This new “Pokémon” invites players to photograph and study all kinds of Pokémon, a less combative, more contemplative game

The “photo” mode has become a staple of video games , almost all games. Immortalizing and then sharing a landscape from Assassin’s Creed , a light in Ghosts of Tsushima or a view of New York in Spider-Man are part of the players’ reflexes. So why not make a game entirely dedicated to this gameplay and to photography? 20 years ago, the Pokémon license offered a photo safari with Pokémon Snap on Nintendo 64, a concept that it takes up and updates with the aptly named New Pokémon Snap , available since Friday on Nintendo Switch.

In your vehicle, the Neo One, you explore the islands of the Lentis region and capture as many Pokémon as possible in the wild for Professor Mirror and his research. That’s all ? Yes and no. By its very nature, the game is repetitive, but the developers at Namco Bandai have thought of several ways to make the experience as rich as possible. It is still not possible to stop or reverse, as in a real safari, which requires being very careful to spot the beasts. And taking a picture of them is good, but you still have to know how? In which posture, near or far, from the front or from the back… These variables have an impact on your score and on the rest of the adventure, the new areas to explore.

Your Exploreflex is moreover not a camera like the others. It therefore takes photos, sends scientific data as well, but above all makes it possible to scan the surroundings, emit sounds and waves or even play a melody, just to bring out – and dance – certain Pokémon from their hiding place. Better than a smartphone! New Pokemon Snap also tries to transcend its device with a storyline, the mystery behind the Lumina phenomenon that sees Pokemon become luminescent.

Between “catch them all” and “photograph them all”, there is perhaps no big difference in the end, if it is not a less combative, more serene atmosphere, and a call to contemplation and to curiosity, well helped by beautiful animations and cute monsters. If there is competition, it will be online with sharing your edited photos and as many likes as possible. Finally, Apple Medals, we are not on “Pokémon Snapchat”.