Amateur Poké-photographers rejoice: cult classic Nintendo 64 game Pokémon Snap will be available to download from the Wii U Virtual Console on 18 August.

The announcement was made via Nintendo of Europe's official Twitter account, although no pricing information has been revealed at time of writing.

Of all the spin-offs based on Nintendo zeitgeist-stomping franchise, Pokémon Snap is among the most fondly remembered for its bizarre, but brilliant, mix of photography, on-rails gameplay and those beloved pocket monsters.

Developed by Hal Laboratory, the 'gotta snap 'em all' gem was released September 2000 in PAL regions – around the time the world was first engulfed by Pokémon fever.

With the mildly popular smartphone app Pokémon Go sparking a second wave of public interest in the franchise, Nintendo has decided that now would be the perfect time to return to Snap's sandy beaches and sparkling caves.

For those that missed out the first time around (and the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console release in 2007), Pokémon Snap tasks players with taking snaps of wild critters on Pokémon Island from the safe confines of the Zero-One buggy. Professor Oak's contraption follows a pre-set track around six (seven if you count the secret one) diverse areas filled with Pokémon from the first generation of the main games – Pokémon Red, Blue and Yellow.

Snap also mixed up the picture-taking action with alternate routes, a basic shot-composition scoring system and throwable objects that drew out rarer creatures from their hiding spots or even encouraged them into fun poses – including a surfing Pikachu. Radical.

With the Wii U firmly entering into its twilight years, the hopes for a fully fledged Pokémon Snap sequel using cameras, second-screen gamepads or even augmented reality is now likely to shift to the Nintendo NX – the Kyoto giant's next major hardware release. With the NX's rumoured home console/handheld-hybrid design seeming to fit the bill perfectly, we can only hope that this Wii U re-release is testing the water for Pokémon Snap 2 in the future.

Whether next-gen Poké-snapping is on the cards or not, a recent report has suggested that some kind of Pokémon game (alongside a new Mario title) will be released within the first six months of Nintendo NX's launch in March 2017.

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