ByKatie Granger, writer at
MP Staff Writer, come to bargain.
Katie Granger

Things are finally starting to look exciting on the Pokemon GO front as, despite the cancellation of the GDC presentation, live field testing is set to start rolling out in Japan later this month, with other regions entering testing at an undefined later time.

We're still waiting on some solid news from Nintendo and augmented reality game developers Niantic Inc. with regards to the release date, but Pokémon GO is expected to roll out at some point later this year ahead of the massively hyped Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon 'holiday 2016' release date. But in the meantime there's another mobile game coming to join the Pokémon roster.

Unveiled today by The Pokémon Company is their new mobile game Pokémon Co-Master, a board game style title for iOS and Android. Check out the announcement trailer below!

While Pokémon GO takes on augmented reality - a technology which involves a direct or indirect image of the real world in which certain elements are augmented (altered) by computer generated input - Pokémon Co-Master is described as "Pokémon meets artificial intelligence," and styles itself on a fusion of traditional Pokémon mechanics and strategy based board games.

Pokémon Co-Master takes its base from both traditional Japanese chess and the popular and ancient Eastern board game Go, which involves capturing territory on a board using game pieces or "stones." The game pieces in Pokémon Co-Master uses virtual Pokémon figurines in a similar manner, and the A.I. guides you through the game.

Pokémon Co-Master was developed by HEROZ Inc., a Tokyo based A.I. developer who has gained attention for their creation of artificial intelligence capable of defeating professional Japanese chess (shogi) players, and application of such technology to gaming platforms.

HEROZ's A.I. will act both as a partner to and opponent of the player, possessing the ability to guide them through the mechanics of the gameplay and thus making the mobile game accessible to players of all skill levels. As explained by The Pokémon Company CEO Tsunekazu Ishihara Pokémon Co-Master players will set up their deck and the A.I. will be able to figure out counter strategies to whatever combination the user can throw at it.

The Pokémon games have always been strategy heavy - with the combination of the Pokémon carried by the player and gameplay battle mechanics contributing to the outcome of a battle more heavily than sheer application of brute strength. But Pokémon Co-Master is set to take things to the next level with a more traditional, board game based approach to strategy and movement. It's no Pokémon GO, but it sounds pretty interesting regardless.

'Pokémon Co-Master' is set to release in Japan "spring 2016," but a Western release date is yet to be confirmed.


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