NBA All-World aims to replicate Pokémon Go’s success starting today

Niantic launched NBA All-World, its basketball-themed, location-based mobile game, on iOS and Android today. Ahead of this release, Digital Trends attended a presentation to

learn more about how the sports AR title works. If you’ve played any of Niantic’s games before, many elements of NBA All-World will feel quite familiar. The mobile game

tracks players’ location and encourages them to explore. While doing so, players will find Drop Zones that grant them new gear. Niantic says Drop Zones will often be placed near

real-world counterparts, so players can find money near a bank or shoes near a shoe store.  There will also be Player Encounters, where they can face off against current

NBA athletes. Niantic tells Digital Trends that classic athletes aren’t currently in the game, but feels that idea “is a good one.”  In Player Encounters, users face off

against athletes in one of four minigames: 3-Point Shootout, Beat the Clock, Around the World, and First-to-Five. While they feature some impressive and realistic animation for a

mobile game, Niantic says these minigames only use simple swipe controls because the studio wanted to make something that is easy to play while someone is walking around their

neighborhood. If a user wins a Player Encounter, they can recruit that athlete to their team, customize them with items found at Drop Zones, and upgrade them by playing with them.

Players can also challenge players they already recruited again to earn more currency.