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New Pokemon Snap release date, trailer, news, gameplay, and more

New Pokemon Snap
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Pokemon Snap first released in 1999 on the N64, as a spin-off to the main series. It was somewhat of a novelty for players, being the first time we got a peek at 3D Pokemon going about their business in their natural environments. But now we're getting a brand new Pokemon Snap experience on Nintendo Switch, a whopping 22 years later.

Nintendo hasn't made it totally clear whether New Pokemon Snap is a sequel or a remake, but the original title already got two re-releases on the Wii and Wii U in 2007 and 2016, respectively. 

The Nintendo eShop page for the upcoming title states that it "brings the gameplay of the 1999 Pokémon Snap game...to life on the Nintendo Switch system with unknown islands to discover and different Pokémon to see!"

With new Pokemon, islands, and characters, the title is perhaps more of a reimaging or reboot than a straight remake. It maintains the core gameplay though, as well as the objectives of snapping candid photos of wild Pokemon. 

New Pokemon Snap is almost here, so let's dive into what it is we have to look forward to at launch. 

New Pokemon Snap

(Image credit: Nintendo)

New Pokemon Snap release date

New Pokemon Snap is on track for a Friday, April 30 release date. The title will set you back $59.99 / £49.99 / AU$79.95 if you buy directly from the Nintendo eShop. 

But you've got a good chance of finding it slightly cheaper at retail if you don't mind a physical edition of the game. Savvy shoppers in Australia can knock off as much as AU$10 off with a pre-order from JB Hi-Fi, for example. 

There are no special editions that we've seen so far, but we'll keep you posted if we see anything pop up.

New Pokemon Snap trailer

We first got wind of New Pokemon Snap last summer, with the trailer below showing off the islands in the game, as well as the Pokemon that inhabit them. While it's not packed with much in the way of gameplay or other information, it was enough to tease Pokemon fans and get them hyped up for launch.  

The January 2021 trailer gave us a glimpse at some of the Pokemon and human characters in the game, including the player character and Professor Mirror. As you'd expect, it looks like players can choose between a male and female avatar. They look pretty similar to one another in the trailer, and given that the game is first-person, we're not sure how much customization there'll be.

The New Pokemon Snap trailer that debuted in February is the longest by far, and it offers a pretty thorough rundown of the game. The trailer showcases the new Lental region, the Neo-One vehicle that will ferry you through the islands to get your snaps, and the research team (comprised of Professor Mirror and his research assistants, Rita and Phil) backing you up on your photo expeditions.

The rating system for photos is touched on, revealing how you'll submit them to the Professor's Photodex for approval. The trailer also details the photo editing that's available if you want to upload your snaps, and it looks like you can use stickers and frames to jazz them up before sharing online. 

We also get a look at New Pokemon Snap's mythical pokemon, Celebi. The psychic/ grass Pokemon debuted in Pokemon Gold/Silver, and is so cute that we're glad to see it make a comeback in the spinoff.  

The official Japanese Pokemon Twitter account  has posted a number of gameplay snippets of its own. 

The latest is a somewhat macabre Magikarp murder montage that shows how life at the bottom of the foodchain in the world of Pokemon really goes down. Magikarp — arguably the most useless Pokemon of them all — can be seen haplessly flapping out in the water before a Pidgeot swoops in flies off with it.  Another Magikarp isn't faring any better as it gets dragged into the ocean depths by a Frillish, presumably to be snacked on later.  

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The official Pokemon Japanese YouTube account has also graced us with a Snap Guide to the Lental Region. The video is in Japanese, so if that's not a language in  your repertoire you're not going to understand much of what's going on.  

The trailer shows off the region's biomes, Pokemon, and other aspects of gameplay, like the fruit you can lure Pokemon with to get a great photo, as well as the new Illumina orbs. The orbs can be used to turn Pokemon phosphorescent for even more exciting pictures. 

New Pokemon Snap setting and gameplay 

New Pokemon Snap is set in the Lental region, which is made up the various islands that are home to the array of wild Pokemon you'll be photographing. Biomes range from verdant jungles to sandy beaches, arid deserts, and lush forests, all of which are populated with Pokemon.  

Professor Mirror will send you on your way in the Neo-One, which will be the vehicle for the on-rails gameplay associated with the series. You'll pass through the various environments, safe in your vehicle, and snap photos of the Pokemon you pass. 

New Pokemon Snap

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Ideally, you want to capture the Pokemon doing something out of the ordinary, to get the highest possible rating for your photo. You can help facilitate that using the tools at your disposal. There's fluffruit which can be used to lure and feed them, as well as the ability to play melodies, and Illumina orbs to make them glow. These can all be used to affect the behavior of Pokemon, or elicit a particular response that could make for the perfect pose.

Each Photodex entry can hold up to four photos, with one photo from each rating category. Photos are rated using a four-star system, with four stars being the hardest to achieve. The rating is decided by a number of factors, like the subject's pose, how close to the camera they are, if you've positioned them in the frame correctly, whether they're facing the camera, and so on. The more common the behavior, the lower the star rating. 

If you want to take it online to see how your creations measure up against other players, you can spruce up your pics with stickers and frames before sharing them. Photos receive upvotes from the community, so be sure to capture an impressive array of snaps. 

New Pokemon Snap outlook 

New Pokemon Snap is launching in just a couple of weeks and should break up the dry spell between AAA console releases on PS5 and Xbox Series X

Fans of the series are in for a treat with this new take on a beloved game that's now over two decades old. While it's not a part of the main series of Pokemon games, in New Pokemon Snap you'll likely find most of your favorite Pokemon prancing around the islands waiting to be fed, serenaded, or shot with your fancy camera, courtesy of Professor Mirror. 

We're sure the game's launch will lead to a surge in the number of Nintendo Switch systems sold. If you're looking to pick one up, we'd advise going it sooner rather than later, what with shortages on the horizon, and New Pokemon Snap is just the excuse you're been looking for.