Niantic has unveiled its next AR mobile game, Peridot, which seems like the perfect pet simulator.
Peridot is inspired by classic virtual pets, like Tamagotchi, with the core mechanics focusing on breeding unique and lovable creatures affectionately nicknamed Dots. The game is a fresh and original IP from Niantic, whose biggest hit to date is undoubtedly Pokémon Go.
While Niantic followed Pokémon Go with another Nintendo property – Pikmin – the game was less focused on building the level of interactivity between player and creatures. Instead, Pikmin Bloom is a walking app, so it’s interesting to see Niantic doubling down on the link between player and Dots this time around.
Coupled with the cutesy aesthetic, people looking to bond with a pet without any responsibility should love Peridot.
What can you do with your Peridot?
Peridot’s game loop is quite simple. You breed, nurture, and eventually raise the Dots from egg to adulthood.
The premise is that peridots are old and have woken up in a strange new world – and it’s your job to take care of them.
You can feed, play with and take your Dot on adventures, but it’s best not to get too attached as it’s a fairly short journey from birth to a full adult who is ready to fly into the nest.
You can play with and train your Peridot, and explore the world with it. Niantic loves bringing players out, and they’ve done a lot of work to make your Dots’ interactions with the real world as varied and interesting as possible.
How does peridot farming work?
Points can recognize different terrains and search for resources unique to particular environments. They have their own urges, such as eating a certain food, going for a walk, or visiting nearby points of interest.
They also sport different looks, personality traits, abilities, and different likes and dislikes thanks to their “DNA.” The entire breeding system has been built around this system, which is modeled on how DNA actually works.
The combination of “handcrafted assets and procedural generation” is going to create huge variance in points, which is the incentive for players. Ideally, you want to create different types of points to unlock, whether it’s a specific look or traits you’re trying to favor.
Returning to the game’s loose narrative, players help diversify the newly awakened species. Archetypes like “Unicorn”, “Peacock”, “Cheetah”, “Aries”, “Rabbit”, and “Clownfish” are just a few examples of the designs available.
Like Pokémon Go, the game incorporates real-life points of interest (POIs), but rather than gyms for battling pokémon, Peridot’s POIs are habitats. Basically, places to go send your adult Dot to go do a villain and pull out an egg.
Nests around habitats are used for breeding, and they can offer a variety of mutations that result in certain characteristics, such as a zebra pattern. It may take a few generations to finally get the traits and patterns you’re looking for, but with such a short cycle from birth to breeding, it shouldn’t be too much of a hassle. And besides, there are no negative consequences to giving up your Dot for days. He will be alive and well, and happy to see you, presumably.
Once you release a Dot back into the wild after it spawns, you can always see it again. He will live at the POI where he farted, and you can call him back anytime to play and hang out.
Interestingly, the world is populated with NPC dots as well as player peridots, so your hatchlings can keep seeding other dots.
At some point, you’ll be able to purchase items and accessories from the in-game store to jazz up your Dot or imbue it with certain buffs. You can give him items to make him grow faster, or give him a “contact point” to make him happier – all of this feeds back into the breeding loop.
Peridot is rolling out with a soft launch on Android and iOS this month in select markets that will be running in beta. More regions will be added as testing continues and expands, so keep an eye on the official Peridot website for updates.