Summary Pokemon Trading Card Game Online is the first downloadable multi-massive online trading card game of its kind. First released in March 2011, it is still in beta mode, but is a great alternative to the physical version of the game.
Description Type: Card game
Players: Single Player
Game Time: Usually games last between 5-20 minutes, but there is a 25 minute time limit for each player, meaning it can last for a maximum of 50 minutes.
Developer or Designer: GAME FREAK
You can play with people online if you don't have anyone to play in real life
You don't need a physical collection
Can chat with other players
Can trade cards
Customise your own decks
Have to pay to open all features
Still in Beta Mode so not everything is available, and there is a tendency for bugs
Some players are sore losers and quit half way through if they aren't winning
Players with Ex decks have a big advantage and takes away the fun/challenge
Review About two years ago my childhood interest in Pokemon was reawakened, and I started collecting the cards again. The only problem was that I had no one to play it with. I was therefore thrilled to come across Pokemon Trading Card Game Online. I then found to my annoyance that because it was in Beta mode, it was not yet available for Mac users.
I had to be patient, and after about a year of waiting (and missed deadlines), I could finally download the game for my Mac. Although there were a lot of bugs and most things except the basic game were still unavailable, I could see the potential the game had. Even now, the game is incomplete, but since I signed up, I have seen the vast improvement, and lots of fun features added.
If you do not know how to play the card game, there is an online tutorial to teach you everything you need to know. As you go through tutorial, you will earn tokens that can be used in the Pokemon shop. Tokens are awarded for winning matches against other players, against the computer, and just by logging on everyday. You can use these to buy virtual decks, booster packs, and other accessories. The one downside to this is that you are unable to trade these with other players.
If you want to trade cards, then you will need to spend money on physical decks. On the back of new releases, there is a code, which you can use to redeem decks, and buy more powerful cards than are available in free mode. These cards are available to trade, meaning you can build up better decks that suit your style of play. This gives you an advantage in battle, but also means that players playing for free often get quickly knocked out by overpowered Ex cards.
Once you have earned cards, you can then build your own deck. Choose how many monster, trainer, and energy cards you want, decide which element your deck will specialise in, and find the best card matches to make a powerful deck. This can be a matter of trial and error, so continue to edit your deck until you find what works.
Before starting a game, you can create your own customisable avatar. Choose from different outfits and hairstyles for a character that will represent you in the game. This feature has only just been released, so there are still a few things unavailable.
There are three ways to play Pokemon Trading Cards Online. The first is Trainer Challenge mode, in which you battle twelve different computer generated characters in the Gold, Platinum, and World City Championship league. When the game was first released, Trainer Challenge got a bit repetitive after a while, because there were only three themed decks you were allowed to use. Now, however, there are twelve decks to keep you occupied.
As you play Trainer Challenge, you win accolades for achieving certain goals, such as knocking out an opponent without taking damage, dealing over a hundred damage points in one shot, etc.
You can check out which accolades you have won on your profile page, which also gives you a list of statistics: how many hours you have played, how much damage you have dealt/taken, how many cards you have in your collection, etc.
The second mode of play is PVP - player vs. player - here you can battle people from all around the world, chat with them in-game, and make friends list. In most cases, this is a very enjoyable experience, but sometimes you end up against an opponent who is a sore loser. If they think they are losing a match, then they will quit the game, meaning, although you win, you receive less tokens. Occasionally your opponent might take a very long to take their turn, in which case, the game automatically ends and you win.
The visual effects in-game are pretty fun. When you perform an attack, it comes with sound effects and animation. Sometimes I enjoy watching this, and other times I wish it would just hurry up and get on with it.
The third mode is a Tournament, which so far I have not worked out how to take part in. There is always a padlock across it. At first I just though that it had not been made available yet because it is in beta, but I then saw on the forum that people were organising tournaments. If you are interested in learning how to join in, ask in the forum.
Pokemon Trading Card Game online is not without its bugs, and people willing to pay for codes have a much greater advantage, but it is still very enjoyable without becoming too addictive.