Nintendo had a big surprise for us this week; they launched a new Pokémon mobile game. We don't think Pokémon Duel will live up to the Pokémon GO-hype, but the game surely deserves a look.
27-01-2017 - by Thijs Kaagman
Besides watching the animé and playing the games on my GameBoy, I spent much of my childhood collecting the Pokémon Trading Cards. I never quite managed to get the hang of the actual game, but collecting and trading the cards was fun enough for me. The new Pokémon Duel app kind of plays into that collecting/trading aspect of the Pokémon franchise, but instead of (digital) cards, this game is all about little figurines.
The core part of the gameplay is duelling against other players (hence the name Pokémon Duel) in a weird mix of chess and Chinese checkers. You start by building a deck with Pokémon figurines, each with their own abilities and powers. You then take turns in placing these figurines on a grid and your goal is to get one of your Pokémon to the other side. The first one to occupy a certain point at the far end of the board wins. When you place your Pokémon next to one of your enemy's, you can fight them by spinning a wheel and hoping for the best.
It sounds simple enough, but there's a surprising amount of tactics involved. That begins with building your deck, where you have to take into account all the different types of attacks and abilities. You can then upgrade these Pokémon to make them stronger by completing challenges. Then it's on to the board, where your carefully planned strategy can fall apart because your opponent's Pidgey can just fly over your upgraded Bulbasaur and go straight to the objective. I used all my diamonds to level that Bulbasaur! No, I'm not frustrated, why do you ask?
As you might expect, Pokémon Duel is supported by microtransactions. If you need more iTunes or Google credit to upgrade your own Pocket Monsters, you know where to find it! (availability depending on region)
PS: Please note that Pokémon Duel might not be available in your country yet. We expect it to launch in the rest of Europe soon enough though.