Saturday, 11 October 2014

Gaming Review - Pokemon Trading Card Game

The are lots of kawaii card games out there - but the biggest and most popular has to be the Pokémon Trading Card Game.

It has been going strong since 1996 (first in Japan, then the US and then worldwide), and so far in English there are a huge 60 different sets and expansions with hundreds of cards available to collect!

You can buy pre-made decks which include everything you need to play: a deck of 60 cards, rulebook, playmat, a coin and some cardboard tokens.  You can also buy booster packs which contain randomised cards.  There are different rarity levels for cards; common, uncomoon, rare, holofoil rare and ultra rare.  There are also secret rares and promotional cards (known as promos). 

There are three basic types of Pokémon card - Pokémon, Energy and Trainer cards.  Just like in the Pokémon Game Boy/DS games, you need Pokémon to fight for you, but in the TCG you have to give them Energy to power up their attacks.  Trainer cards offer a range of effects including drawing extra cards, healing Pokémon, putting a special stadium effect in place and lots more.

You can learn to play with a pre-made deck - here is Mr and my decks we played with recently: My XY Starter Chespin deck and Mr's White Kyurem deck.


As you can see, you can even get kawaii card sleeves to keep your cards safe and undamaged!  We got these from the Pokémon Center in Tokyo ^^


Here we are set up for a game:


As you can see we have our decks set out ready to play. When chosing to use certain attacks against your opponents you have to flip a coin to see whether it was successful or not. Here are our special Pokemon coins that we use:


You can also use special tokens to show that your pokemon are suffering the effects of an attack, here are the ones we use:


We also use small counters to show the amount of damage our pokemon have taken from attacks:


The basic idea of the game is to fight your opponent's Pokémon - when you beat a Pokémon you get to take one of the prize cards.  If you take all 6, then you have won the game!  There are some other ways of winning, but this is the most common method.

I managed to draw a very good run of cards and quickly managed to get pokemon onto my bench ready to attack!


Before I knew it I had won the first round and picked up my first prize!! ^^ I chipped away at my opponents pokemon and managed to get my fully powered up Granbull up front! Once he was there the game fell to me as he beat Mr's pokemon one by one!

Mr had a really strong bench but just couldn't draw the energy from his deck to power them up so I ended up winning the game! Here is a pic of my winning side!


See how Kawaii pokemon can be as dangerous as non kawaii pokemon!! ^^

Here's a few kawaii cards from our decks that you might not have seen in the pictures above:


You can build your own decks featuring your favourite Pokémon - you could start with a pre-made deck and swap out some cards, or you can even try and make a deck from scratch using all sorts of cards from your collection!  As you play you will find cards that are helpful and cards that aren't so helpful to your deck, so the best tip is to make a deck and have some practice games to find what works best for you! ^^

If you really get into the game, you could try your hand at organised tournaments - you can even win prizes if you are a Pokémon TCG Master!

Catch you later Kawaiisters!! ^^

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