We’ve been pretty pumped for Niantic’s upcoming mobile game, Pokémon GO, ever since it was announced back in September. The prospect of being able to head out into the real world to look for pocket-monsters is supremely exciting. But, we’ve gone months without hearing anything about the project. Off-screen footage of the app–which we recently reported on–leaked a few days ago. While we don’t have any official footage yet, The Pokémon Company and Niantic shared some more images and details about the app on their official page. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in.
First things first: we know that the main goal in the game will be to catch the creatures out in the real world. Basically how this works is if you have the app installed and a Pokémon is near, your smartphone will vibrate. Once that happens, you’ll be able to use your mobile device’s touch screen to throw a Poké Ball at the creature and attempt to catch it. Poké Balls and other items–such as Pokémon Eggs which hatch after you walk a certain distance–can be found at PokéStops, which are located “at interesting places such as public art installations, historical markers, and monuments.”
The cool thing is that as players progress through Pokémon GO, their trainer will level up, thus enabling them to “capture more-powerful Pokémon and gain access to more items.” Also, some Pokémon can evolve if the same species is caught on multiple occasions. Aside from evolving your pocket monsters, another way to impress friends is to complete challenges, which will gain you achievement medals.
Players will also have the ability to join one of three teams and engage in Gym battles with other teams. As a team member, you’ll be able to assign a Pokémon to a Gym–which like PokéStops can be found at real locations in the world–in order to defend it. Since only one Pokémon per team can be placed at a gym, it promotes strategy between members. A Gym claimed by one team can be challenged by the other two teams. To us, that sounds a bit like the Domination/Conquest mode found in most multiplayer games.
While we still don’t have a specific release date, we know that the game will be coming to both iOS and Android phones later this year. Also, the company reiterated that a field test will be taking place in Japan some time soon. At the moment, the Japanese Giant is limiting the test to folks living in Japan only. But, it wouldn’t be surprising to see one later down the line in the States.
While all of this sounds exciting, we’re curious to see how it will actually work in the real world, and whether people will continue to play it once they finally get their hands on it. If it works well, it’s likely to pave the way for other companies to adopt a similarly active style of gameplay. I can’t wait to see how this turns out. In the meantime, check out the gallery of new images below!
[brightcove video_id=”4811321029001″ brightcove_account_id=”3653334524001″ brightcove_player_id=”2bfa565b-5412-4cfd-9211-6269880b8a5e”]
Image Credit: The Pokémon Company/Niantic