Pokémon Duel is one of the latest mobile games based the anime series. It integrates the use of characters’ miniatures into a classic board game platform.
The game is the western version of Pokémon Comaster, which hit the Japanese public in April 2016. All online battles happen in this same scenario and the key to achieving your main objective is not only to win battles, but also move fast through the opponent’s Pokémon. Each side of the board is represented by a player, who can arrange their Pokémon according to their strategy. Once a match starts, you should move figures until they reach the opponent’s side, while making sure that your enemies stay away from your side. The first player able to reach a central point on the board with a miniature character wins the match.
At first, the game seems to be extremely simple and easy, but as you move on in the tutorial and check the other in-game features, your opinion may change. Compared to most Pokémon games, you may realize that this app has a more complex structure. This is because each player starts with a total of six Pokémon on their teams, which can be arranged in a team customizable way that matches your strategy.
The game has a unique touch that balances traditional perceptions of the Pokémon battles with an enthusiastic deck building concept. Even though players might need to collect stronger characters to better advance in the main championship, this is not the only formula for successful duels. The game challenges trainers to work on the most creative decks that can surprise opponents and take control of battles.
The game starts with a traditional tutorial, which is very helpful and will guide you in the process of learning the simplest concepts in the game. The story behind it is not as entertaining as the game itself and will give you a very basic introduction to the duel concepts that will be seen in the gameplay. The most important thing here is to prepare new players for a popular championship described as the Pokémon Figure Game World Championship.
One of the most interesting characteristics of the storyline is the “Mask Ball” style, which creates a very different battling concept that the traditional Pokémon. This feature adds value to the concept of an upscale championship, which might really enhance the experience of some players. The nature of the duel challenge involves a combination of a classy confrontation with an attractive board game look.
Once you complete the tutorial you will be ready to use your first set of Pokémon. In general, the storyline goes through a lot of unnecessary details that won’t fully prepare a new player to a due. The best way to really understand the game structure is by visiting every section of the main menu (which will probably take a while) and keep practicing your strategies in the training mode.
The game introduces a few different options to duel. Players can participate in matches through different mode options such as local multiplayer, online or duel spectator.
The structure of the game is created in the format of a “capture the flag” style, where each player needs to strategically move towards a main central location on the board. Each team counts with a total of six Pokémon that display specific abilities and also movement limitations. Some characters can advance more spots than others in a turn, so it is a good idea to plan a good strategy based on who goes first.
Because of the dynamic of in the game, Pokémon Duel players need to constantly change the focus of their attack and defense, based on the opponent’s moves on each turn. For example, even though it is important to keep pushing characters forward, players must also protect their central spot from any approaching Pokémon from the other team. That means you may encounter several moments in which moving backward can be the smartest choice to prevent an instant loss. When two Pokémon stand face-to-face, a battle starts in a simplified view mode. Each miniature figure has a different selection of moves that can be used during your turn by spinning the battle roulette wheel. If your team’s move is more effective or stronger, it will knock your opponent down, and out of the board.
In Pokémon Duel, types such as water, fire or electric, are not the main concerns on combats. Instead, each move is assigned to a specific color which will influence your results in a duel. The moves can be listed as White, Blue, Purple, Red and Gold. The main rule is very simple: the player must understand the characteristic of each color to win the direct confrontations.
In general, a good strategy is not only based on the way you choose to move each figure but also how you build your team. Pokémon have specific abilities that can be very helpful when a new battle takes place.
The gameplay flows really well on mobile and has simple basic rules on the initial tutorial. Building your Pokémon team is one of the most fun aspects of the app.
Despite the positive aspect of Pokémon Duel, there is an important feature that needs improvement. The game takes a very long time to load and to transition from one mode to another. For example, waiting for the main menu screen might test your patience level. Besides that, it can be extremely disappointing to rely on servers’ connection to start an online duel. Luckily, players might have noticed a huge improvement to fix this issue ever since developers have released app updates.
GRAPHICS AND AUDIO
The graphics of the game are very nice and have interesting elements that inspire players to collect as many figures as possible. The 3D design of the Pokémon miniatures is very well made, which adds the sensation of collecting real figures from the most popular characters of the series. For example, characters like Charizard have a detailed flame design, resembling figures found in real life collection. This creates a really nice contrast with the rest of the 2D game scenarios. Even though the design of trainers that engage in dialogues have no animation, it still makes the gameplay very attractive.
On the other hand, the game integrates several different menu sections that are not very easy to follow. For example, it is hard to keep up with all of the buttons and sections when trying to locate boosters. Also, the structure of each drop down menu is not very organized, which can create more effort for players who are trying to perform simple actions, such as checking their daily missions. For that reason, the menu design can become too complicated, and prevent users from exploring all available features in a smooth way.
When it comes to audio, Pokémon Duel is very catchy and exciting. One of the best audio characteristics of the app is noticed during the gameplay. It is very motivating to hear how the music changes tune as you approach your opponent’s flag spot and vice-versa. However, because it might take some time to load a new duel on an online match, having the same melody playing over and over again can be exhausting.
Pokémon Duel is a sleek game with beautiful graphics and a fun concept.The gameplay has the right balance between skills, luck, easiness and fun. Although the initial tutorial has the potential for improvements, the actual gameplay presents a reasonable depth in regards to the duel experience.The customization level of the main character is very basic, however, it is a lot of fun to work on improvements on your Pokémon abilities by upgrading the roulette wheel spaces and using the fusion mode to evolve characters.
The number one disappointment in the game comes from the huge delay incidents when searching for a dueling opponent. The good news is that the connection reliability has been really improved since the latest updates. Other flaws include a not very well organized menu and a not very exciting storyline.
In conclusion, the duels combine a very good level of complexity during each match and require a tactical array of skills without losing the familiarity of the Pokémon brand.
|+ Fun and entertaining||– Very long load times|
|+ Good graphics and sound||– Shallow story|
|+ Nice amount of game battling modes||– Lacks organization on menu buttons|
|+ Decent level of Pokémon customization|