Capture the beauty of Lumina Pokémon and more in New Pokémon Snap

Pokémon Snap is making a return, and we can’t wait to snap some photos! Here’s what we know.

Twenty years is a long time to wait, but for those die-hard fans of Pokémon Snap, our patience has paid off. That’s right, during June 17th’s Pokémon Presents, the New Pokémon Snap was announced. This long-awaited sequel is coming out on Nintendo Switch on April 30, 2021, and we are very excited to see what this new game has in store. Here’s what we know so far.

The wait is over

New Pokémon Snap

$60 at Amazon $60 at Best Buy

Strike a pose

Set off on a brand new adventure exploring the world of Pokémon behind a camera lens. Travel to the Lental Region, bask in nature’s beauty and try to snag a few snapshots of the wild Pokémon that live there while trying to solve a mystery. Use your tools and timing to get the perfect shot and compile your own personal Photodex.

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What is Pokémon Snap?

Pokémon Snap was first released on March 21, 1999, for the Nintendo 64. It’s a single-player photography simulation game where players are sent to different areas like jungles, beaches, and caves to explore and take pictures of Pokémon for Professor Oak. He longs to study Pokémon in their natural environment, and what better way than to send someone out in the field in his Zero-One buggy to catch them in action rather than in a Poké Ball?

Pokémon Snap’s concept is straightforward; snap pictures of Pokémon and fill the Photo Dex for Professor Oak. Of course, there’s more to the game than that. You can’t just take a picture and hand it off. It’s an art form. You are a photographer, after all, and the professor wants you to meet certain standards.

Photos need to be centered, framed correctly, and they need to have enough of the Pokémon to get into the album. Each photo receives a grade and gets points based on size, the Pokémon’s pose, and staying in frame. Players can earn more points for a little stylistic flair, such as catching more than one of the same Pokémon in the photo or capturing a unique pose.

After you explore each area and earn enough points, Professor Oak will introduce new areas on the map so you can take more pictures. Plus, he’ll give you new equipment that can help you uncover secret paths, draw out hidden Pokémon, or discover new poses and picture-perfect scenes. Of the original 151 Pokémon, 63 were available in the game.

What we know about New Pokémon Snap so far

Pokémon Snap fans rejoice! On January 14, 2021, Nintendo of America gave us the tweet we’ve all been waiting for. After months of silence, Nintendo has given us a trailer and a release date of April 30, 2021. Plus, preorders are available.

The trailer displays some fantastic visuals, a look a Professor Mirror, and plenty of Pokémon in their natural environment. It gives us a glimpse of gameplay and quite possibly some throwback tools from the original that will help you obtain the perfect shot. And you won’t be alone on your adventure. Professor Mirror has two research assistants to help: Rita and Phil.

Unlike the previous game, Phil takes on the role of your rival and dead-set on beating you any chance he gets. Rita, however, is Professor Mirror’s eager research assistant, and she’s ready to help you with your research.

According to Nintendo, the New Pokémon Snap will have players exploring and snapping photos of the Pokémon living on the Lental Islands. The Pokémon and vegetation of the Lental region glow mysteriously, and it’s your job to get to the bottom of it.

Your task is to investigate the Illumina phenomenon and help Professor Mirror with his research. While the game is new, the concept will remain the same with a few updates. With the same goal of snapping the perfect photos of Pokémon in the wild, this new game promises a variety of environments where players can frame up some fantastic shots of Pokémon living their best wild-life.

Players will get to pick an avatar and hop into the NEO-ONE travel pod and explore different environments from beaches to deserts, gathering research, and of course, getting the best shot. Some additional goals include discovering new, natural Pokémon behaviors and checking out areas we’ve never seen up close and personal. The game boasts that you can catch over 200 different Pokémon on your journey. It also encourages players to investigate plants and other interesting objects they may uncover. And who knows, you may encounter a Legendary or Mythical Pokémon!

New gameplay features

New Pokémon Snap has another first for Pokémon overall; it will feature voice acting in all the cut scenes. Players can choose between English or Japanese dialogue, or you can turn off the chatter completely. While the cut scenes will be fully voiced, the other parts will only include simple phrases.

Also, if you wanted to feel like a true Pokémon photographer, you will have your chance! New Pokémon Snap will feature motion controls, which can really help pull you into the Lental region. If you aren’t a fan, you can turn off the motion controls — but having this option is an exciting addition.

Another new feature that wasn’t in the original is the ability to choose your own avatar. While you can select from several options, you can’t change them once you’ve made your selection. Also, there will be no costumes or clothing stores here. This makes a little sense since players will mostly be behind the camera. It is a little bit of a bummer, still.

Players can also scan the environment to identify hidden Pokémon or elements in the surroundings. That’ll definitely help you locate any creatures that are flying above you or have dug themselves into sand out of view. Some Pokémon even react to the scanning sound to provide you with new photo opportunities. Scanning might just help you find another path to take that you hadn’t previously noticed.

Lumina Pokémon

On your photo safaris, you might just come across Lumina Pokémon, creatures that glow and have unique markings compared to regular Pokémon. This is a mysterious occurance, but maybe exploring the Lental Region will help you learn more about it.

Players can also toss Lumina Orbs at Pokémon to make them light up and react for adorable photo ops.

Compile that Photodex

While plenty of the gameplay seems to be the same, the Photodex has definitely gotten a makeover. The original Pokémon didn’t provide much when it came to photos. The game’s goal was simply to snap good photos, and Professor Oak would evaluate them by certain aesthetics — was the Pokémon centered? Did you get a close enough shot? Were there multiple Pokémon of the same type in the photo? Was the Pokémon being expressive or doing something unique? From there, you compiled your best shots of each Pokémon in a Photodex, trying to get a better shot each time you went out into the field.

This proves to be the case in New Pokémon Snap from the new screenshots, but with a few unique additions, such as placement and background. Plus, you can use a whole arsenal of tools to get a perfect shot, like Fluff fruit, the Poké Flute, and Ilumina orbs designed to make Pokémon glow.

In New Pokémon Snap, the Photodex is much more in-depth. Not only does it appear that you can keep more than one shot, but it also provides information about the Pokémon in the photos. The goal is to capture a variety of poses and keep improving on your technique. The original game encouraged players to go back for better shots as new tools become available.

Players can get a photo rank of one to fours depending on how rare the Pokémon’s behavior is, with four stars being the most difficult to capture.

Plus, you’re not just stuck with the photo you took. New Pokémon Snap has a photo editor, so you can adjust settings, add filters, and even stickers if you’d like. And what good is an awesome photo if you can’t share it with friends? During the February 26, 2021 Pokémon Direct, it was announced that players would be able to share photos online for players from around the world to rank — what better incentive to go back and take the best photo possible. These images are saved to your personal album, which is separate from your Photodex.

Exciting new paths and different Pokémon every time

While New Pokémon Snap follows a very familiar path, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing new up its sleeve! While the previous entry would retread the same paths and feature the same Pokémon in each level, New Pokémon Snap is all about change. Each path can spawn different Pokémon every time, plus stages experience different variants like night and day, coaxing different Pokémon out into the open.

Plus, the longer you play the game, the more Pokémon come out! As you gain Research Levels, you can find more Pokémon, open up different paths in levels, and experience terrain changes that will give you a brand new experience every time you jump into a level.

To find some new paths, learn more about Pokémon, or just get their attention, New Pokémon Snap features the Scan ability. In addition to the other tools mentioned above, this new option can help you interact with the Pokémon and the environment around you to discover new and exciting things about the Lental region.

What we hope for in the New Pokémon Snap

Even with the additional trailer and backstory, more info would be great. But barring the obvious, there are some things we hope will make it into the new game. The original concept was incredible. It was simple, straightforward, and easy to pick up and play. The only additions I’d like to see are some ways to take Pokémon photography to the next level.

For instance, even though this was part of what made snapping a shot so rewarding, it might be nice to eventually earn a “stop” or “pause” mechanic to grab a great shot, perhaps after players reach the end. In fact, it might be interesting how the New Pokémon Snap might integrate with Pokémon Go.

In the latest Pokémon Direct, online sharing and photo editing have been confirmed! So, a few items on our wishlist have been checked off. Additionally, there will be plenty of different areas to explore and Pokémon to photograph.

Is there a release date?

New Pokémon Snap will be released on April 30, 2021, on Nintendo Switch. You can preorder the game today.

As more information comes out, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

The wait is over

New Pokémon Snap

$60 at Amazon $60 at Best Buy

Strike a pose

Set off on a brand new adventure exploring the world of Pokémon behind a camera lens. Travel to the Lental Region, bask in nature’s beauty and try to snag a few snapshots of the wild Pokémon that live there while trying to solve a mystery. Use your tools and timing to get the perfect shot and compile your own personal Photodex.

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