My love/hate relationship with Pokémon Go and Super Mario Bros

Last year, I think my greatest change was playing mobile games. For years, I have not taken up this hobby as I know myself would get addicted to playing online games. For years, I have politely declined my friends’ requests to join their gaming community, albeit on Facebook or in person.

However, not so luckily, in 2016, I got myself hooked to the biggest gaming event of the year, Pokémon Go on mobile. When it was launched in July, it quickly caught the attentions of not just the young, but the old too. The biggest reason I believe it was a success is due to it being an augmented reality game where you need to get out and walk and explore in order to play the game. This tactic has never been done before and it spreads like wildfire to everyone.

I was so obsessed with catching Pokémon that I played it everywhere, like when I was walking to buy food, queuing while waiting for food or kids, at home when no one was looking, enlisted the younger ones to catch or spin the pokestops while I was driving, waiting for Pokémon to appear while dining with family.

It got to a point where my my dining partner had to give me the look to make me put away my phone. So the addiction was pierced into me through this phenomenal game.

Then came 15th December 2016, when Super Mario Run launched. A few days before the launch, I was told about the launch date. I was looking forward to THE day. 

Let me give you my history with this beloved game. I was given the Nintendo game set by my parents during the 80’s. Super Mario had always been my favorite because it was colourful, adventurous and good background musics. Most of all, I was very good at it. I even defeated my friends and brothers at playing this game.

On 15th December, I quickly downloaded the game before I had have my breakfast (lightning speed, right?). And boy I was not disappointed.

The nostalgic feel of the game hit me right at the start of the game. I was smiling while playing it even though I am not as good as I used to be. But, what I always told my kids, Practice Makes Perfect. So I continued to play and practice on the first 3 worlds. Of course another reason being that I needed to pay to unlock the other worlds.

After much deliberation, we decided (as a family, sharing) to pay for the game in order to challenge ourselves (and for me to become champion again!).

This new version allows players to compete with each other by collecting comparing coins and toads collected. There is also an option to play rally with friends and other players.

Pretty exciting isn’t it?

That’s when I realized I could not put away my phone again. Even if I could distance myself from the phone, I could not forget the game existed. Whenever I was seated, I would think of Super Mario. This is different from Pokémon because you do not have to be walking or outdoor to play this game. You can play it anywhere as long as you are stationery somewhere. 

Every world, I would try to get more coins, defeat the turtles or trolls, get the special coins to earn more points. Then would use the coins to build a beautiful virtual kingdom in the Super Mario world. And not to mention the sweat inducing toad rally game where one would run and jump to get more coins and attention of the toads, so as to win the race. The race is not for the fainted-heart as one needs to demonstrate the exceptional jumping skills better than an equestrian.

Soon, I realized I have been slowly forgotten about walking about in my neighborhood. That means the Pokémon Go mania has slowly waned on me. Instead, Super Mario has taken much of my time and attention.

For now, I hope this Super Mario addiction will not go on forever, just like Pokémon Go. Until then, I will just have to lock up my phone to take my hands off it. Cheers!

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