Last month, during The Pokémon Company’s annual press conference, they announced a new mobile game called Pokémon Masters, set for release sometime in 2019. Today (June 27), some more specific details about what the game will entail were revealed.
In an eight-minute video, a new, animated trailer for Pokémon Masters was shown off before details about the game were revealed. The idea of the game was conceived by Game Freak Executive Director and Art Director Ken Sugimori, the character designer for a number of Pokémon games, who came up with the idea of players collecting some of the series’ most popular trainers in a way most of the games have players collecting Pokémon.
This mobile game will take place in a new region called Pasio, an artificial island where a tournament called the Pokémon Masters League is being held – thus, trainers from all over the Pokémon world have come to compete. However, there are some new rules that differentiate battles in Pasio from normal battles elsewhere in the Pokémon universe. Here, each trainer is allowed only one Pokémon, which acts as their single partner Pokémon. Each team of a trainer and their partner Pokémon is called a Sync Pair. For the Pokémon Masters League, trainers form teams of three Sync Pairs, so the player will have to team up with two other Sync Pairs on their journey. Other trainers the player can team up with include Gym Leaders, Champions, player characters, rivals, and even villains from the series’ mainline games. The player’s group of three Sync Pairs will travel the world of Pasio, earning Gym Badges to qualify for the Pokémon Masters League.
Battle mechanics also differ in this game than in main series games. Here, battles will all be 3v3 battles, and since each team is made up of three Sync Pairs, and each Sync Pair has only one Pokémon, this means that both sides’ entire parties will be on the field at once. While battles still take on a turn-based RPG format, this game seems to have taken a page from Final Fantasy‘s book by implementing a mechanic called the Move Gauge, a bar that slowly fills up over time and that allows players to make a move once it, or part of it, is filled. The game will also include Sync Moves, special moves specific to each individual Sync Pair, and Trainer’s Moves, moves that trainers can use to heal or buff their Pokémon partner.
Pokémon Masters is set for release on iOS and Android phones sometime this summer. The game will be free-to-start with in-game purchases.