The release date for New Pokémon Snap, the long-awaited sequel to the 1999 cult classic Pokémon Snap, was revealed today. Why should you be excited, and how exactly did such a weird game get such a great cult following?
What’s Pokémon Snap Again?
Pokémon Snap is a bit of an odd Psyduck in the whole of the Pokémon franchise. Instead of trying to capture Pokémon in Poke Balls, you try to capture them on film. Your automated transport, the Zero-One, drives you through each level while you try to snap the best pictures you can of each type of Pokémon. Then you return to the lab, where Professor Oak rates your shots.
Wikipedia calls Pokémon Snap a rail shooter - which is technically true, if a bit tongue-in-cheek. However, it’s as much a puzzle game as a test of observational skills and reflexes; as the game progresses, you get a few different items which you can use to get Pokémon in position for the perfect shot. Figuring out how to use them properly is key to getting a high score. For a lot of people who grew up owning the Nintendo64 console, this offshoot was the Pokémon game of their childhood, one of the few that came out on non-handheld systems. That, plus its upbeat cheery vibes with there being no violence whatsoever in the game made it stand out.
So What’s New in New Pokémon Snap?
While New Pokémon Snap’s gameplay looks to be almost identical to its predecessor’s, the official website promises new characters, new Pokémon (new to Pokémon Snap, that is), and new stages to explore. To be fair, it has been over 20 years since the original game was released - many of the creatures in this game are going to feel brand new to nostalgic fans of the original game.
There’s also an all-new mystery. Plants and Pokemon in the Lental region sometimes start to glow, and nobody knows why. It’s called the Illumina phenomenon. Your job in New Pokemon Snap is to solve it.
Aside from the release date, today’s trailer didn’t have much new info for us, but it does look absolutely beautiful. Check it out here! Hopefully come April 30th, we'll have a feel-good game that lives up to the original.