After the somewhat unexpected success of Pokemon GO back in 2016, it feels like there’s been a number of location-based augmented reality games that have tried to catch similar lightning in a bottle, but to no avail. Some even from Pokemon GO developer Niantic themselves, utilizing globally recognized and celebrated IPs like Harry Potter and Nintendo’s Pikmin. However, now Niantic is shifting gears by creating an entirely new homegrown IP for their newest upcoming title Peridot. This is a virtual pet game but, being Niantic, it will utilize their AR and location-based knowhow. The premise is that Peridots are magical creatures that lived on the planet thousands of years ago. For whatever reason they went dormant, but now they’re starting to wake up to a world that is very different from the one they remember. It’s your job to raise one of these Peridots, also known simply as Dots, from birth to adulthood and keep them safe and happy as they explore the new version of their planet. Here’s a teaser trailer for Peridot.
It seems like smartphones are a natural habitat for something like a virtual pet, seeing as how basically everyone has one and it’s always with you, and having a virtual pet live in that device sure seems a lot more convenient than toting around a bulky little device on a keychain like the Tamagotchi craze of the ’90s. Strangely though, none of the virtual pet offerings on mobile over the years have really gripped me in any meaningful way. Perhaps the missing pieces have been augmented reality tech and social features like Niantic’s previous games? I don’t know for sure if that’s the case, but I’m curious to find out when Peridot launches. No release date is planned but a soft launch is said to be happening very soon and you can find out more by pre-registering over on the game’s official website.