The Pokémon GO developer Niantic has just announced its fourth game, and yes, it's another augmented reality title. Shocking, I know. Since Niantic has already reskinned its original AR game Ingress with a Pokémon theme and a Harry Potter theme, the studio has now set its sights on the popular board game Catan, in cooperation with Asmodee. This upcoming title is called Catan: World Explorers, and it's billed as a massively-multiplayer augmented reality game that will "transform the entire Earth into one giant game of Catan," which at least sounds somewhat interesting.
Pokémon GO might not be as popular as it used to be, especially amid a pandemic that has many of us staying home as much as we can, but the company behind it is nevertheless working on improving the game. As such, Niantic has announced that it will start testing reality blending next month, which will allow Pokémon to hide behind real-world objects that block your view, just as though they were real.
This story was originally published and last updated .
The summer of 2016 was a strange time to be outdoors. Every public space was jam-packed with people playing Pokémon Go. After the initial hype died down, Niantic continued adding new features, and the experience is very different today. With many of us at home and looking for ways to pass the time, there's an understandable desire to return to the familiar. However, it can be daunting to get back into Pokémon Go after four years of changes. There are tons more Pokémon, a completely revamped gym system, and even remote raids. Here's what returning Pokémon Go players can expect in 2020.
Pokémon GO got a little closer to its established universe when Pokémon trading was added to the game, which was soon followed by player versus player (PvP) Trainer Battles. Players are required to be within close physical proximity — or have a certain friendship level for battle — to use either feature. Niantic plans to get rid of this limit, at least for trainer fights, with the upcoming GO Battle League that will pair you with an opponent, regardless of their location
Niantic has revealed today that a new multiplayer feature tentatively titled Buddy Adventure should be coming to Pokémon GO sometime soon. This new feature will offer a shared augmented reality experience where players will interact with their friend's Pokémon via the AR camera. These friends can watch in real-time as you pet their Pokémon, and cross-platform support is expected, which means iOS and Android users can enjoy the upcoming Buddy Adventure mode together.
In classic Niantic fashion, the studio has upset fans of one of its games once again, and this time around, the kerfuffle surrounds the Galaxy Store version of Pokémon GO. Apparently, before the update to version 0.157.0 on the Galaxy Store, users could play both the Play Store version of the game in tandem with the Galaxy Store version when using separate accounts, all from the same device. Clearly, this loophole was unintentional, and so was taken advantage of by cheaters by running two apps at the same time, but there was also a legitimate use for families that share devices, which is why so many people are upset with this change.
The Pokémon GO team has announced today that Pokémon GO will receive an update that brings new Pokémon from the Unova region (Pokémon Black and Pokémon White). This update is not live yet, though it should land sometime today. Along with these new Gen 5 Pokémon, players can expect new hatchlings, additional Pokémon for raids, and unique region-specific Pokémon for Asia, Europe, the US, as well as the Western and Eastern hemispheres. New shinies are also expected, and the Unova Stone makes its first appearance, which will allow specific Pokémon to evolve.
Being an early adopter means accepting the inevitable bugs and issues that accompany the experience. For those that jumped on the Android Q Developer Previews, that meant a whole pile of app issues and incompatibilities as developers worked out the kinks associated with the updated platform. But Pokémon Go users can breathe a sigh of relief, as the latest update of the augmented reality game works with Android Q.
Before there was Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, before there was Pokémon Go, before there was Ingress... there was Field Trip. The first application published by Niantic Labs initially went live in September 2012, back when Niantic was still part of Google. Field Trip was removed from the Play Store earlier this year, but the app will stop working entirely soon.
Yesterday Niantic announced that its latest location-based AR game Harry Potter: Wizards Unite would be coming to the Play Store on June 21st, but it would appear that the title has arrived a day early. That's right, if you happen to live in the US, you can now download Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and start your wizarding adventure a day early.