New Pokémon Snap: Do you need to play the original game first?

Wild Area - New Pokémon Snap
Wild Area - New Pokémon Snap (Image credit: Nintendo)

New Pokémon Snap: Do you need to play the original game first?

Best answer: No. While New Pokémon Snap may have similar mechanics and gameplay as the original, it is a stand-alone photography adventure.

Hopping back into the NEO-ONE

It's been 22 long years since Pokémon Snap first arrived on the Nintendo 64. A simple photographer simulator, this game was an instant favorite because who doesn't want to take pictures of Pokémon? The game's premise was basic; snap photos for Professor Oak, earn points for a great shot, and then move on to new levels.

Of course, there's much more to this game than snagging a picture of Pikachu. This game certainly had a large fan-base, but that's still a long time to wait for a sequel. A few consoles and many generations of Pokémon later, the Nintendo Switch is the perfect home for New Pokémon Snap.

Finally, with New Pokémon Snap releasing on April 30, 2021, the fans get to brush up on their photography skills. But it's been a few years since the original, and what about all the newcomers to the series? Thankfully, though the mechanics and gameplay are similar, we don't have to dig up our Nintendo 64 to connect the stories. New Pokémon Snap has its own stand-alone story, so there's no need to play catch-up.

So, what is New Pokémon Snap?

Pokemon Snap New Screenshot

Pokemon Snap New Screenshot (Image credit: Nintendo)

Whether you've played the original or are new to the series, New Pokémon Snap should be an easy game to pick up and play. Players are taking part in Professor Mirror's research on the Lental region and exploring the plethora of environments teeming with wild Pokémon. The goal here is to capture photos of Pokémon in their natural state, and doing so means trekking through jungles, crossing deserts, and even going underwater.

Players must take as many photos as possible, taking an ecological survey of the land while compiling a Pokémon Photodex. Of course, things aren't that simple. Professor Mirror needs the best photos possible, and he'll be giving any you take a critical eye. Each photo receives points based on pose, size, direction, and placement of the Pokémon. Plus, you can rack up some extra points for unique poses, multiple Pokémon, and a sweet background. As the game progresses, you'll get access to tools to help you up your photo game.

While New Pokémon Snap's concept doesn't appear to stray too far from what made the original so great, there are plenty of new things to make this new chapter exciting, such as photo editing, a brand new storyline, and an online leaderboard to compete with your friends.

New Pokémon Snap will release on April 30, 2021, for the Nintendo Switch.

Sara Gitkos

Sara is the Freelance Coordinator, writer, and editor at iMore. When not editing or writing away, she's glued to her Nintendo Switch, Xbox, or PS5, though she's a retro gamer at heart.