A brand new Pokémon game was unleashed on mobile devices Tuesday, and it features an exciting and fast-paced strategic board game that’s unlike anything Pokémon has ever done before.
It comes as something of a surprise release, but Pokémon Duel presents wannabe Pokémon trainers with yet another opportunity to duel with their favorite pocket monsters on their phones, this time in a strategy-based board game — focusing more on chance and strategic maneuvering rather than specific Pokémon types and moves.
In Pokémon Duel, you embark on a journey to the Pokémon Figure Game (PFG) World Championships, where you’re meant to compete against other players in PFG to win a skyscraper (of all things). It’s one part visual novel within the world of Pokémon and one part board game — the PFGs themselves — while still managing to be 100 percent Pokémon.
The bulk of the gameplay involves a board game with pieces that have movement limitations and only a little bit of nuance beyond that: Each Pokémon Figure has a wheel that includes familiar attacks like Tackle or Thunder but also Dodge and Miss.
Though all of the Pokémon available clearly have types in the main Pokémon games, typing is virtually ignored in Pokémon Duel in favor of these random spins for each confrontation. It’s a bit more complex than checkers and more chaotic than chess, but the main principle is to win confrontations and reach your enemy’s camp to win. Best of all? You get yet another opportunity to attempt catching ‘em all.