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Pokémon Co-master is a new board game for Android and iOS

The game that maybe should've been called Pokémon Go

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

The Pokémon Company is giving the franchise a different spin on mobile this spring with Pokémon Co-master, a digital board game co-developed with a company that specializes in artificial intelligence.

Pokémon Co-master, which is coming to Android and iOS this spring in Japan, pairs collectible virtual Pokémon figurines and established Pokémon mechanics with a strategy board game in the vein of Japanese chess game shogi or Chinese board game Go. According to a press release, players won't just battle CPU-controlled opponents, they'll also receive cooperative help from the game's artificial intelligence to aid them in battle.

The Pokémon Company is collaborating with Heroz Japan to develop Pokémon Co-master. Heroz Japan specializes in AI development and boasts that its software has beaten professional shogi players in public matches. The company's other titles include Shogi Wars, Chess Heroz and BackgammonAce.

Pokémon Co-master will feature online play. The free-to-play board game is announced for Japan only. You can check out a concept teaser trailer above.

Pokémon is also coming to mobile worldwide in a very different form with Pokémon Go, a location-based, augmented reality game from developer Niantic.