Pokémon Quest is a “free-to-start” (Nintendo’s frankly more accurate terminology to describe free-to-play games) action RPG that takes place on Tumblecube Island, “where everything’s a cube.– including the Pokémon.” Players will be able to explore the island for a hidden treasure, hunt treasure, make friends, cook, battle wild Pokémon called “Pokéxel” (this is done by tapping), customize their base camp to improve both its looks and gameplay benefits.
To power up your Pokémon, you can find loot and upgrades called “power stones,” which allow you to customize their upgrade path. Your base camp will have the various Pokémon you’ve made friends with interacting. In the center of your camp is the cooking pot, as you find and cook different food, you’ll attract different Pokémon, expanding your Pokédex.
As you head out with your team of three pokemon, you can see the difficulty of the stage you’re exploring as your Pokémon explore the stage automatically, fighting any Pokémon they encounter (players only tell Pokémon which moves to use).
The game will feature mostly Pokémon from the first generation and can be controlled entirely through the Switch’s touch screen, but can be controlled through a controller as well.
The game is available today for Switch through the eShop, but will be making its way to iOS and Android devices in late June.
The tap-to-battle concept is a bit concerning (especially since Go’s battles aren’t all that exciting or strategic), but this certainly has potential. It’s always interesting to see Pokémon adopt a new art style.