At the end of May, a couple of weeks before E3, The Pokémon Company held a press conference, where the firm outlined some of its plans for the Pokémon franchise for the next year or so. Among the announcements was Pokémon Masters, a new title for mobile devices featuring many known characters from previous entries in the franchise.
Today, in a small YouTube presentation, the company unveiled some more details about the upcoming game. For starters, the launch date, which was previously only known to be sometime in 2019, has been narrowed down to a summer timeframe, which is probably closer than most would have expected.
In regards to the mechanics and story, players will take the role of a character striving to beat the Pokémon Masters League in the new Pasio region. During the adventure, popular characters from past Pokémon titles will show up and become either teammates or rivals. Each trainer has a single Pokémon that they use, forming what's known as a Sync Pair. At launch, there will be 65 Sync Pairs, but more will be added as time goes on, according to Serebii.
In battle, each side has three trainers, each with their own partner Pokémon on the battlefield at the same time. Rather than the typical turn-based combat in traditional Pokémon titles, battles happen in real time. An energy bar fills up as time passes, and as soon as there's enough energy, the player can use a move. Filling up more of the energy bar means stronger moves can be unlocked. There are also special Sync Moves, though it's not clear how these are used. In addition, trainers can use moves too, allowing them to heal or power up their Pokémon.
The Pokémon franchise already has a fairly strong presence in the mobile world thanks to offerings such as Pokémon GO, but Masters could have some more appeal for those who prefer the franchise's traditional style of play. As mentioned above, the game is expected to release sometime this summer, so you should have something to keep you busy until Sword and Shield release in November.