Niantic is teasing a new AR pets game called Peridot with the tagline “always by your side” and gameplay built around exploring the world together with “creatures who feel so real, you’ll love every moment raising them from birth to adulthood.”
Niantic is in a build-up phase toward AR glasses alongside tech giants like Meta, Apple, and Google. The company is acquiring a range of startups to build out its Lightship platform for developers, hosting a developer event in late May and already teased AR glasses last year. Niantic’s breakout hit title Pokemon Go, however, is produced in partnership with The Pokemon Company and features AR interactions as something of an afterthought next to the premise “gotta catch ’em all.” Meanwhile, other licensed AR games from Niantic like Harry Potter: Wizards Unite and Catan: World Explorers have struggled so much they’ve shut down. Taken altogether, Niantic could use a hit title it owns entirely to function as both a testing ground for new ideas and a showcase for its strengths in augmented reality.
Enter Peridot, teased in the embedded video above, which looks set to combine aspects of Pokemon and Tamagotchi with the ability to breed creatures in collaboration with others “to expand the Peridot species.” A series of screenshots embedded below show some of the interactions in the game spending time with your “Dot”, as they’re called, as they join you in different contexts viewed through an AR camera view from your phone. Activities include “adventure together on daily walks”, “breed new generations of peridots”, and “uncover hidden treasures around the world.”
“Peridot is played in camera-based AR,” a fact sheet from Niantic explains. “And the result is that the creatures feel so real, players are immersed in a way that is only possible with Niantic’s Lightship ARDK technology. Dots are clever, and can recognize different real-world surfaces such as dirt, sand, water, grass, and foliage. When your Dot forages on one of these surfaces, it will obtain different kinds of foods accordingly – like kelp from the water or prickly beets from the sand.”
The game is in a soft launch testing phase with a sign-up page for alerts when it launches in various countries on Apple’s iOS and Google Play. While Niantic made no mention of glasses support in its announcement of the game, its use of Niantic’s Lightship development kit to power the experience likely means it’d be an obvious fit, with Niantic CEO John Hanke teasing last year that they’re working to “enable new kinds of devices that leverage our platform.”
Check out the gameplay screenshots below: