Pokemon Duel, a strategy board game for phones, is now available for Android and iOS devices around the world. Developed by The Pokemon Company – unlike last year’s hit sensation Pokemon Go, which was made by Niantic – the game is free-to-play with optional in-app purchases.
You also don’t have to head out to play the game. Pokemon Duel relies on figures that you can collect by winning matches, and unlocking booster packs. The game is about forming a deck of six Pokemon, which you then take into battle with other players online. The rules are simple – be the first one to get one of your six figures onto the opponent’s goal.
Duel works on a turn-based mechanism, and you’ll need to strategise to work your way through. The game also has an AI of sorts that will help you decide your next move for you. As always, each Pokemon has their own sets of moves and abilities, which is what will push you to collect more figures as you play on.
While the Pokemon look great in the way they are rendered, the game’s menus and interface can feel a bit tacky. And while Duel is certainly fun in the beginning, progress feels restrictive as your ranking shoots up.
To get more Pokemon for your matches, you’ll need to unlock booster packs, as we previously mentioned, which can be done by collecting gems – obtained by winning matches, or paying real money. In-app purchases range from 99 cents / Rs. 80 for 12 gems, to $79.99 / Rs. 6,200 for 1,960 gems.
Duel has been available in Japan since mid-2016, and is only now making its way to the rest of the world. That’s why the game’s newest update, v3.0.0, brings English-language support to facilitate that.