Given that Pokemon has been Game Freak’s stock in trade since 1996, it’s understandable that the studio would want to broaden their horizons. That’s what they’re trying to do with Town, a game announced last year that we still know very little about.
Described as a story in a village “with a secret to hide”, Town was first announced during a September Nintendo Direct last year. Town was announced as a working title due for release in 2019, and since then, we’ve not heard anything more.
But courtesy of Japanese game magazine Famitsu, we’ve got an indication of how the game is evolving. In a lengthy preview of the studio’s history, the article includes new shots of Pokemon Sword & Shield (although no Pokemon are present), Giga Wrecker Alt and Town.
Here’s what the UI looked like when the game was first announced during the September Direct:
There’s new prompts at the top and the HP counter isn’t visible anymore. It’s worth noting that a lot of these UI prompts don’t stay on the screen permanently, according to the gameplay in the Direct.
Game Freak currently has two production teams, according to an interview with VGC. One team is working on Pokemon Sword & Shield, while the other focuses on what the studio calls “Gear Project”, an inhouse initiative designed for developers to pitch new ideas during quiet periods. Giga Wrecker (which launched earlier this month on consoles and Steam) and Tembo the Badass Elephant both came out of this program.