With the massive success of Pokémon Go, fans had been eagerly wondering when and if Pokémon would return to smartphones in 2017. Now their wonder has been satisfied with Pokémon Duel. Pokémon Duel is a brand new turn-based strategy game from the team over at The Pokémon Company. This title flew right under everyone’s noses into Google and Apple’s respective app stores. In this unexpected handheld experience, players find themselves in an airport on their way to the Pokémon Figurine Game World Championships (PFGWC for short). Gameplay consists of using 6 pokémon figures to try and cross a board and take the enemy’s flag tile. All the while, keeping the enemy from doing the same to you.
It feels sort of like a form of checkers, only the boards vary and there are Pokémon a-plenty. Often times players will come to a point on the board they cannot pass due to the foes pokémon blocking the way. When a player encounters an opponent’s pokémon you must Duel! In a duel, each pokémon has a unique spinner, which consists of sections that effect what your figure does. You have a chance to Attack, Block, Miss, or use special moves. New pokémon are obtained through Boosters, which are essentially Duel’s version of loot boxes. They can contain the aforementioned pokémon, as well as figures that are used as resources to upgrade your figures in a process known as Fusion. Upgrading them allows you to increase the size of the positive sections while decreasing the negative ones. With daily missions, the ability to battle people nearby, quests, tourneys and unforeseen special events ahead, it appears that there is a hefty amount of content available from the start. With this title comes a surprising amount of depth that pokémon veterans and newbies can both learn to love.
Pokémon Duel also hosts a few forms of microtransaction. Ranging from 99¢ to around $80. As I was playing I found that the gameplay was engaging and enjoyable, yet often times the game wouldn’t register my touches and I found myself repeatedly tapping icons. My greatest gripe about this game what that, like Super Mario Run, Pokémon Duel requires a constant internet connection. In light of this, I noticed that it often had to reconnect to the server it was attached to before my next action or menu would show up. While a minor issue to some, other will no doubt be disappointed by this feature. All in all Pokémon Duel brings something new and fresh the Pokémon mobile scene, something that I think many people didn’t even know they wanted. My rating? 8.5/10
With its sudden release, is Pokémon Duel a surprise to the fans out there? Do any of you plan on picking it up soon? And is it just me, or does it seem like the Pokémon Company is a step or two ahead of Nintendo in the mobile phone race?
Tell us what you think in the comments!