New Pokémon Snap is just around the corner, and new footage in February’s Pokémon Presents revealed several features returning from the original game. The playable photographer will snap photos from an upgraded buggy called the NEO-1, but gameplay remains pretty much the same. Players use their camera’s zoom function and a few throwable items to better frame photos of the Pokémon around their on-rails buggy. Based on footage so far, it looks like some of the items from the original game aren’t coming back for New Pokémon Snap, while others have just received a name change.
The Nintendo 64 original has two throwable item types: The first are round, red fruits players commonly call apples but are officially called Pokémon food. These can be used to lure various species into the open so that players can grab a more impressive photo. If aimed correctly, they can also cause a chain reaction that changes the direction of certain courses and unlocks other secrets. The same can be said of the other items, Pester Balls. Used to annoy Pokémon who would rather hide in the environment, these Pokéball-esque tools release clouds of gasses to get Pokémon out of their hiding spots.
In New Pokémon Snap, both of these items will be tweaked. In the case of the “apples,” The Pokémon Company is now calling the food Fluffruit. Other than the change in name, the fruit will function exactly the same, luring Pokémon into the open for better photo angles. The new New Pokémon Snap trailer showed several different Pokémon eating Fluffruit, and it seems different species will animate differently during the feeding process. Vaporeon ate the food like a housecat, for example, while the mighty Tyranatar tossed it skyward and snatched it out of the air.
The Pester Ball, though, has not yet been mentioned as returning. A different item known as the Illumina orb can be used to make any Pokémon glow. This will be useful during night courses, as it produces more photo opportunities by providing an additional light img. Perhaps the Pester Ball was removed because of its uncomfortable implications: It has “Pester” right in the name, so its use implies players are disrupting the Pokémon’s natural habitat. This may have flown in the series’ early days, but Pokémon is a more kid-friendly franchise in 2021.
With both Fluffruit and Illumina orbs confirmed for New Pokémon Snap, players now know they have an arsenal that is mostly similar to that of the Nintendo 64 game. The true question is whether this will be the extent of players’ options. It will be interesting to see if the game features anything else to expand gameplay, or if the graphical upgrade and new species from the many Pokémon sequels will be enough to sustain the reboot.