Of all the Pokemon spin-off games, none have captured fans’ affections like Pokemon Snap. The Nintendo 64 game turned Pokemon’s world into a photo safari, and it made such an impact that it was re-released on the Wii and Wii U Virtual Consoles, modified to let you save and share photos online (instead of printing them at sticker kiosks that no longer exist). Those same fans have been calling for a sequel for years, and now they finally get their wish. The $59.99 New Pokemon Snap for the Nintendo Switch is a fun and faithful follow-up to the 1999 classic that resurrects the unique photo-snapping concept, while offering a new region to explore and ways to interact with Pokemon.
Welcome to the Lental Region
New Pokemon Snap takes you to the Lental region, an archipelago with multiple environments filled with Pokemon. The Lental region is also the home of the Illumina phenomenon, which makes Pokemon glow for unknown reasons. To research this phenomenon, Professor Mirror and his Laboratory of Ecology and Natural Sciences (L.E.N.S.) have set up shop in the region, and he’s sending you out to these different biomes to snap Pokemon pictures.
It’s the same setup as the original Pokemon Snap, only it’s set in a new region and with a new cast. Of course, it’s all an excuse to send you on photo safaris across the Lental islands. Although there are numerous Pokemon to photograph, they’ll all be familiar; new Pokemon are generally reserved for mainline series games, such as Pokemon Sword and Shield.
Like in the original game, New Pokemon Snap places you in a protective vehicle that trundles through the game’s various courses. This makes Pokemon Snap feel as much like a rail shooter as it feels like a photography game, forcing you to carefully time your pictures and interactions to get the best angles. A free-exploration, first-person Pokemon Snap game similar to Bugsnax would be much more liberating, but then it arguably wouldn’t be a Pokemon Snap game. The preset track through the different areas is a fundamental part of how the game is structured. It also keeps the game organized in bite-size chunks; each course takes only a few minutes to complete.
How to Take New Pokemon Snap Photos
You’re tasked with taking photos of Pokemon in each course, spinning around in a 360-degree, half-dome formed by the NEO-ONE vehicle, and zooming in on every interesting sight you find. The controls are simple, with the right analog stick moving the camera in a wide swath and the left analog stick moving an in-frame cursor that shifts the camera for precise aiming. You can also enable motion controls to move the camera around by tilting the Joy-Cons, Switch Pro Controller, or Switch Lite. Pulling the ZL trigger zooms in a fixed amount, and pressing A takes a photo.
You can freely snap pictures, and have enough camera memory for several dozen every time you go through a course,…