The new augmented reality Pokemon game, Pokemon Go, is officially entering field testing in Japan – which means we can look forward to getting a look at even more gameplay in the near future.
But until more gameplay footage gets released, here’s everything you need to know about Pokemon Go.
First: we know that the main goal in the game will be to catch the creatures out in the real world. But how will that work in practice?
If you have the app installed and a Pokemon is near, your smartphone will vibrate. Once that happens, you’ll be able to use your mobile device’s touch screen to toss a Poke Ball in thee creature’s direction and attempt to catch it. Poke Balls and other items (like Pokemon Eggs) can be found at PokeStops, which are located “at interesting places like public art installations, historical markers and monuments.”
The cool thing is that as players progress through the game, their trainer will level up, thus enabling them to “capture more-powerful Pokemon and gain access to more items.”
Also, some Pokemon can evolve if the same species is caught on multiple occasions. On top of that, players can complete challenges, which will net them 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 Pokemon to a Gym, which–like PokeStops–will be found at real locations. Since only one Pokemon per team can be placed at a gym, it should promote strategy and cooperation between team members. A gym can be claimed by one team and can be challenged by the other two teams. Sounds a bit like the Domination/Conquest mode found in most multiplayer games, don’t you think?
We’re still waiting on a specific release date, but we do know that the game will be coming to both iOS and Android phones later this year.
Now that the beta in Japan will soon be underway, we can’t wait to see how it actually works in the real world and whether or not people will actually play an augmented reality game of this scale. If you happen upon any footage of Pokemon Go being played, please share it with us in the comments!