On Thursday the first official sneak peek of what Pokémon GO will look and play like was released in a blog post on developer Niantic’s website.
Pokémon GO is the highly anticipated Pokémon smartphone app, previously announced in September. There had not been much new information about the game until some footage was leaked by an attendee from a SXSW panel led by Niantic Labs CEO John Hanke.
According the post the game “combines mobile location technology and augmented reality to create a unique game experience that motivates players to go outside and explore the world around them.”
The blog post gives a better understanding on how the gameplay will function. As is with the traditional Pokémon games some wild Pokémon will only be able to found in their natural habitats. For example a player may need to spend some time around lakes or oceans in order to find some water-type Pokémon.
Players will also be able to get new Pokémon from eggs which are hatched by walking. In order to obtain specialty items for the game players will have to go to PokéStops which will be interesting real world places such as “public art installations, historical markers, museums and monuments.”
As is the case with many games in the Pokémon franchise battles will be a major part of Pokémon GO. The players will pick one of three teams and they will compete over gyms, which will be real world locations.
Players will help their team win gyms by “placing their captured Pokémon in a friendly Gym or by battling with an opponent’s Pokémon in another team’s Gym. Gyms – just like PokéStops – are also found at real world locations.”
Nintendo previously announced that players that do not want to check the app on their phone constantly can buy the Pokémon GO Plus. It is a bluetooth device that attaches on the player’s wrist to keep them informed about their game.
Pokémon GO is expected to released in 2016 for iPhone and Android devices and an “early user field test” will start in Japan soon.
The Pokémon and Pokémon GO websites have additional information on the game.