charges and you wouldn’t even have a phone to play with because you’d be in jail.
Okay so it turns out that designing video games is actually really hard and maybe Pokemon is the only game that actually makes sense to superimpose on real life for days at a time. I’m going to stop writing this article so that I can download the app. Because as Mario and Luigi once famously said, “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.”
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