Pokémon GO is set to go global. North American field test begins for the upcoming augmented-reality mobile game.
Field tests are already underway in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The Pokémon Company also shared information about the game’s battle mechanics, trainer customisation, Gym Prestige, Pokédex and how and when you’ll be able to collaborate with friends.
Battling in Pokémon GO will be done with the Pokémon that each player has captured. Each Pokémon will be able to use moves sort-of similar to the original Pokemon game, though there’ll be differences – swiping left and right on one’s smartphone screen allows a Pokemon to dodge an attack, for example.
Teams of Pokémon GO users can take over a Gym and defend it. Each time a Pokémon GO player defeats a Pokémon at a Gym, that Gym’s Prestige is reduced. Once a Gym’s Prestige is reduced to zero, whichever team is defending that Gym will lose control, and the victor’s Pokémon “can be assigned to defend the Gym”.
The free-to-play game, inspired by Niantic Labs’ popular Ingress app, will also include PokéCoins, which can be earned or bought with real money and used to buy power-ups. There’s also a device called the Pokémon GO Plus that connects to the game through Bluetooth and is sold separately.
Pokémon GO will launch worldwide later this year