/Pokémon GO beware: the Chinese copycats are sucking fans

Pokémon GO beware: the Chinese copycats are sucking fans

The world is going crazy about Pokémon GO – in the parts of the world where Pokémon GO has been launched that is. China is among the areas where these little pocket monsters haven’t visited… But Chinese players have their own version of Pokémon GO, which has been available as early as this March.

Entitled “Chengshi jingling: GO”, or “Citymon GO”, this copycat of Pokémon GO now ranks fifth among all online mobile games in China, according to App Annie. And there is more than one copycat.

The Player has a monster to start with, they can raise it, locate nearby monsters and let it fight with them, breed new monsters using trophies won from the battles, and get to know other players through the process. Sound familiar?

Picture screened from Citymon Go
Picture screened from Citymon Go

But it would be too early if you believe that the game is indeed another version of Pokémon GO. In fact, other than the idea of “catching monsters” and the name “GO”, Citymon GO almost shares nothing in common with Pokémon GO:

1. It does not require players to actually walk around so as to bump into monsters. All you need to do is to locate yourself on the map, press the button “scan”, and click the scanned spots of monsters on the map. True, it is less tiring this way, but offers less fun, too.

2. It has little, or nothing, to do with the concept of an Augmented Reality (AR) game.

3. It is more of a role-playing game (RPG) than a collecting/trading game, or at least that’s what I think when I’m playing it.

4. Little effort was put into making the game, as any experienced player could tell. Neither the fighting scenes, options for combat skills, or background music were worth five stars, to put it mildly.

Though this Chinese version of Pokémon GO is now among the most popular mobile games in China, I’d still want to try a more elaborate game that has more exciting features – something like Pokémon GO.

(Top photo screened from Citymon GO)

Ke graduated from the University of Edinburgh with a Master's Degree in English and has worked on projects with Ipsos MORI and SDI Media. She's particularly intrigued by China's thriving technology scene and is eager to write about this flourishing industry.