A fan combines Pokemon with Microsoft’s Hololens to create PokeLens, a game that brings Pokemon hunts and battles to the augmented reality realm ala Pokemon GO.
From earning $200 million in its first month to winning the Best Mobile/Handheld Game category at The Game Awards 2016, it goes without saying that Pokemon GO has been one of the year’s biggest sensations, both as a game and for bringing mainstream attention to augmented-reality. Unlike the usual slate of fan-made games based on popular properties, it would seem like an uphill task for fans to make a Pokemon AR game on the scale of Pokemon GO, it appears that one fan has already done it.
Recently, developer Kenny W combined the technology of Microsoft’s Hololens with the Pokemon animations created by 3D artist Beastcramps to make PokeLens, a game that brings Pokemon hunting and battling to real-life using AR in a way that arguably surpasses what Pokemon GO currently has to offer. Not only does it utilize the franchise’s tried-and-true turn-based RPG battle system, catching creatures is very similar to the “battle, weaken, Pokeball” method that is used in all the official Pokemon games as opposed to the simplistic system used by Pokemon GO.
Perhaps most impressively, the latest build of PokeLens incorporates the use of voice commands, meaning that players can simply shout out moves during battles as opposed to pressing invisible buttons that hang mid-air. Check out a demo of PokeLens right here;
At the moment, the PokeLens files are freely available at Github, but only to those who own a HoloLens dev kit. Given that a HoloLens dev kit will cost $3,000, meaning that the only people who could realistically play this game are developers and those with money to spend.
While there have been some incredible fan-made games such as Pokemon Uranium, this is perhaps an even more impressive fan creation as it pushes the boundaries of what an AR Pokemon can be, even more so than Pokemon GO. But as it is with unofficial fan-made games based on popular Nintendo properties, there are various legal and copyright issues that can come up, something that the developers for the aforementioned Pokemon Uranium are well aware of. Having said that, the PokeLens game files have been available on Github for over a month, suggesting that the fan-made AR game isn’t particularly high on Nintendo’s radar at the moment.
It remains to be seen whether Nintendo will issue out takedown notices for PokeLens, but one thing is for sure, this fan-made game is an impressive demonstration on the potential of a full-fledged Pokemon AR game.