An admirably determined developer by the name of Gabriel O’Flaherty-Chan has figured out a way to play your favorite Pokémon games on the Apple Watch 2. O’Flaherty-Chan was frustrated by the lack of games to play on his Apple Watch so, like a true problem solver, he decided to take matters into his own hands. After developing his own game, he decided that the best way to get Pokémon up and running on the watch was to re-purpose an old emulator to work on the device.
The emulator is called "Giovanni," named after the leader of Team Rocket in the original Pokémon games. The process of getting things running smoothly on the Apple Watch 2 wasn't an easy one. O’Flaherty-Chan wrote in a blog post that he had issues balancing performance and frame rate. Once things were running smoothly, he had to figure out how to configure the colors to match the look of the original game on Game Boy Color.
Then there's the issue of controls, something I'm sure you've all been wondering about. How would a full will we control a full handheld game what requires a lot of user input on such a small touch-screen?
"By allowing the user to pan on screen for directions, rotate the Digital Crown for up and down, and tap the screen for A, I was able to eliminate buttons until I was left with Select, Start, and B,” O’Flaherty-Chan wrote.
“Touching the screen for movement isn’t a great interaction, but being able to use the Crown worked out a lot better than originally anticipated. Scrolling through a list of options is basically what the Crown was made for, and if the framerate was even slightly higher, the interaction could almost be better than a hardware D-pad.”
Giovanni is only going to get better with time. The emulator is open-source, and O’Flaherty-Chan has stated that he's open to working with other developers on the project. If all else fails, Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow are all available to download and play on your Nintendo 3DS or 2DS so you can play on the go that way.