Start saving your pocket money, because another free-to-play Pokemon game is coming to mobile. The Pokemon Company showed off Pokemon Masters today, a game where you put together teams of famous trainers and fight things out with rivals. It's coming later this summer.
The video explainer for Pokemon Masters is eight minutes long, and about half of it is dedicated to a cool-looking animated trailer that shows off the trainer teams fighting and working together. The actual fights are three-on-three affairs, and they're a little different from the norm. Instead of one trainer having access to a full roster, each participant is bonded to a single Pokemon. For example, Brock fights with Onix, Misty fights with Starmie, Lance fights with Dragonite, and Red, the ever-silent face of the Pokemon series, fights with Charizard.
If you want to fight efficiently, you can't just pack all your favorite trainers into one team (even though that's exactly what everyone is going to do, anyway). Some trainers offer powerful strike skills, while others specialize in support. If you want to fight your way to the top tier of the weird man-made Hunger Games island Pokemon Masters takes place on, you need to balance your team accordingly.
Pokemon Masters is free-to-play ("free-to-start," according to the press release The Pokemon Company distributed today), which means in-app purchases are a certainty. Question is, what will you be paying for? My best guess is that trainers are drawn via a Gatcha system, not unlike Fire Emblem Heroes. If you don't get the trainer team you want through a free draw, well, you can always pay a little money for another chance. I can't complain; I'm probably going to go broke trying to pull Lusamine, Lillie, and Gladion from Pokemon Sun and Moon. They're a severely dysfunctional family, which means they must be channelling their rage and pain through particularly ferocious Pokemon battles. I'm going to clean up with them.
We already have a Pokemon Masters guide for you to look over. The app's release date is "summer," so hopefully we won't be waiting long to make friends and influence people with the aid of the Pokemon series' best trainers.