After announcing a deal in September to produce a Pokémon Go games with Nintendo and Alphabet-owned Niantic, the Pokémon people are today showing a little more about how gameplay will work and giving us a first look at the title coming to both iOS and Android devices.
The game uses augmented reality features to blend real world objects and locations with the gameplay, and the company today gave the run down and a look at how exactly that will work:
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In Pokémon GO, players around the globe will explore their surroundings to find and catch wild Pokémon hiding in our midst. Some wild Pokémon appear only in their native environments; for example, Water-type Pokémon may only appear near lakes and oceans. As players explore the world around them, their phones will vibrate to let them know a Pokémon is nearby. Once they have encountered a Pokémon, it can be caught by using the phone’s touch screen to throw a Poké Ball. Poké Balls and other special items can be found at PokéStops located at interesting places such as public art installations, historical markers and monuments.
And a first official look at screenshots of the game (yes, on Android) courtesy of The Pokémon Company:
Players will gain access to catch new Pokémon and items as they level up, and Pokémon Eggs collected by players will hatch only after players have walked a specific distance in the real world while playing. The company also notes that there will be Gym battles, allowing players to “join one of three teams and engage in Gym battles with other teams”
During gameplay, Pokémon GO players will be encouraged to join one of three teams and engage in Gym battles with other teams. Once they have joined a team, players will have the ability to assign their Pokémon to empty Gyms. Like PokéStops, Gyms can be found at real locations in the world, and because only one Pokémon per player can be placed at a given Gym, team members will need to work together to build a strong defense. A Gym claimed by one team can be challenged by the other two teams.
While previously unconfirmed to be the real thing, a first look at a gameplay video in action came from the company during a recent talk at South by Southwest earlier this month:
The game is currently in beta in Japan only and set to release to all later this year on iOS (and Android). The company notes that “features, available languages, design and overall appearance” may change before release.