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Niantic's Next AR Mobile Game Peridot Lets You Raise Virtual Pets Tamagotchi Style

A new original IP lets players create their own unique creatures and share them with the world.


After successful partnerships with Nintendo and The Pokemon Company, Niantic has announced a new original IP as its next AR mobile game: Peridot, a game focused on breeding and raising a unique virtual species. GameSpot recently attended a presentation from Niantic explaining the game, and children of the '90s will agree the Tamagotchi vibes are strong here.

Peridot will see players raise fantastical and colorful creatures--the titular Peridot--by bringing them into the real world via the game's AR capabilities. Each Peridot has "its own DNA" according to Niantic, making each one unique to the player raising it. Peridots will grow from babies to full-grown adults through daily exploration activities: short daily walks, finding new locations, playing with or training the creature, etc.

A Peridot will occasionally search for food while out and about, which leads to one of the game's most unique features: The creature will recognize the type of land beneath its feet, which will inform what food it receives. Foraging around water, for instance, will give the Peridot kelp, and sand produces prickly beets. The recognition mechanic does not take weather into account--a field of mud may still be considered "dirt"--however the game's senior producer Ziah Fogel did confirm that the team is working on snow-based features for when the winter months return.

As the Peridot gains experience points through these activities, it will eventually become a fully-formed adult. After a few days when the creature is fully grown, players will be able to start again with a new Peridot through the breeding mechanic: Players will bring an adult Peridot to a specially-marked real-world location called a Habitat, choose an adult Peridot that resides at that habitat, choose a Nest--an item that will play a role in determining the design of the Peridot when it is born--and your new Peridot will be born.

Also, don't worry if you become too attached to a particular Peridot, as any adult Peridot can come visit you at any time via a special item called a Summoning Wisp, or you can forgo the breeding cycle entirely and keep your adult Peridot with you for as long as you wish.

Peridot will enter soft launch beta testing in select areas of the world this month on both iOS and Android devices. More information about the game can be found on its official website.

Jason Fanelli on Google+

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