More details for Pokémon GO came out from The Pokémon Company and Niantic, Inc. today, including information on the battle system, a new peripheral, and microtransactions. The game has also entered a closed-beta phase while it’s still being developed.
In Pokémon GO players can catch Pokemon at real locations using their phone. Pokéballs and other special items used to capture Pokemon and battle can be found at places of interest: museums, historical markers, and monuments. Pokémon Gyms will also be scattered across real life locations.
What’s Pokémon without Pokémon battles? Players can battle using the Pokémon they’ve caught to gain control of a Gym. By using their own Pokémon’s attacks and dodging incoming attacks by swiping left and right on the screen, trainers can defeat the defending Pokémon to reduce the Gym’s Prestige. Once the Gym’s Prestige is depleated, the defending team loses control of the Gym, and the victor’s Pokémon can be assigned to defend the Gym. Gyms allow players to train their Pokémon and earn the Gym more prestige. The more prestige, the better the training.
Also announced was the Pokémon GO Plus, a device that connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth and notifies the player about events in the game using vibration and and LED. It’ll also allow simple controls to catch Pokémon using a button on the device.
Last, but not least, is the microtransaction aspect of the game. Pokémon GO will be free to play, and like I said earlier, you can find items scattered around landmarks. You can, of course, buy in-game currency to purchase more items without having to search for them. It’s nothing new, and it’s just something people have come to expect from the mobile market.
Media personality Rob “Devar-TTY” Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of Devar-TTY’s Pawns Perspective, Dev now focuses mostly on video games and TTRPGs. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.