Nikkei and The Pokémon Company have offered new details about how free augmented reality (AR) mobile game Pokémon Go will work what it'll be like to play when it is finally released later this year. Sadly, no release date was announced.
A post on the Pokémon website offers an overview of how the game will play. Developed by Nikkei, the game uses mobile location data to fill the real world with Pokémon. Happen across one and your phone will vibrate. Decide to see what's been found and the game will take you to a screen depicting the encounter.
It doesn't appear that caught Pokémon will be used to weaken found ones in battles however. Instead you'll see the Pokémon in question and use the touch screen to aim and throw a Pokéball. As a player's level grows (it's not said what will attribute to this growth exactly, but capturing Pokémon will) they'll be able to encounter and capture more powerful Pokémon, and acquire more powerful items.
Items, such as Pokéballs and the more powerful Great and Ultra Balls, will be found at PokéStops located at "interesting places, such as public art installations, historical markers, and monuments." Pokémon Eggs can also be found at PokéStops. These will hatch after a certain amount of steps have been taken (measured by a phone's pedometer) and gift the player a new Pokémon. There are other items but what they are isn't explained.
These items and a players stock of these items, is probably where the game's micro-transactions come in – but that has yet to be confirmed.
The post then explains how gyms will work. We'll quote them directly here.
"At a certain point in the game, you'll be asked to join one of three teams. Once you join a team, you'll gain the ability to assign Pokémon you've caught to empty Gym locations or to a location where a team member has placed one of his or her Pokémon. Like PokéStops, Gyms can be found at real locations in the world. Each player can place only one Pokémon at a particular Gym, so you're encouraged to work with others on the team to build up a strong defence.
If a Gym is already claimed by another team, you can challenge that Gym using your own Pokémon. Using the Pokémon you've caught, engage in battle with the defending Pokémon at the Gym to claim control."
No information has been offered regarding how exactly battles will work in practice. The post also talks more about the Pokémon Go Plus wrist-mounted device that notifies players of events going on in the game.
Pokémon Go will be released for free on Android and iOS devices.