Growing up, I remember getting Pokémon Blue when it first came out; I remember endless sessions in bed when my parents thought I was asleep. But my adventure in the Pokémon world did not end there, the show started airing on Swedish television and I was hooked, finally I could see how the Pokémon looked in color. It only took a short while until I started collecting the Pokémon cards, and trading all the doubles at school until I had them all. Things have change since then, and now I don’t have to pay a fortune for the cards, or spend endless hours trading with people at local venues. Now everything can be obtained in my iPad or computer, with the Pokémon card game online I can collect and battle with my cards like never before, but does the game make the real card game any justice? Read on for my answer in this review of Pokémon the Card Game Online.
Lucky draws win the match
This review has been made mainly by playing the game on iPad. This, like most card games out there, plays a lot better on a tablet device then on PC. The game is very straightforward on how it is played, and all cards and conditions some of the cards may give, displays an extra textbox for the opponent when used. If you have ever played the real card game before, everything will come very natural to you.
At the start of each match you are given a set of cards, and if there is no level one Pokémon among these cards you are given new ones until you have a Pokémon to play. With both players having a Pokémon out, the game begins. The game is won by either knocking six of the opponents Pokémon out, giving you the opportunity to pick one out of you six trophy cards, which are all randomly selected from your deck. Or you could win by eliminating all the opponents available Pokémon, where each player can have one active and six passive Pokémon as long as their deck allows it.
Gotta catch em all
The game is very straight forward, and in the beginning when you only have the starter deck which is the same for your online opponents, it all really comes down to luck. If you manage to draw some Pokémon and if you have enough energy for them. The depth of the game comes down to the deck, which is the most common for all card games, but without any real depth while in a game. But if we only look at the cards, there is a lot of depth and countless combination of cards. You have cards from all the seasons and packets of Pokémon and can mix you deck however you like, you free to have fire, water and leaf Pokémon if you wish for it, but they all come with different energies.
Offline but still online
There are two different ways to play the game, either online against other player, whether it is ranked play or just for fun. Or you can play against the computer in what at first glance seems like an offline mode, but still demands the online connection. I am really not a fan of forcing players to go online to play against the computer, especially on a mobile device, since the connection might come and go, and if it goes out for a second, you get thrown out of the game. This system really makes the game a lot harder to play and go, demanding a stable connection even if you only wish to play against the computer.
Playing against the computer is done via a tournament where you in different leagues are pitted against trainer which gets more difficult as closer to the end of the league you get. There are also three different difficulties on these matches, which changes what cards the opponents have, and the harder the difficulty the more pints you get, with which you can buy new cards for.
Play a lot, or pay a lot
Pokémon the card game against other players is really about what cards you have in your deck. While they to some extent have managed to keep the matchmaking balanced, making the battles mainly about luck. But if you have the money to spend or a whole lot of time on your hands, you can either buy card packs with your real money, which is going to cost you. Or you could spend an enormous amount of time playing against the computer and gaining ingame currency to buy new packs. This is a problem still often found in f2p titles but not as common among card games, where Hearthstone still manages to make it possible for people to advance in the ladder without paying or spending all their time on the game.
The final card
Despite the slow rate of ingame currency which is received for beating non-players and the lack of any real depth in strategy while playing, Pokémon the card game is not a bad game. But it is a game that focuses much on playing against the computer, and demanding an internet connection in doing so. This makes the game much less interesting for players playing on mobile devices while on the go, since the connection might be unstable. But it also makes it less interesting if you only want to play against other opponents, since getting new cards without money is practically impossible this way.
If you are a fan of Pokémon and especially the real Pokémon card game, this might be something for you, the same goes for players looking for a quick and easy fix of card games. But if you are interested in more depth and less paywalls, you should look for something else.
+ Stays true to the real card game
+ Gives you a quick Pokemon fix
– No real depth
– A game about luck