Gotta brush ‘em all!

Even if one of them features a defensive instrument, there’s no denying that the titles of Pokémon Sword and Shield, the most recent mainline games in the franchise, have a decidedly combative feel to them. However, in the latest Pokémon Presents online presentation, the Pokémon Company announced a new project with a title that’s all the way on the other end of the fighter-or-friend spectrum: Pokémon Smile.

Pokémon Smile is a free game for iOS and Android devices, which might have you thinking of Pokémon GO. But instead of enticing you out of the house, Pokémon Smile encourages you to go to your sink and brush your teeth.

Pokémon Smile

Unveiled as part of the same video message as the upcoming Pokémon Snap sequel for the Nintendo Switch, Pokémon Smile is an AR game. Fire up the app with your phone’s camera pointed at you, and you’ll see yourself on-screen with a Poké-buddy perched on your head. The graphics guide you as to where and how long to brush, and doing a good job will let you toss a Poké Ball and capture a Pocket Monster when your brushing session is done.

The designers could have taken the easy route and called it a day after programming in Pikachu, but the video also shows Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, and Eevee.

There are even different environments matching their preferred habitats, and measurements of the height and weight of the Pocket Monsters you’ve caught suggest that the possibility of literally bigger rewards are being held out as an incentive to turn proper brushing into a sustained healthy habit.

Between the narrator’s promise that Pokémon Smile will alleviate the stress of having to nag children to brush their teeth and the toddler-oriented character designs, it’s pretty clear that Pokémon Smile was designed with little kids in mind as the primary user demographic. But there’s nothing stopping full-grown fans from playing it (healthy teeth are important all life long, after all), and so regardless of how young or advanced the age of your household’s Poké-fans are, the game is already available for both Android and iOS devices.

Speaking of Pokémon promoting healthy lifestyles, it was a little surprising that nowhere in the presentation was there any talk of Pokémon Sleep, which was announced last year with a vague promise that it would help improve the quality of our snooze time. However, Pokémon Company president Tsunekazu Ishihara signed off by promising another Pokémon Presents is coming on June 24, when he’ll be providing details on yet another “big project” they’re working on, so we’ll be waiting with bated breath and sparkling teeth.

Images: YouTube/The Official Pokémon YouTube channel
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