The Pokemon Company releases Pokemon Duel on iOS and Android, with the free-to-play game being described as ‘a strategy board game that uses Pokemon figures.’
Pokemon developer The Pokemon Company already has a huge mobile hit on its hands with Pokemon GO. The augmented reality game amassed over 500 million downloads last year and Pokemon GO also helped the App Store’s revenues reach $20 billion for the year. But is GO destined to be a one-hit wonder? The Pokemon Company certainly hopes not, as it’s now trying to do the double. Out of nowhere, the developer has released yet another free-to-play Pokemon game on iOS and Android.
Called Pokemon Duel, the game is described as a “strategy board game that uses Pokemon figures.” Duel players can build decks that feature six of the pocket monsters – Pikachu, Snorlax, and Mew all feature – and battle other players from all over the world. With these decks and different moves and abilities, the aim of the game is to “get one of your figures to your opponents goal,” with players “carefully” choosing their route.
Turn-based, Pokemon Duel players can also employ tactics such as using their Pokemon to block their opponent, says The Pokemon Company. Players can also test out their (potentially) winning methods against the game’s AI opponents too, getting them ready to take on the league of real-world players.
While Pokemon Duel is free-to-play, it is supported by microtransactions. The in-app purchases in Duel appear to be less divisive than the microtransactions in Pokemon Shuffle, another free to play Pokemon game on Nintendo 3DS mobile devices that was heavily criticized by players as being too extreme.
However, although the game avoids typical free to play pratfalls, the game may struggle to upset the current records set by Pokemon GO and it’s also unlikely to trouble the impressive sales of Pokemon Sun and Moon. Players have already begun to voice their concerns about the game, which was only released today. Many have said that the game is totally unlike the traditional Pokemon games and therefore isn’t worth core fans’ time.
Players of the Android version have also reported major bugs, including crashes during play and loading screens, while at least one person said that the title refused to let them play without utilizing the in-game microtransactions. While this hasn’t stopped over 100,000 people downloading it on Android, and while it’s unclear whether similar issues plague the iOS version of the game, its less than smooth launch could stop it from reaching its success potential.
Pokemon Duel is now available to download on iOS and Android.