Pokemon Co-Master is the newest Pokemon experience recently unveiled by the Pokemon Company. The game is a mix of classic Pokemon and board games like GO (a Chinese version of chess), but is called a mixture of Pokemon and Artificial Intelligence. The Tokyo based studio, Heroz, is responsible for developing the game.
The AI in Pokemon Co-Master will do more than just be something the player has to fight against. The AI is also designed to help players, which will make it easier for beginners to get into the game. The goal of Pokemon Co-Master is to collect Pokemon figures to create your own deck, and fight your opponent’s figures. You win not by defeating your opponents Pokemon, but by moving your piece to your opponent’s side.
The Representative Director CEO of Heroz, Takahiro Hayashi, said that the AI’s at Heroz are developed with an idea of a “united front instead of competition.” He believes that human interaction will help AI develop and learn better, while AI can also help people grow and do better. He also described Pokemon CO-Master as “not a single stone cast into the world of board games, but a meteorite. We expect to be able to surprise the world.” As a disclaimer I must add that the quotes were in Japanese and these are just rough translations.
The big part of Pokemon Co-Master is the AI. Heroz, the company working on the game, is a well-known developer of artificial intelligence. They are best known for their creation of an AI that beat a professional Shogi Player in 2013. For those of you who are unfamiliar with exactly how complex a game like shogi is, chess has the possibilities of 10^120 moves while shogi has the possibility of 10^220 moves. This established Heroz as one of the leading companies in AI development, and they continue to push further ahead specializing in developing games for phones.
Pokemon Co-Master is a single player game and will be free-to-play with in-game purchases. It will start out being only available in Japan, but will be on both Android and iOS. It is planned to be available for download spring 2016, and there is no news whether it will ever be released for a western audience. So, what do you think about Pokemon branching out into the world of Shogi and Chess? Are you excited to see how skilled the AI is, or do you not really care? Let me know in the comments below.
Written by Spencer Havens