If you own a Nintendo Switch and enjoy going on long walks through the Kanto region, you are in for a treat this year. Japanese developers Game Freak have announced three new Pokémon titles set to launch throughout the year, one of which is already available to download for free on Switch.
Go on a quest (for free)Pokémon Quest is a touch-based title that gives you the power to command little cube-shaped Pokemon on Tumblecube Island as they explore the new region and battle in the wild. They are adorable, and mildly resemble a Pokemon Minecraft mashup (pretty sure there was a mod for that), featuring muted, pastel colours. Oh, and it’s free to download right now, while the core game will launch within the next year. It’s not so much free-to-play as it is free-to-start but we’ll be starting right now, thanks.
There are two other games launching in November, and Nintendo has decided to focus on simplified controls and even a mobile tie-in with Pokemon Go. And you get to start out with either an Eevee or a Pikachu (cue fangirl screams).
Let’s Go to NovemberPokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee! are adventure RPGs that will see you take on the role of a trainer and, depending on the title you opt for, you start out with either Eevee or Pikachu. This game will be capable of multiplayer drop-in, as each player only needs one Switch controller to play — so this will be true co-op play on a single console, a first for Pokémon.
The Let’s Go games draw heavily from the handheld Pokémon titles, and could be considered a reboot in a sense. These new games focus primarily on the Kanto region, home to the original 151 pokémon, while your primary companion prefers to hang outside of its Pokéball, just like in Pokémon Yellow.
Get in the Pokéball
For the die-hard Pokémon Go players, or even those wanting to get into the game, the new releases will incorporate mobile in some major ways, starting with the ability to catch pokémon with the mobile game and then transfer them to the Switch experience. The Pokémon Go Plus peripheral (which is a life-sized Pokéball controller) that launched specifically for the mobile game has been reimagined as the Pokéball Plus, which will act as both the current version of the Go Plus and a Joy-Con for Switch players. Game Freak has also teased further crossover between the two games (have a look at the teaser trailer above).
Pokémon’s obviously running with the nostalgia element, but that is why this might have a bigger impact than Pokemon Go ever did. This is bringing back old-school gameplay while incorporating mobile and co-op, which should rake in the younger generation — even so, those of us already turning grey will be first in line come launch day. Obviously.