So, I respect that different people like games for different reasons, but let me just say right off the bat, what this game is to me is a tool to trick myself into being healthy. I spent about two years playing Pokémon GO every day, but got tired of it since there isn’t enough incentive to actually walk a lot of steps, and it’s almost impossible to aim for specific goals. You also have to spend a lot of time cleaning up your Pokémon storage between sessions, which isn’t healthy or fun, just a waste of time.
So I figured I’d try out this game instead. I’m about to get my third Wokamon and I’m having a lot of fun so far. Yes, it does have a few typical predatory microtransaction elements that I despise. Having to click “No, I don’t want to watch an ad” is annoying for sure. I’m trying to get in shape and trying to play your game, please stop ruining the experience.
Still, even if I hate that stuff and it’s a guaranteed way to lose my respect and make me much less likely to ever spend money on the game, I can forgive that, because the base game is pretty sweet. It has the base structure of some well-designed but infamously addictive and unhealthy games like Cookie Clicker and Clicker Heroes, both of which I’ve spent over 2000 hours in each. So you combined the endlessly tempting dopamine reward of watching numbers go up with actually having to walk and be healthy in real life? That’s genius, seriously. There’s a reason I’m still playing despite the blatant toxic monetization model.
So, I looked at the achievements, groaned at the ones about sharing and inviting friends (you’re not a pyramid scheme or a chain letter, have some dignity, please). But then I saw something that I loved. Walk 10,000 steps for 3 days, and there’s many tiers of it too…the perfectkind of achievement to convince my brain to create the type of habit that leads to a healthy lifestyle. So I went out for a 10,000 step walk yesterday in the summer heat, came back absolutely soaked, and slept better than I’ve slept in a long time. Woke up in a good mood today, started playing again, got up to about 4900 steps, spent about 5 minutes buying some stuff at the grocery store, looked at my phone as soon as I left the store, and…10,400 steps. The game just more than doubled my steps for absolutely no reason.
I’m sorry, but if I can’t rely on the step counter being even remotely correct, I can’t use the game to make sure that I reach 10,000 steps a day. If it can’t do that, it’s starting to look pretty tempting to install it. But I’m hoping that there’s a better solution, because I’d love to like this game.
Edit; Like I said, my main problem with the game is that the step counter lost its mind. If that is fixed I will keep playing it despite the unpleasant monetization model. But I figured that I might as well add some additional feedback about that element of the game while I’m at it. First of all, I understand why you do it. It’s extremely difficult to get people to actually pay upfront for a mobile game, even if the price is low. But let’s talk about an example, another game that I also enjoy, that also has ads, but isn’t nearly as repulsive in the way that they go about it. It’s a typical clicker game like Cookie Clicker, called I got worms. The default progress speed quickly becomes really, really slow. But there’s a button that you can press to watch a 30 second ad. Watching an ad doubles your progress speed for 6 hours, and you could watch 8 in a row to get yourself a buff that lasts for 48 hours if you want to, the timer simply adds up. The game is clearly balanced and designed around the buffed progress speed being the actual normal speed, you’re not supposed to enjoy playing the slower version of it. So some people would probably call that predatory and toxic, right? The thing is, you can also pay about 3€ for a buff that just lasts forever. No more ads now, because you bought the game. And I gladly did that, because the game is well-made and definitely worth the money. I saw that spending money in your in-game store gets rid of pop-up ads, but you can still watch ads to get bonuses, like double chest content. Don’t do that. That’s called double-dipping, and it makes you look really bad. I like your game, I really do. I’d love to buy it if that meant that I could play it, enjoy the game and improve my health without being pestered to watch ads constantly. But if people pay, you’re supposed to include the ad watch bonuses in the base game. Never give players who pay for the game any incentive, or even the option to watch more ads when they already gave you money to remove ads in the first place. That’s just greedy and disrespectful.
Second edit; Well… I tried syncing with Google Fit, since the Google Fit app itself displayed 5900 steps, the actual amount that I’ve walked today, not over 10,000. Figured that might make it display the correct number of steps in-game. As soon as I did that, it said “Congratulations, you’ve walked 17,000 steps!” and gave me a bunch of free XP that I haven’t earned. Just to be clear, that was not a good thing.