New Pokemon Snap is a loyal to a fault sequel of the original Pokemon Snap game - however, the game is missing one major type of puzzle that's sure to leave fans disappointed. New Pokemon Snap is a combination photo shooter/puzzle game. The core gameplay loop involves traveling through fixed routes and taking photos of various Pokemon in their natural habitat. However, in order to get some Pokemon to appear, players will need to lure the Pokemon out using fruit, melodies, or via other means. The puzzle aspect was one of the enduring appeals of the original Pokemon Snap games, and many fans were thrilled to learn that much of the game is spent trying to solve various environmental puzzles.
However, there is one type of puzzle that appeared in Pokemon Snap that does not appear in New Pokemon Snap. There are no "evolution puzzles" in New Pokemon Snap - environmental puzzles that require players to forcibly evolve a Pokemon. While the original Pokemon Snap game featured multiple puzzles that allowed players to manipulate a Pokemon into evolving, the new game doesn't feature a single evolution scene. That's right - you won't be able to chuck a Charmeleon into a volcano to evolve it into Charizard or cause a Shellder to bite onto Slowpoke's tail to turn it into a Slowbro.
There are a few possibilities as to why evolutions don't appear in New Pokemon Snap. The first is that most of the evolutions in New Pokemon Snap were a bit cruel and done without the will or consent of the Pokemon involved. The other is that this game feels much more in line with actual Pokemon lore, which means that Bandai Namco may have wanted to respect the core game a bit more by not having Pokemon evolve at random. After all, the original Pokemon Snap was created before The Pokemon Company had such a tight grip on the Pokemon franchise - there may have been an internal decision to keep evolutions consistent within the game.
While evolutions don't appear in New Pokemon Snap, there are plenty of other things to keep players busy. With over 200 Pokemon to find in the game, players should be ready to spend hours enjoying the new game.
New Pokemon Snap is available on the Nintendo Switch now.