If there’s one thing I know about Pokémon — and I don’t know all that much, compared to my kids, at least — it’s that when you get some of those pocket monsters together, some fighting is going to break out at some point. Or battling, to be more precise.
Things won’t be any different in Pokémon GO, the upcoming mobile game from The Pokémon Company and Niantic. While the focus so far has been on the AR aspects of the game that will allow players to go seek out Pokémon in different real world environments, today’s announcement focused on what happens when it’s time to throw down.
Battles will take place when attempting to take control of a Gym found in a real world location. Here’s what today’s press release had to say about what sound like some pretty simple battle mechanics:
Players can battle using the Pokémon they’ve caught to gain control of a Gym. By using their own Pokémon’s attacks and dodging incoming attacks by swiping left and right on the screen, Pokémon GO players can defeat the defending Pokémon to reduce the Gym’s Prestige. Once the Gym’s Prestige reaches zero, the defending team loses control of the Gym, and the victor’s Pokémon can be assigned to defend the Gym. When a team has control of a Gym, team members can increase its Prestige and level by training their Pokémon with other defending Pokémon.
There’s also a social aspect to the struggle for Gym control since players will be able to team up with their friends to try to take down a rival Gym together.
Perhaps the more tantalizing part of today’s announcement for die-hard Pokémon fans is that the beta or “field test” period is now underway in the U.S., Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The form to sign up for the beta can be found on the Pokémon GO website. Best of luck for all those who apply, and if you’re like one friend of mine who already admitted she’d be doing it, have fun refreshing your inbox constantly to see if you make the cut.