The Pokémon Company and TiMi Studios are finally reducing the launch schedule of Pokemon unite. The “free-to-start” MOBA is now planned releases on Switch in July and on mobile devices in September. As before, Hook is cross-platform play – you’ll end up taking on rivals no matter what device you use.
The formula will be somewhat familiar to you if you’ve played MOBA titles like League of Legends or Dota 2, but with the expected Pokémon twist. You take part in five-on-five battles where you must harvest energy by defeating Pokémon (both opponents and “wild” examples) and dropping that energy into an enemy end zone. Your creatures evolve throughout the match, eventually learning a “Unite Move” that could tip the scales of a fight.
Different maps (or rather stages) have different rules, including the number of team members, match lengths, and legendary Pokémon appearances.
Of course, Unite will encourage you to spend real money. You can earn more in-game rewards through Seasonal Battle Passes and purchase “Aeon Gems” which can help you bring more Pokémon into battles or obtain items for your Menagerie and Trainer. You can also use free Aeos coins and tickets, so you don’t have to pay to unlock content if you’re willing to be patient.
It’s a bit of a gamble. How much overlap is there between Pokémon and MOBA mobs, and will developers avoid typical MOBA pitfalls like steep learning curves? Still, it could be appealing if you want an experience in the Pokémon universe that ventures beyond. single player-centric experiences or the location-based gameplay of Pokémon Go.
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