This morning’s brief info dump on the upcoming mobile game Pokemon Masters gave fans a taste of what they can expect when the game launches this summer, including real-time battles and which classic trainers will make an appearance.
As for a specific Pokemon Masters release date, that summer time frame is all we have for now, which is more than its announcement trailer provided, but the game will be launching worldwide when it does release and is free-to-start as well.
The game takes place on the island of Pasio, a new location in the Pokemon world. It’s a place where dozens of powerful — and familiar — trainers from all regions gather to test their skills against each other via a new kind of Pokemon battling and pairing.
Pokemon Masters is introducing Sync Pairs, which is where a trainer forms a special bond with one partner Pokemon and apparently uses that Pokemon exclusively throughout their time on Pasio. However, that doesn’t mean PM lacks variety in battle style and strategy.
In place of recruiting other Pokemon, players will make friends with other Synch Pairs, including iconic match-ups like Clair and Kingdra from the Johto region and Korrina and Lucario from the Kalos region.
At the game’s launch, Pokemon Masters will have 65 Synch Pairs for players to form bonds with, and more will be added as time goes on. The trailer, seen above, gives an idea of some pairings players can expect — Gym Leaders such as Misty, Fantine, and Erika and even some of the gang leaders like Giovanni, though it isn’t certain if these will act solely as villains or if they’re recruitable too (though we expect it’s the former).
In a first for the Pokemon universe, the three-on-three battles take place in real time, with players issuing commands both for their Pokemon and the trainer; there’s even a Z-Move style special move called a Synch Move.
The catch — this is a F2P game, after all — is that the game introduces a move gauge which limits the number of moves players can order their team to take. The gauge refills over time, and like Dr Mario World, it’s likely some sort of in-game purchase will help it refill faster.