Pokémon trainers, get ready to beat them all. Nintendo and DeNa released the iOS and Android game “Pokémon Masters” Aug. 27, giving Pokémon fans the chance to battle alongside their favorite trainers, level up their Pokémon and play with friends on-the-go through their mobile devices.
As new trainers start on the artificial island of Pasio, they’re met by Blue, the main rival from Game Boy’s “Pokémon Red” and from there he explains the world of Pokémon. The world has several different types of creatures that Pokémon trainers catch and train. When starting the game all users begin their journey as Pokémon trainers.
Compared to recent Pokémon games, the biggest change is the three-versus-three gameplay. From the moment users log into the game, they will be with two other Pokémon trainers, such as fan-favorites Brock, Misty and Cynthia, to team up with and battle against other trainers in the main story.
Users must battle and level up their Pokémon many times before progressing in the story. This gameplay mechanic is familiar to Pokémon veterans, but newcomers should get ready for a lot of grinding. Grinding is a feature in video games where players have to replay missions in order to gain more experience and progress to higher levels.
After winning each battle, the Pokémon on a trainer’s team will have the chance to level up. By leveling up, it will not only raise its stats, but will also make progress toward evolution by playing the story mode, giving a huge boost in all stats and changing the appearance of the Pokémon.
Type advantages and evolving a trainer’s Pokémon are a crucial part in this mobile game. For those just getting into Pokémon, each Pokémon has a type, such as water, fire, rock, grass or dragon. These types interact with each other much like when water beats fire, fire beats grass, basically a game version of rock-paper-scissors. Battling in “Pokémon Masters” is complex but straightforward enough that anyone can learn it.
There are 18 chapters in “Pokémon Masters,” and each mode can be unlocked after completing Chapter 11. Co-op mode gives players the opportunity to swap out the computer trainers for their friends online. Whenever players struggle on a certain mission, they can contact their friends to beat it together.
“Pokémon Masters” is the first major Pokémon mobile game since Nintendo and Niantic, a software company, released “Pokémon Go” in July 2016. While the games have similarities, in “Pokémon Masters,” Pokémon will be provided to the users that play the game, while in “Pokémon Go” trainers have to actively walk around and catch Pokémon.
One issue with “Pokémon Go” is the laborious time it takes to evolve Pokémon. For “Pokémon Masters,” that wait time is reduced by battling trainers and leveling up Pokémon.
Each player begins with Pikachu at the start of the game, and there’s no way to change a trainer’s starter Pokemon. Since the game is still new, there are still some minor bugs such as the app occasionally restarting itself.
The game’s interface is beautiful, taking the gameplay and graphics straight from its most recent main series games “Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon” for the Nintendo 3DS and compacts it all onto a smartphone.
Trainers won’t feel the need to bring their Nintendo Switches wherever they go, when instead they can enjoy playing a similar game on their phones. In “Pokémon Masters”, encountering old trainers from past games and TV shows, with the familiar music. adds a touch of nostalgia.
To battle to be the very best like no one ever was, “Pokémon Masters” is available to download for Android and iOS devices.