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Pokemon UNITE On The Switch In A New MOBA

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Yet another Pokemon title has been announced for Switch, though this one’s more of a mobile title that is also being made available for the platform. It’s called Pokemon UNITE…not to be confused with Pokemon UNTIE, the game where you help Pikachu undo massive rope knots. (After Pokemon Smile and Pokemon Sleep, you almost thought that was real, didn’t you?)

But Pokemon UNITE is very real, and it’s the first game with the Pokemon brand that supports cross-play. It also transports some of the series’ most famous mons to a new genre…the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, or MOBA.

MOBAs are generally played with two or more teams, with the goal being to take over the enemy’s territory before they do the same to you. A typical match in Pokemon UNITE will consists of five-on-five teams, each with a base. Use your Pokemon’s attacks to eliminate the rival creatures and advance, while keeping a lookout for wild Pokemon you can potentially capture and add to your arsenal.

The first team to capture their opponent’s base wins the match. From the trailer below, the cast of Pokemon UNITE seems to be very Gen 1 heavy, with Pikachu, Venusaur, Charizard, Blastoise, Machamp, Snorlax, Clefairy and Gengar in attendance. Lucario is there, but when is Lucario not there?

Pokemon UNITE is being developed by Tencent, the megacorporation from China who has created quite a few MOBAs for phones and owns a controlling stake in some popular ones that it didn’t make. A nameless project between The Pokemoin Company and Tencent was announced last year; this appears to be what they had in mind.

A release date has not been announced for Pokemon UNITE, but when it does arrive, the game will be free on both smartphones AND the Switch. That more than likely means it’ll be bugging you for money, it’ll have a time limit, or both. More details will be released as Pokemon UNITE speeds toward its vague release day.