Cutesy social networking app Miitomo became Nintendo's first foray into mobile gaming when it was released last month, but it's Pokémon Go — the Japanese publisher's upcoming augmented-reality mobile monster-collecting game — that promises to be the real test of how Nintendo can adapt to the platform. Now, as Nintendo dishes out beta invites for the game to a selection of people in Australia and New Zealand, we're getting a better idea of how the game plays.
Nine minutes of footage taken from the Australian field test of Pokémon Go expands on what we saw last month, showing the player selecting their avatar, choosing its gender, clothing, and facial features, before taking to the streets and collecting their first wild Pokémon. Unlike Nintendo's handheld Pokémon games, it appears you won't be starting out with a little Poké-buddy from the off, and new monsters aren't collected by battling — instead, Pokémon appear superimposed on the street in front of you, and can be captured by hitting them in the right spot with Pokéballs from your inventory. Collecting enough of the creatures will let you battle gym leaders in the game, but again, there's none of the battle strategy we've come to expect from Game Boy and DS versions of the series, with both Pokémon simply repeating attacks automatically at each other.
The opening of the beta in Australia and New Zealand marks the first time an English-speaking version of Pokémon Go has been available to the public, coming a month after field tests began in Japan. It's not yet clear when the full game will arrive on iOS and Android, but Nintendo has previously indicated that it will have four mobile apps available by March 2017, suggesting we should expect to be throwing balls at invisible monsters on the streets later this year.
Update, 11:46AM ET: The video has been pulled.