Pokemon Unite Banner

Today during a “Pokémon Presents” livestream Nintendo pulled back the curtain on an all new adventure. We got our first look at Pokémon Unite, a MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) experience. This style of game lets you control a single player, battling via lanes across a map with various teams. As you battle, your character levels up and becomes more power as your team pushes to control various zones. Imagine all this inside the Pokémon universe and you start to get the idea of what Unite is all about.

pokemon unite poke MOBATeam Poké-MOBA

The new title is coming to the Nintendo Switch, as well as Android and iOS mobile devices. The Pokémon Company, Timi Studio and Tencent are working together to develop Pokémon Unite. Timi is experienced with the mobile development scene, creating games like Call of Duty Mobile. Pokémon Unite will allow for cross play letting fans battle across the aforementioned platforms.

To start the game will be free to download, but in-app purchases have been confirmed. We don’t have any idea when we’ll be able to play Unite, as no release date was given. We did, however, get a nice long look at how the game will play.

pokemon unite arenaEnter the battle arena

Based on the gameplay shown today there’s quite a bit we know about the experience. The map will be split in halve with various control points that teams need to capture. 5v5 teams battle in real-time while evolving their characters and learning new attacks. After leveling up enough, each Pokémon will get access to an ultra-powerful Unite move. The main aim of the game is to score the most points via control point captures by the end of the game.

pokemon unite trainersOne trainer to rule them all

The Pokémon series has always been about collecting em’ all! Now more than ever it’s also about evolving your Pokémon into their strongest forms. In order to dominate in Unite you’ll need to evolve your characters to overpower your opponents. During the livestream we got a look at quite a few notable Pokémon. Characters like Charmander, Gastly, Pikachu and Squirtle made appearances. There were also evolved powerhouses like Gengar, Ivysaur and Machamp.

You start each round in the game as a level 1 character and as you capture control points and defeat enemies you evolve. This allows players to unlock moves like the ultimate, “Unite Move.” This has the ability to turn the tide of a game but requires careful teamwork in order to execute. Like many MOBA other games, Pokémon Unite sounds like a fun way to get some fast-paced multiplayer action into your day.

pokemon unite real time battlesPokémon Unite: A fresh new direction

I’m excited to see what Pokémon Unite brings to the franchise. It is shaping up to be an experience that will make Pokémon more accessible to a new demographic of gamers. Seeing players on mobile phones play with others on Nintendo Switches has me excited for the game’s potential. The free to play strategy is smart, allowing players to sample this new genre and see if it’s for them. So far what we’ve seen looks promising, I can’t wait to check out Pokémon Unite for myself.

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Matthew Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things tech related since the start of the digital era. He shares his passion for technology in his day job as a teacher and via multiple media platforms. As a long-time veteran of the video game and tech industry, he's covered interactive entertainment and esports on the web, in video series, podcasts, and on international television. You can follow Matthew's tech-venture filled lifestyle on twitter, instagram @dapper_tux.