For all you pocket monster fanatics, Pokémon GO is now visible on the horizon. Niantic, Google’s pioneer in augmented reality applications, is still hard at work with its next project, but has finally given us some eye candy. In a recent blog post, the San Francisco software company provided three teaser screenshots, along with some juicy information on what the game is going to play like.
For those unfamiliar with the Pokémon GO phenomenon, it’s an augmented reality game where players across the globe can travel outside in the real world to capture Pokémon and battle it out with one another. So it’s basically what every kid who ever played the game has been dreaming of.
In the spirit of enslaving cute animals, those hunting for creatures to battle with will have to travel to areas where they might find them first. Amphibious Pokémon, like the awkward Magikarp and its twinkling neighbor Staryu, can normally be found and captured near lakes and seashores. Sandshrew and Rhydon may show up around the Sahara desert, but no official word on non-amphibious types has been released so far.
While the lid has barely been lifted, there’s now a little more information for us to go on regarding player vs. player encounters. “Players will be encouraged to join one of three teams in order to compete over the ownership and prestige of Gyms. They will do this 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.”
So before you head out to massacre your local rival’s gym, you can always attend your local PokéStop to get some well needed potions and other handy items before the battle ensues. Aside from healing items and the like, you’ll also be able to acquire eggs there, and you’ll find them in real world locations like museums, historical markers, and the like.
Though the game was first announced in September last year, there’s still no word on how actual battles will play out. It’s one of the most crucial aspects of the game and it’s what will keep people coming back, so the company is likely holding back on information until they’ve got some feedback from the initial tests in Japan. No doubt we’ll be seeing footage from the imminent field testing. Niantic said it wouldn’t be too long until Japan got to taste what it’s like to throw digital Poké Balls, and the company states that field testing will begin soon while the game is still in development. There’s also a kind reminder that nothing’s final yet, so just keep that in mind as you go about daydreaming about how fantastic all of this could become.