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Video Game / New Pokémon Snap

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Time to snap 'em all again!

New Pokémon Snap is a Nintendo Switch game based on the Pokémon franchise and the long-awaited sequel for the beloved Pokémon Snap on the Nintendo 64. It was developed by Bandai Namco, and was released worldwide on April 30, 2021.

Once again, you have to CATCH THEM ALL! on a photo safari, but instead of Professor Oak, this game introduces a new professor, Professor Mirror, who asks you to take a Pokémon report for the brand-new Lental region. Like the original, the game plays as a Rail Shooter but with a camera, with points for capturing Pokémon in certain poses, or having multiple Pokémon in one shot.

The game also has a photo editing feature à la Super Mario Odyssey and Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, where players can adjust the contrast and focus as well as add stickers. Players can share photos online and rank their favorites. Other new features include the option to play stages at different times of day, and optional paths for the player to take during courses.

Like Kirby Star Allies and Super Mario Maker 2, the game comes with free updates with new content after launch. The first update launched on August 3rd, 2021, adding three new courses and twenty new Pokémon.

Trailers: Overview Trailer

New Pokémon Snap contains examples of...

  • 100% Completion: Not only are there a lot of Pokémon to photograph, every Pokémon has at least four different poses to record in your PhotoDex (with some poses ranked the same amount of stars), and photographs can get up to a Diamond rank depending on their quality. And then there are the Loads and Loads of Sidequests, of which there are 234 — one for every single Pokémon in the game.
  • Achievement System: Research Titles are awarded to players upon reaching various milestones.
  • All Deserts Have Cacti: Sweltering Sands is mostly based on the typical Saharan desert, yet it still contains happy Cacnea rolling down the dunes.
  • Anger Born of Worry: After the first expedition using the shrink feature of the NEO-ONE, Professor Mirror chews out the three kids for using a feature in testing without telling him. Todd tells him to cut them some slack since they DID manage to get shots that otherwise would be impossible (and reveals he also knew about the trip).
  • Animal Jingoism:
    • Pokémon that are known to have canon natural enemies or predators can meet and fight/hunt each other. It's the case with Pinsir vs. Heracross, Pidgeot vs. Magikarp, Zangoose vs. Seviper, Corsola vs. Mareanie, and Sableye vs. Carbink.
    • In a shout-out to the classic "Cat versus Mouse" example, during the Research Camp level, you can lure a Meowth into chasing out a hidden Ratatta.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • The camera can take pictures without having to zoom in first, allowing for good-scoring shots of large, nearby Pokémon that couldn't be done in the original Snap.
    • While you're still docked for points if the subject isn't facing you, is too far away, or isn't in the center, it doesn't matter as much for getting good shots now since Professor Mirror does not stop his evaluation of a subject prematurely the same way Oak does in Snap if he's dissatisfied. Although shots that are really bad in general will just be filed under "No Subject".
    • You can toggle how fast you want the pointer and camera to go in the options menu, resulting in quicker turnarounds.
    • Upon completing the story, Todd grants the player access to Burst Mode, which lets the camera take a series of shots in bursts of 3, 4, or 6, making it easier to snap photos of fast-moving Pokémon.
    • All Lumina, legendary, and mythical Pokémon yield an extra 1,000 points bonus in the category "pose", regardless of what you donote . This is likely to avoid frustration as to how hard these Pokémon are to photograph in the first place.
    • The August 2021 update added a minor one in that, if a photo fulfills a Research Request, it'll now be marked with a symbol while you're selecting your photos, saving you the frustration of submitting a photo only for the "Request complete!" message to not appear.
  • Antlion Monster: In the Sweltering Sands, Pinsir wait at the center of deep sand pits with only their horns poking up above the ground. Other sandpits from the same level contain the actual antlion Pokémon Trapinch with only its jaws sticking out of the ground. Another contains its evolution, Flygon.
  • Ascended Extra: Pinsir only made a cameo as the Tunnel sign in the first game. Here, it is fully present in both Florio Nature Park and Sweltering Sands.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: The NEO-ONE. Like the original ZERO-ONE model, it's capable of withstanding harsh environments, while also having new features such as a short-ranged scanner.
  • Ball-Balancing Seal: A Dewgong can be seen bouncing a Spheal with its nose in Shiver Snowfields.
  • Bioluminescence Is Cool: By taking pictures of glowing Crystablooms, Professor Mirror can develop Illumina Orbs, which can be thrown at Pokémon to make them glow for a short time. Part of the research is on Pokémon who are perpetually in this state, such as Meganium.
  • Blatant Lies: Professor Mirror calls a shot of multiple Mareanie chasing down a Corsola (normally their prey) "a friendly game of Tag".
  • Boss-Only Level: After certain research milestones, the player gains access to an "Illumina" stage, in which the focus is on a single large creature (or multiples of the same species) that takes some effort to get a clear picture of. However, this only applies to the Level 1 version of the stage; after "beating" the boss once, a variant of the area with other Pokémon roaming the Illumina Spot and interacting with the Illumina Pokémon becomes available.
  • Brick Joke:
    • At the start of the beach level at night, you can lure a Crabrawler over to a sleeping Exeggutor; Crabrawler will mistake it for a regular tree and punch it, only to quickly learn its mistake and be sent fleeing. At the very end of the level, that same Exeggutor will suddenly come crashing through the trees in pursuit of that same Crabrawler.
    • Scanning Pidgeot's nest in the Side Path in the daytime says that the nest's owner must be out hunting for food. At nighttime, Murkrow can be scared into bothering a sleeping Pidgeot, which will wake up and chase them off. Throwing an Illumina Orb into the vacated nest reveals a live Magikarp.
  • Butt-Monkey: In the Sweltering Sands, Skorupi is subjected to a great deal of punishment, such as being crashed into by a falling Minior, sucked into a sandstorm, and crushed underneath a sleeping Onix. The very beginning of the day level will also have it shocked by Heliolisk if prompted.
    • Octillery is also a favored target in Maricopia's Beach and Seafloor. It gets shocked by Stunfisk, stalked by Seviper, spooked by Sandygast, and scared by Wailmer.
    • The Butt-Monkey of the series, Magikarp, gets subjected to some punishment in its higher ranked scenarios — getting swooped up by a Pidgeot, dragged down to the ocean depths by two Frillish, and chased by a Piplup onto land.
  • Call a Rabbit a "Smeerp": Subverted by fluffruits, which are used to feed Pokémon, attract them, or startle them. They look more or less indistinguishable from apples, but Rita mentions real apples by name and points out that fluffruits are lighter and softer.
  • Call-Back: Some of the Puzzle Bosses have a barrier that must be hit in order to take a proper picture of it within a short window, much like the Final Boss of the original game. Snap's boss, Mew, also returns in this game with its barrier, but hidden in a regular stage instead of having its own.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Graveler in this game are hanging onto cliffs, and the player must hit them with Fluffruit to get them down.
    • Hit Kangaskhan with a Fluffruit and she'll make the same pose as the original game to intimidate you.
    • One of the Fireflow Volcano requests has a nod to the Charmander group shot. If you want, you can knock a Graveler down to buy you some extra time getting a good picture like the Moltres egg did.
    • A couple of Jynx can work together to revive a rare Ice-type Pokémon — this time, an Aurorus.
    • The Mightywide River level is basically designed as a huge, combined call-back to the River and Valley levels from the first game, with similar layouts and elements and even a few photo opportunities very similar to ones from the first game.* Todd, the player character from the first game, even alludes to this when revealing the level to you and mentions that it makes him feel nostalgic for some reason.
    • The first level, Florio Nature Park, also features a few light similarities with the Beach, the first level from the 64 game. Some of the first Pokémon you encounter in the first game are Pidgey, Doduo, Pikachu, and Butterfree, while in this game, the first level prominently features the first two's final evolutions, Pidgeot and Dodrio, and the latter two's unevolved forms, Pichu and Caterpie. The DLC level, technically in the same area, just miniaturized, also feature a few similar elements to the Beach from the first game, like a sleeping Snorlax that can be woken up for high-scoring photos and Pidgeot chasing a flock of Murkrow away from its nest, similar to the first game's Pidgey attacking the Meowth for the same reason.
    • In Blushing Beach, you can lead a female Pikachu over to a sandbank, where she'll hop on a Stunfisk, and practice surfing on it. This sequence is very similar to how Surfing Pikachu was gotten in the original game.
    • In the nighttime version of Barren Badlands, if you take a picture of every Diglett, at the end of the stage, a group of three appear in the craters resembling a Dugtrio. This is referencing the Tunnel, where taking pictures of Diglett eventually causes Dugtrio to appear.
    • Mew appears in Founja Jungle at night after completing the story. It covers itself in a pink orb, and must be hit with a Fluffruit to get a good picture, just like its boss battle in the original game. Though it eventually gets up close to the NEO-ONE, providing an easy shot.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: The NEO-ONE is able to traverse actual lava streams inside a volcano without a single scratch. The resident Pokémon are likewise unaffected, even the non-Fire types.
  • Crystal Landscape: Outaway Cave features a room that is full of giant crystals. You can find Diancie hidden there in the post-game.
  • Developer's Foresight:
    • If you throw a Fluffruit at Cacnea, it gets stuck on its spines instead of bouncing off like it would any other Pokémon.
    • There's usually more than one way to get higher ranked photos of Pokémon besides requests. Weeks after the game's release, players were still finding new scenarios that count as 3 or 4 stars.
  • Do Well, But Not Perfect: Getting one, two, or three-star photos can be more difficult than the highest rank depending on the Pokémon, as some are almost always in dynamic poses and rarely lay down to rest.
  • Fake Longevity: Despite every Pokémon having at least four poses that must be photographed for 100% Completion, you can only submit one picture per species at the end of a stage, which means that a Boss-Only Level must be played at least four times to complete an Illumina Pokémon's PhotoDex entry.
  • Final Boss: After photographing all of the other Illumina Pokémon, the player gains access to ancient ruins in which Illumina power awakens a Xerneas that had been sleeping in the form of a tree.
  • First-Person Snapshooter: Like in the original game, the gameplay is done in first person as you take pictures of Pokémon.
  • Floating in a Bubble: Much like Mew in the original, Xerneas hides from you in a glowing orb. Before you can photograph it, you have to hit it with lots of Lumina Orbs.
  • Four-Seasons Level: Elsewhere Forest, foggy woods in which the directions you take change the season, allowing the player to see the seasonal variants of Deerling and Sawsbuck.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Professor Mirror's research base is the "Laboratory of Ecology and Natural Sciences", which he also refers to as L.E.N.S.
  • Furry Confusion: You can see Corsola co-existing with realistic-looking coral all throughout Maricopa.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Once again, catch them on film. One achievement has this go further in snapping all twenty of the Vivillon wing patterns when just three or four will do for its PhotoDex entry.
  • Glowing Flora: The Crystablooms, which glow and cause changes in various Pokémon, are shaped like blooming flowers.
  • Green Hill Zone: Florio Park is the most basic environment in the game, with lots of type variety in the local Pokémon. The Research Center can also count as one, being the tutorial level.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • There are a few alternate routes and Pokémon appearances that can be hard to figure out because you aren't given hints during the course. One of the biggest examples of this early on is the path behind the waterfall in the Jungle stage at night, which requires you to use the Melody to chase the Pikipek away, then take a picture so the Liepard follows them. It's even worse during the day, where you have to hit it with multiple Illumina Orbs before it gets comfy and settles down to nap, which means as soon as you see it.
    • Certain Pokémon are incredibly difficult to get certain star rankings on, requiring strange or unusual conditions to see. Most notably is Vespiquen’s three star pose, where advice is more or less “meet these conditions on the rank 1 night course and use your entire film reel in hopes even one of them is three stars.” Thankfully, the DLC gives a much easier chance at one during the Secret Side Path.
    • Unlocking Marcopia Island's Illumina Orbs is very unintuitive. Unlike the other islands, where you can simply take a picture of a glowing Crystabloom during a night trip, you have to find one that glows during the day. There's only one, and getting a picture requires using a fluffruit to wake up the Lumineon that's sleeping on top of it, which you might not even see because it's surrounded by seaweed. The scan does hint that there's something present, but even if you notice the Lumineon and wake it up, it's still easy to miss the Crystabloom or not realize that it's glowing.
  • Jungle Japes: Founja Jungle. It has lots of Bug and Grass types, but the presence of a swamp also makes Water types common.
  • Legacy Character: More like legacy vehicle, your ride this time is the NEO-ONE, based directly off the ZERO-ONE from the original Snap.
  • Lethal Lava Land: The Fireflow Volcano, naturally inhabited by Fire types. However, it also has several Rock types, most of them revived fossils, thus giving it a Prehistoria feel as well.
  • Loads and Loads of Sidequests: The other members of Prof. Mirror's research team will frequently request photographs of Pokémon in specific poses, often rewarding new filters and stickers for the photo editor in return. Many of these poses require very specific set-ups to see, but the requests include hints on how to obtain them.
  • The Lost Woods: Elsewhere Forest, full of fog and mist, with lots of Trevenant walking around and giving the ominous impression of dangerous moving trees, and you’ll go through an area that changes seasons on a whim.
  • Macro Zone: One side area of Florio Nature Park, which you explore with the shrinking feature of the NEO-ONE. Prepare for plenty of giant-sized Pokémon on your way or take a ride on top of a Torterra.
  • Mythology Gag: The cave level ends with a Gengar staring in confusion at the hologram that marks the end of your route. Gengar's tendency to notice such game interfaces and attempt to interact with them was first established in Bandai Namco's previous Pokémon spinoff, Pokkén Tournament.
  • Not So Extinct: Fireflow Volcano is home to a few Tyrantrum, an Aerodactyl flock, and a pack of Archeops, while across Durice Island's two courses the player can encounter Aurorus and Rampardos, as well as several Cradily in the Maricopia sea, all of whom should be extinct. Whether they are naturally occurring or perhaps revived specimens who were released into the wild is unclear, though given the precedent from the Crown Tundra, the latter is more likely.
  • Palmtree Panic: The Blushing Beach of Maricopia Islands. There's also the Maricopia Reef that's an extension of the beach.
  • Player Headquarters: Prof. Mirror's laboratory serves as the base for all the photographers' missions. You can check the Photodex or your saved pictures here or take a carefree walk through the garden to take some more pictures of the resident Pokémon.
  • Pokémon Speak: While the original game had all the Pokémon use their anime voices, this game mostly averts it except for Pikachu. All other Pokémon make realistic animal sounds, though a few (like Bewear) sound quite close to the anime voices.
  • Polar Bears and Penguins: Both Piplup and Beartic can be found in the same snowfield level. A pair of Piplup can even be seen bothering a sleeping Beartic, bringing the trope image to mind.
  • Post-End Game Content: A few things are unlocked after photographing the Final Boss and watching the credits roll, such as new areas to take photographs in, adding more hidden Pokémon to previous areas, and a High Score feature that records the most Research Points gained in one run. You also get the camera's Burst Mode as an option to get an easier frame-perfect moment.
  • Power Glows: The reason Prof. Mirror has set up his research station is to study the "Illumina Phenomenon", following legends that the region was once saved by a group of glowing Pokémon. He eventually uses this research to create Illumina Orbs, which make Pokémon glow and gives them a burst of power.
  • Previous Player-Character Cameo: It's more a supporting role than a cameo: Todd from the original Pokémon Snap returns as a friend of the professor's who mentors the player character.
  • Protection in Mouth: In the Reef (Day) stage, Pyukumuku can be found sheltering in the mouths of Pelipper. Taking a 4-star photo of Pyukumuku requires getting the Pelipper to briefly open its mouth.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: You can choose to play as a boy or a girl this time. The story stays the same no matter who you pick.
  • Puzzle Boss: The Illumina Pokémon after the first, Meganium, can require some trial and error for proper pictures showcasing their power.
    • Milotic spends most of the course underwater, preventing Illumina orbs from making contact until it surfaces.
    • The Wishiwashi aren't proper Illumina Pokémon in Solo Form, and need to be provoked into Schooling first.
    • The Volcarona are surrounded by fire that stops the Illumina orbs from affecting them until it's put out.
    • Steelix is playing whac-a-Diglett in the cave, and has to be lured out into the open.
    • Xerneas recreates Rainbow Cloud from the original game, needing to be provoked in order to even show up on your camera.
  • Rail Shooter: Much like the original game, you're going down a course while taking pictures of Pokémon. Unlike the original game, however, scanning the area can reveal alternate courses you can take, rather than just unlocking whole new areas.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Mirror may be ditzy, but the moment you sneak out to the Secret Side Area, he will call you out for using experimental technology without his approval. He still accepts and rates the photos you took and your big punishment is an Anger Born of Worry lecture.
  • Remixed Level: Every area in the game has Levels, which are unlocked through taking photographs there. At higher Levels, there are more Pokémon, different variants/genders start appearing, and some Pokémon have different behavior due to getting used to your presence. Additionally, most areas also have a Night or Evening variant, which have their own Levels and unique Pokémon.
  • Roaring Rapids: The DLC's Mightywide River, just as hectic as the Valley stage of the original.
  • Score Screen: Whenever you've finished a level, you're treated with Prof. Mirror's ratings for each Pokémon you've taken photos of. After you've beaten the main game, you'll get a final total score for each of your outings.
  • Serial Escalation: Compare to the original in two ways:
    • Most notably, the total available Pokemon to photograph went from 63 to 234, with four photos needed to cover each interest level, a total of 8 times the original amount you needed to get.
    • More subtly, while there is a mild plotline to the original, it's almost non-existent aside from the clues leading to Mew. Here, while still somewhat loose, there are questions about the origins of the Illumina Pokémon, their energy's effect on the environment, and the question of a meteorite and how that affected the local wildlife. And apparently how the Illumina Pokémon led by Xerneas prevented a mass local extinction event through their powers!
  • Shifting Sand Land: Sweltering Sands is an expansive desert level with a small oasis. It's mostly inhabited by Ground and Rock types, with a few outliers that can also be expected to live in the environment like Mandibuzz and Skorupi.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Much like Squirtle in the anime, the Blastoise makes a reference to Gamera — rising up out of the whirlpool while spining in its shell, then retracting its legs and flying away by shooting water jets out the openings.
    • Barren Badlands features a Shinx, Torchic, and Tepig dancing on a rocky archway, a reference to the Hakuna Matata scene from The Lion King.
  • Shrink Ray: The August update makes it so the NEO-ONE shrinks down at Florio Island Nature Park in order to make it feel like Pokémon are gigantic. The player can even ride an Emolga.
  • Sleep Cute: Many Pokémon can be found sleeping with eachother during the nighttime version of levels. The Eeveelutions in particular do this throughout the game, with most of them giving at least two stars when photographed..
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Shiver Snowfields. So much that it contains every Ice type found in the game.
  • Swallowed Whole: One scenario during the Maricopia Illumina Spot involves the player getting eaten by a School Form Wishiwashi. Fortunately, Getting Eaten Is Harmless thanks to being protected by the NEO-ONE (plus the fact that it's The Worm That Walks and lacks teeth or a digestive tract in School form).
  • Temple of Doom: The Ruins of Remembrance, which is guarded by several Dark and Psychic types, and also houses the game's final boss.
  • Tron Lines: The Illumina Pokémon all feature these on their bodies. Getting them into this state and snapping photos of them is the main goal.
  • Tropical Island Adventure: The whole game takes place in the Lental region, which is an island region full of tropical rainforests, volcanoes, and ancient temples.
  • Under the Sea: The Lental Seafloor, around Maricopia Islands.
  • Underground Level: Outaway Cave is one of the later levels. Most of the resident Pokémon are Ghost and Rock-types, but it also has a few Dragons.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Zig-zagged. Unlike the first game where every photo of Mew gets an astonished remark and a credits roll, Legendary and even Mythical Pokémon go without comment most of the time, whether if they're actively showing off their powers or casually relaxing in the open. The closest anyone gets to acknowledging their status is with Xerneas, and even then only because of its direct impact on local history. They're also mentioned in LenTalk, but it's still treated on par with relatively mundane requests and sometimes implies the requester already knows they exist. Though in spite of that, you still get an obscene amount of points (on par with Illumina Pokémon) simply from photographing them to make up for the lack of comments.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: Fluffruits may be a gentler alternative to the previous game's Apples and Pester Balls, but throwing them directly at Pokémon can still annoy them, make them fall off of trees or ledges, or knock them out cold if they're small enough. Some of these scenarios can complete requests or yield four-star pictures.
  • Violation of Common Sense:
    • Bewear is capable of breaking human spines with its bare paws. One request you're given is to throw objects at one until it and several of its friends start chasing you.
    • Drampa's Berserk Button is seeing kids get bullied. Naturally, there's a request for making it don Glowing Eyes of Doom by hitting the nearby Bulbasaur or Pancham with a Fluffruit.
  • Warmup Boss: The first Illumina Pokémon, Meganium, can be encountered within the first hour of gameplay and is the simplest of the Illumina Pokémon to snap pictures of as it grants itself the Illumina phenomenon by touching Crystabloom flowers and leaves itself wide open for photos instead of requiring a combination of Fluffruit and/or Illumina Orbs depending on the encounter to expose the Pokémon and enchant the Illumina phenomenon onto them.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: A platonic version. After the game's climax, Professor Mirror is puzzled why their research only progressed after the player joined the team. Rita states that it's because the Pokémon could sense how much love the player had for them, and Todd tells Mirror he needs to get out of his lab more often.


Video Example(s):


Limes Spots a Furret

During a stream of New Pokemon Snap, a Furret runs in front of Limes's camera, reducing her to excited squealing as she scrambles to take photos of it. (Video source:

How well does it match the trope?

5 (29 votes)

Example of:

Main / CutenessProximity

Media sources: