Pokémon vs. Illuvium: The Fun Factor

The world of Pokémon has been around since the 90’s with wild success even to this day. The brand is strong and new game releases with various themes still bring in billions for the company. Illuvium aspires to reach that level of success. So what aspects of Pokémon make it so fun to play and how can Illuvium get there? Let’s take a look at Pokemon vs. Illuvium.

Game Play

Ash and Pikachu pose with others in Pokemon.

Gotta catch em all has been the tag line of Pokémon since the beginning. This simple yet effective phrase captures the essence of Pokémon. Both Pokémon and Illuvium have the collection factor. Traverse different regions to catch monsters and use them for battle. Got it, but what else makes Pokémon such a fun gameplay loop?


Rhamphyre battling against Axodon.

Pokémon has multiple in game battle scenarios that Illuvium does not have. You can battle at a gym in each region, there are trainer battles along the routes and of course your rival will pop up to battle from time to time. This creates an engaging experience in a different way than the collector aspect. Right now the battling is lacking in Illuvium. Maybe we will see gym bosses or other computer generated battles in Illuvium at some point, but so far I have not heard that mentioned in the plans. 

In Game Rewards

Pokémon can be very rewarding very fast. Whether it is receiving money for winning battles or leveling up your Pokémon and items the rewards are easily attainable and seamlessly built into the gameplay loop. You even unlock new regions and items, like Cut or Surf, as rewards for beating gyms. The major drawback of Pokemon vs. Illuvium is that any items in game are not truly yours. You can’t sell them on a blockchain to other players for actual money. 

Arlen holding 3 Axon cards.

Illuvium is built differently. You don’t really level up your Illuvials to evolve them. Instead you must catch 3 Atlas to fuse together and make an Axon. While still rewarding, I think you lose a little bit of the journey. People love grinding for weeks to get a Pokémon to level 100. It’s a very rewarding experience when accomplished. Illuvium doesn’t have that possibility. Instead you are catching more of the same Illuvial to level them up. It’s a different reward system entirely. However, all assets in Illuvium can be sold for actual money and that is major upgrade versus Pokémon. 

Progress Points

Illuvium Zero Stadium.

Illuvium as it currently stands does not have something your progressing towards (that we know of). In Pokémon you are trying to best the very best, complete the Elite 4 and catch all the Pokémon. Illuvium does not have an Elite 4, but maybe the equivalent will be battling it out in the Illuvium Zero stadium or Leviathan arena against other players for Ethereum. I think to gain mass adoption you need that competitive aspect, but also computer generated battling as well to keep the more casual fan progressing in a meaningful way and coming back for more. 

The Loop

At the end of the day it’s all about the game play loop. Pokémon has a formula for success that is airtight. They’ve been using it successfully for almost 30 years. Illuvium is taking bits and pieces of that model, combining it with blockchain technology, insane graphics and trying to push this space forward in a new way. As we approach the launch of Overworld beta I’m excited to see what updates are made as feedback comes in. We are still early and this is by no means a finished product, but I think two major areas Illuvium can take a hard look at are in game battles/gyms and the reward system. Pokémon’s success can be boiled down to the grind. Grinding for Pokémon, level ups and unlocking new regions. Illuvium has that to an extent, but not in a sure fire gameplay loop like Pokémon. 

Many Illuvials posing for a photo.

Will the Illuvium model work and how will it be adjusted as feedback from beta testers comes in? Will the Overworld be replay-able enough for people to stay engaged? We will soon find out. The beauty of Illuvium is the community can always vote for change. I’m optimistic, but looking at the Pokémon formula I think Illuvium leaves the door open for critics and there are questions that have yet to be answered. Who will win the battle of Pokemon vs. Illuvium? Time will tell.

Thank You

As always, thank you for reading my article! You can follow me on Twitter (@Rhamphy) to keep up with the latest Illuvium news, leaks and more.

Everything I write is purely my opinion and should not be taken as financial advice.

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