If the news of a new Team, new Rivals, and Galarian Pokemon making their way to Pokemon Sword and Shield already has you all excited, plus you happen to live in Canada, then the release of a Pokemon Masters Early Access build on Android likely just made your day. The game, which is developed by DeNA—who’ve previously worked with Nintendo on several other mobile game projects including Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Fire Emblem Heroes, and Super Mario Run—is a free-to-play title with microtransactions.
Unlike mobile stablemate Pokemon GO, the focus here is not on hunting and catching Pokemon, but rather on battling them. Players must choose three iconic Trainers and their associated Pokemon, like Ash Ketchum and Pikachu or Brock and Onyx, to comprise a team with which to engage in three-on-three battles. Your options in battle seem to be fairly simplistic, in the series’ signature fashion, with a standard and special form of attack seemingly limited by an energy meter. You can also chug potions, presumably to infer buffs and cure wounds, if the need should arise.
Born from mainline Pokemon series developer Game Freak’s idea to implement all Pokemon Trainers, past and present, into one single game, Masters seeks to please long-term fans by giving them the chance to reunite with old favorites. If you’re a true Pokemon devotee, you can grab a couple of licensed accessories to complement the game, like a Pokemon-themed finger ring to help keep a tight hold of your phone during intense play sessions or a Pokeball-shaped portable phone charger.
While Android users in Canada can play right now, it’s unknown whether other regions will receive the Android Early Access build, or if iOS users in Canada or anywhere will have the chance to get their hands on the game early. Regardless, there isn’t too much longer to wait, as Pokemon Masters‘ August 29 release date listed on the Apple App Store is fast approaching.