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Gotta Catch ‘Em All Again: Why Adults are Returning to Pokémon

Have you noticed more and more adults playing Pokémon games lately? That’s right, the popular franchise that took the world by storm in the late 1990s and early 2000s is experiencing a resurgence among adults.

But why are adults returning to Pokémon games? Is it simply nostalgia? Or is there something more to it?

There are a number of reasons why adults are finding themselves drawn back into the world of Pokémon. From the comfort of childhood memories to the social aspects of the game, Pokémon is proving to be a popular choice among adults looking for a bit of fun and escapism in their busy lives.

Join me as we take a closer look at why adults are returning to Pokémon games and what makes them so appealing to a new generation of players. 

Nostalgia factor: Why adults are drawn back to Pokémon 

One of the main reasons why adults are returning to Pokémon games is nostalgia. Many adults grew up with Pokémon games and have fond memories of playing them with friends and family. For these adults, playing Pokémon is a way to relive those childhood memories and experience the joy and excitement they felt when they chose their first Pokemon or caught their first Pikachu in the wild.

But nostalgia is not the only reason why adults are drawn back to Pokémon games. The games themselves have evolved over the years, offering new challenges, mechanics, and storylines that appeal to both new and old players alike. The combination of nostalgia and new content is what makes Pokémon games so appealing to adults. 

Moreover, the Pokémon franchise has a special place in the hearts of many adults who grew up with the games. It is a reminder of a simpler time, a time when the only worry was catching the next Pokémon and defeating the gym leaders. For many adults, playing Pokémon is a way to escape the stresses of adult life and tap into the carefree spirit of their childhood. 

Pokémon Go: The game that reignited interest in Pokémon 

In 2016, Pokémon Go was released and it took the world by storm. The game was a massive success, attracting millions of players worldwide. Pokémon Go was a game-changer, not only for the franchise but for the entire gaming industry. It introduced a new way of playing Pokémon, one that was more social and interactive. 

Pokémon Go made it possible to catch Pokémon in the real world using augmented reality technology. Players could explore their surroundings and discover new Pokémon in parks, malls, and even on the streets. Pokémon Go’s success reignited interest in Pokémon games, not just among kids but also among adults who had grown up with the franchise. 

Pokemon Go showing Dratini in a street.

The game’s success also showcased the potential of mobile gaming, paving the way for more mobile games with augmented reality features. Pokémon Go proved that Pokémon games are not just for consoles but can be enjoyed on mobile devices as well. 

For some adult gamers, Pokemon Go was the title that brought them back to the franchise that they loved so much as a child.  I know many grown ups who downloaded Pokemon Go on a whim one lunch break, fell in love with it, and ended up buying a Nintendo Switch with a modern Pokemon game.  But for that mobile game, they would likely not even have returned to gaming.

Evolution of Pokémon games: How the games have changed over the years 

Pokémon games have evolved significantly over the years. The first Pokémon games were released in 1996 for the Game Boy and were relatively simple compared to the games of today. Over the years, the games have become more complex, with new mechanics and features added in each iteration. 

One of the biggest changes to the Pokémon games was the introduction of 3D graphics. Pokémon X and Y, released in 2013, were the first games to feature 3D graphics, which made the game world more immersive and visually stunning. The games also introduced Mega Evolution, a new mechanic that allowed players to temporarily evolve their Pokémon into more powerful forms. 

Sword and Shield, introduced the Wild Area, an open-world environment where players can explore and catch Pokémon. The games also added new Pokémon and new mechanics, such as Dynamaxing, which allows players to temporarily increase the size and power of their Pokémon during battles. 

Pokemon Legends: Arceus mixed up the Pokemon formula somewhat by incorporating time travel and elements of history as players were taken back in time to the Hisui region based on the island of Hokkaido during early Japanese colonization.

And Scarlet and Violet, well…they exist.  Let’s not talk about those, shall we?

Accessibility: How Pokémon games are more accessible to adults now 

One of the reasons why Pokémon games are so appealing to adults is that they are more accessible now than they were in the past. Pokémon games used to be limited to Game Boys and consoles, but now they can be played on mobile devices as well. This means that adults can play Pokémon games anywhere, anytime, without needing to carry around a dedicated gaming device. 

Another way that Pokémon games are more accessible to adults is through their design. The games are designed to be easy to pick up and play, with simple mechanics that are easy to understand. This makes it possible for adults who may not have played Pokémon games before to jump in and start playing without feeling overwhelmed. 

The games are also designed to be played at a leisurely pace, with no time limit or pressure to complete the game quickly. This makes Pokémon games a perfect choice for adults who want to unwind and relax after a long day at work. 

It’s No Wonder Than Adults are Returning to Pokemon

There are many reasons why adults are returning to Pokémon games. Nostalgia is certainly a factor, but the games themselves have evolved over the years, offering new challenges and mechanics that appeal to both new and old players alike. The games are more accessible now than they were in the past, with mobile versions available for play on-the-go.

For adults, playing Pokémon games is a way to escape the stresses of adult life and tap into the carefree spirit of their childhood. The enduring appeal of Pokémon games proves that, no matter how old you are, you’re never too old to catch ‘em all. 

Written by Dorothy Jones