The Pokémon Company is currently celebrating the franchise's 20th anniversary, and in honor of the occasion the company has announced a slew of projects for its fans to enjoy. Starting 2016 off with a rerelease of iconic titles Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow Versions on the Nintendo eShop certainly proved to be a smash hit, and a set of new games – Pokémon Sun and Moon – are due out on the Nintendo 3DS later this year. The one project that many fans never saw coming, however, is Pokémon Go.
Pokémon Go is an augmented reality mobile game that utilizes smart phones' GPS and camera in order to simulate a real-world Pokémon adventure. Within the game, users can catch, train, and evolve their respective Pokémon in order to challenge their friends, gain control of regional Pokémon Gyms, and even potentially encounter legendary beasts. The highly anticipated mobile game has been in the beta testing phase around the world for months, but has now made its proper debut.
Pokémon Go is finally available in the United States, and its release is accompanied by an all-new gameplay trailer (above). The trailer is just under two minutes long and features a decent amount of gameplay footage. Hatching, catching, training, battling, and the evolution of Pokémon is on full display in the game's release trailer. The video follows a couple of protagonists who later team up in order to gain control of their regional Pokémon Gym. Pokémon Go Plus, a Pokéball shaped add-on accessory, was also featured in the launch trailer. This optional add-on retails for around $35 and is available for pre-order, although several retailers are sold out at the moment.
The game was added to both Apple's App Store and the Google Play Store just before 9PM ET last night. The app is "free to play," however optional microtransactions have been included as well. Additionally, it should be noted that the app requires the user to have both a compatible Andriod or Apple phone, and either a Google account or a Pokémon Trainer Club account.
With the app launching just last night, it is still far too early to tell how well the mobile game will be received. That said, it does appear that anticipation levels for the title have been extremely high for fans since the announcement of Pokémon Go. Also, it appears as though The Pokémon Company will be active in updating the game, hopefully leading to a continuously improving experience.
As mentioned earlier, Pokémon Go is far from the only franchise title being released this year. Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow Versions are currently available for purchase on the eShop, and Pokémon Go Plus is available for pre-order with an unspecified release date reportedly sometime in July. Additionally, the next generation of main series' Pokémon games will be available this holiday season on the Nintendo 3DS in the forms of Pokémon Sun and Moon.
Pokémon Go is available now on compatible Android and iOS devices.