The Pokemon Company made a surprise announcement today: a new free-to-play smartphone and Nintendo Switch game that looks like a mix of Pokemon and Minecraft.
The new game is called Pokemon Quest and features Pokemon from the Kanto region redesigned in a boxy form. You can check out what the Pokemon look like in the tweet below:
The game involves exploring the mysterious Tumblecube Island, where players can battle wild Pokemon and collect powerful items. Players can power-up their Pokemon by using Power Stones, which allow them to customize their Pokemon's strengths and weaknesses.
In #PokemonQuest, you get to decide which characteristics your Pokémon will have! You can use special items called Power Stones to strengthen your team. The kind of Pokémon they become is completely up to you! pic.twitter.com/zI8kmZxhHg— Pokémon (@Pokemon) May 30, 2018
From the looks of the game, players can control up to three Pokemon at a time, with different Pokemon having different specialties. Some Pokemon are excellent long-range attackers, while others are brawlers up close. The Pokemon Company seems to be emphasizing the customization options for the game, which include team-building and growing your team via power stones. Players can also level up their players via more traditional means, like by battling Pokemon.
While it might seem surprising that the games are being released for both smartphone and Nintendo Switch, there is some precedent. Pokemon Shuffle was released for both mobile games and Nintendo 3DS, and several other spinoff games were released as "freemium" games for the Nintendo 2DS system.
These new games seem like a fun and easy way to introduce fans to the Pokemon franchise. While the Minecraft aesthetic seems a bit silly, Pokemon spinoff games often have weird looks to them. The popular Pokemon Rumble game used "Toy" Pokemon that weren't a lot less detailed than the blocks we see today.
Nintendo Switch fans can download Pokemon Quest right now, while smartphone fans can pick up the game in June 2018...which isn't very far away.