The Pokémon Company had a ton of announcements packed into 15 minutes this morning, from neat-looking games meant only for kids to the insane announcement of a new Pokémon Snap game, called, well, New Pokémon Snap.
Here’s everything Pokémon Company President and CEO Junichi Masuda revealed coming to the wonderful world of Pokémon:
Easily the biggest announcement of the event, Bandai Namco Studios is developing a loose reimagining of 1999’s beloved N64 game, Pokémon Snap, where players were tasked not with battling, but with photographing the varied Pokémon species in their natural habitats. Fans have been frothing at the mouth for a sequel to the game in the two decades since, and now their wishes have finally been answered: New Pokémon Snap is coming to the Switch! It looks absolutely stunning, and although there’s not even a set year promised for the game, I can’t wait to hear more about it.
Pokémon Go connected the world for a moment when it launched on mobile phones in 2016, motivating people to get outside, meet and work with other in-person players to “catch ‘em all.” So how to you translate that ingenious formula into a time where we now can’t safely meet each other in person? Developer Niantic has a few ideas.
First, the team has been adding features to allow at-home play, such as remote raids, the ability to carry more gifts and bonus rewards for field research. The annual “Pokémon Go Fest” planned for 2020 is now taking place digitally, instead of in a physical venue. There aren’t any details beyond that for now, aside from Masuda teasing that participants will get the chance to obtain the rare mythical Pokémon, Victini, through the event. Players can also catch Galarian Farfetch’d and obtain Galarian-style in-game clothing to promote Pokémon Sword and Shield’s new DLC. Finally, a teaser trailer hints at Mega Evolution coming to the game.
Pokémon Sword and Shield’s first DLC episode of its expansion pass, The Isle of Armor, launches today, but Masuda didn’t have many new details to share about that. Instead, he revealed a new raid battle, also launching today, within the base game with a shiny version of the mythical Pokémon, Zeraora. In order to get the incredibly rare version of the already-rare ‘mon, one million players must defeat Zeraora in the raid by the time it ends June 28.
This is a Pokémon-themed puzzle game where you run your own café. It seems pretty simple and the “free-to-play with in-game purchases” always feels scummy when it uses properties aimed at kids, but on the other hand it has a cute, simple art style and looks fun enough. The game launches on Switch, iOS and Android devices Tuesday.
A while ago, The Pokémon Company announced Pokémon Sleep, a quality-of-life game aimed to improve players’ sleeping habits while using the popular Pokémon property. Little more has been heard of that game since announcement, but a similar idea, Pokémon Smile, is now available to download for free on iOS and Android devices, with no in-app purchases! Although it sounds a bit creepy, asking you to take a video of your kid brushing their teeth, it does so to pretty much make an interactive Snapchat filter, with adorably plump Pokémon encouraging kids to brush their teeth. It’s not something most of this readerbase will likely use unless they have teeth-brushing-averse children, but it’s nonetheless a neat and adorable use of the property.
Masuda is such a tease, and he knows it. A similar presentation will take place exactly a week from now on June 24, where Masuda promises even more Pokémon announcements. The Cufant in the room here is the possibility of a Switch remake for Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, which fans, including me, having been impatiently begging, bribing and otherwise demanding to happen. C’mon, Masuda: let’s make it happen.