Just recently some stealthy off-screen footage emerged of Pokémon Go, the hotly anticipated AR (augmented reality) smartphone app being developed by Niantic and published by The Pokémon Company and Nintendo. It looked pretty much as expected, with the demonstration showing a stylised Google Maps style overworld and a capture sequence in which you point your phone at grass to capture a grass-type, for example, which is an integral part of the experience.
The Pokémon Company has now published a lot of intriguing information on how the game will work. First of all, let's gawk at some screens.
In terms of the details there are a lot of them, so below is our snappy summary of the key points; you can head to the official page for the full text.
Explore the world - The key goal is to move around the world and keep an eye out for Pokémon; as you move around your smartphone will vibrate to let you know you're near a Pokémon. Once you've encountered a Pokémon, take aim on your smartphone's touch screen and throw a Poké Ball to catch it.
PokéStops - Look for PokéStops located at interesting places, such as public art installations, historical markers, and monuments, where you can collect more Poké Balls and other items.
Level Up - You level up as you collect more Pokémon, enabling you to target more powerful pocket monsters and access items such as Great Balls.
Evolve and catch new Pokémon - There are other ways to add Pokémon to your roster, too. If you catch the same species of Pokémon enough times, you'll get the opportunity to evolve one of them. And as you explore, you may find Pokémon Eggs at PokéStops, which will hatch after you've walked a certain distance. When they hatch, you may find Pokémon you've never seen before!
Join a Team - 'At a certain point' you choose between three teams. As part of a team you can assign one Pokémon to a real-world location that is a 'Gym' in order to defend it. The idea is that you work with others in your team to set up strong defensive units.
Attack rival gyms - If you come across a gym held by a rival team you can use your Pokémon to attack it and try to take over.
Challenges - There'll be various challenges to tackle which unlock 'achievement medals' for your profile.
Pokémon Go Plus - The previously revealed wrist-strap (above) will be called Pokémon Go Plus. This connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth and allows you to do some things without your phone. A combination of an LED and vibration will let you know when 'mon are nearby and even allow you to catch them.
That's the lot, painting a relatively full picture of the app. It's reiterated that there's a field test on the way in Japan, with no further release details given.
Do you like the sound of Pokémon Go so far? Let us know.