Pokémon Sun and Moon are the first games of the seventh generation of the Pokémon series, releasing on the 3DS. The game takes place in the Alola region. It was announced in a Nintendo Direct on the 20th anniversary of the original Pokémon Red and Green.
The game is like most Pokémon games. There are some notably changes. Trainers are now visible in battles and the commands are organized differently with sprites of the battling Pokémon in the center of the screen showing the status of the respective Pokémon by tapping them.
Instead of Gyms, the player goes through the Island Challenge where they take on various trials with Totem Pokémon and defeat the Kahunas of each island.
Additionally, there is a new battle type, called Battle Royal. It is a free-for-all battle with 4 players that bring 3 Pokémon. The battle ends when the first trainer loses all their Pokémon.
Instead of Gyms, there are Trials. In these trials, the player takes on a challenge given to them by a certain Trial Captain and upon completion, the player faces a Totem Pokémon. These Totem Pokémon are larger versions of normal Pokémon enhanced by Z-power in a certain stat. They also call on certain Pokémon to assist them. After completing them, the Trial Captain gives the player a Z-Crystal for the Trial's type. There are also Grand Trials with the island Kahuna. They are similar to traditionally gym leaders in structure and reward the player with their respective Z-Crystal, an increase in the level cap that Pokémon obey and access to the next island.
Z-Moves are special powerful attacks that happen once per battle and change depending on the power and type of moves. Z-Moves require the player to equip the respective Pokémon with the appropriate Z-Crystal and attack of the same type. A few Pokémon have exclusive Z-Moves that transform their attacks into Z-Moves with different properties than before.
Returning from Pokémon X and Y is the customization including an additional skin tone option. There is many more options to alter the player's appearance including more types of clothing and changing haircuts.
The Festival Plaza is the substitute for multiplayer functions in this game similar to Join Avenue in the fifth generation. It has shops that cover various functions from small EV boosts to rare items to dying the player's clothes. The player also has missions to earn Festival Coins that are used to use the shops.
The Poké Pelago is a new feature to augment your game in the background. After unlocking Charizard Glide, the player can go to this place and use the Pokémon from the PC to gather Poké Beans, grow Berries, find shards and stones, train or relax in hot springs (for increasing happiness and hatching eggs). Each island can be leveled up to improve its efficiency and capacity using Plain Poké Beans and Poké Beans can be used to speed up the activities.
The game takes place in the Alola Region. The region's professor, Kukui, introduces the player to the region with Hala presenting the Pokémon to the player. There is also a friendly rival, Hau, and Kukui's assistant, Lillie.
A demo for the game released on October 18, a month before the game's release. It contains a cutoff section of the game redesigned as a demo where the player gets Ash-Greninja, completes a Trial and faces off with Team Skull. After the demo is complete, a few additional options are available including a Poké Ride Tauros. Further events can be encountered in the days before the game launches they are
- 1 Day: Man next to Pokémon Center gives the player 10 Pretty Wings
- 5 Days: Meeting someone in town
- 12 Days: Celebrating an old man's Pikachu's birthday in City Hall
- 18 Days: Some sort of shady deal at the dock
- 24 Days: Seeing off a lady at the port
The game was confirmed to be in development in a Pokémon Nintendo Direct on February 26, 2016. There was numerous developmental art shown including a 3D model of a bird Pokémon and art for vehicles and hotels.
On May 10, the first gameplay was revealed along with the starters and various bits of information about them. The two legendaries were shown but not explained.
During E3 2016, Junichi Masuda and Shigeru Ohmori showcased the beginning of the game, revealing the new Pokémon, Yungoos, Pikipek and Grubbin. Additionally, buffs and status changes can be seen by tapping the Pokémon on the lower screen and a new Battle Royal mode for free-for-all battles. CoroCoro also revealed two new Pokémon, Nekkoala and Iwanko.
The game has received strong positive reception. In terms of sales, it shipped 10 million on day 1. In America, Europe and Australia, it became the fastest selling Nintendo title ever. Sales in Japan were only slightly down from X and Y with the current lifetime to date being 2.3 million. Combined, the game has sold through over 7.5 million in less than 2 weeks after launch.
- This is the first entry in the series to support 9 different languages; the two new ones are traditional and simplified Chinese.
- The game's titles were accidentally leaked through a trademark listing the day before the reveal. Additionally, the game's legendaries had their names leaked through some copyrights.