The Pokemon Company has announced that it will be releasing a free-to-play mobile game for iOS and Android devices called Pokemon Co-master.
The game pairs collectible virtual Pokémon figurines and established Pokémon mechanics with a strategy board game in the vein of Japanese chess game shogi or Chinese board game Go. Players will also team up with the game’s AI to take on CPU-controlled opponents.
To help develop Pokemon Co-master, the Pokemon Company has teamed up with Heroez Japan. Heroez Japan specializes in AI development and the company boasts that its software has beaten professional shogi players in public matches. Some of the other titles that Heroez Japan has made include Shogi Wars, Chess Heroz and BackgammonAce.
Pokemon Co-Master will feature online play, though how it will be implemented has not been stated. As of now, the game will release only in Japan in Spring 2016. No Western release has been announced. With the popularity of Pokemon still somewhat big, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the game released for the US.
Pokemon Co-master joins the upcoming release of Pokemon Go. Pokemon Go is based around the concept of augmented reality whereas Co-master is based around a board game. With both titles releasing, it’s nice to see Pokemon take on the mobile frontier.