Game Freak's New Adventure RPG: Pand Land

Game Freak, widely known for developing the Pokémon games, has recently launched a new title, Pand Land, in Japan. This adventure RPG allows players to explore an expansive and colorful world in search of hidden treasures. Although Game Freak is predominantly associated with the Pokémon franchise, the studio has ventured into other projects over the years, including games like Little Town Hero and HarmoKnight, which have garnered a fair share of attention from gamers.

Balancing Pokémon and New Projects

Despite the immense focus on the Pokémon series, recent entries have faced criticism for their shorter development cycles, affecting game quality. This makes it surprising for some to see Game Freak dedicating time and resources to a separate project like Pand Land. While the development of the 2021 Gen 4 remakes, Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl, was outsourced to ILCA, Game Freak has been busy with titles such as Pokémon Legends: Arceus, Pokémon Scarlet and Violet, and the Gen 9 games' Hidden Treasure of Area Zero DLC since early 2022. Moreover, the next major Pokémon title is already in development.

Introducing Pand Land

Pand Land, an adventure RPG, is currently available exclusively for Android and iOS devices in Japan. Players take on the role of an expedition captain exploring the oceanic world of Pandoland in search of treasure. The game offers a relaxed experience, allowing players to leisurely explore its charming world while also engaging in combat encounters and exploring murky dungeons. These dungeons can be plundered solo or with friends through multiplayer mode.

Future Availability

For now, Pand Land is only available in Japan, with no announced international release date. However, this doesn’t mean that the game will be inaccessible to players outside Japan forever. There is hope that it might be brought to a global audience in the future. In the official announcement from publisher WonderPlanet, Game Freak's development director Yuji Saito expressed pride in the project, stating, "We've been working hard to create a game that takes the scale of a console game and makes it easy and simple to play."

Pokémon Fans' Concerns

Fans of the Pokémon series need not worry about Pand Land detracting from the development of the next Pokémon entry. The highly-anticipated Pokémon Legends: Z-A is set for release sometime next year. While details about the upcoming title are scarce, the success of its predecessor has generated significant excitement.

In conclusion, Game Freak’s foray into developing a new game like Pand Land is a healthy sign of the studio’s creative flexibility. It shows their ability to balance between expanding their horizons and continuing to deliver on the beloved Pokémon series.