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What parents need to know
What's it about?
While it's an action/strategy game at heart, POKÉMON DUEL is as much a board game as anything else. Players move their pieces around a board with the objective of reaching their opponent's goal. Along the way, they either avoid or fight their opponent's Pokémon. In those duels, each player will stop a spinning wheel at a time of their choosing, which will show either a point for damage, a dodge (essentially meaning no winner), or a red "miss." Whoever has the lower point total or spins a miss loses the duel. That Pokémon is sent back to a holding area, where it's unplayable until the player loses two subsequent duels. Tactics are as important as combat strength in winning these duels and reaching your goal.
Is it any good?
Whether you'll like this action/strategy/board game really comes down to two things: familiarity and patience. If you've played a lot of Pokémon, some of the mechanics might be familiar, but if you're new to the games, there can be a staggering amount to learn in Pokémon Duel. While the core gameplay is basic enough, the nuances of upgrading and battle take some getting used to. There's strategy involved (which Pokémon do you play or upgrade?), but the spinning wheel battle method makes the results completely random.
The single-player version of the game is fairly uninteresting (with a nonsense story about winning a high-rise skyscraper), but multiplayer games are fun, and players are well-matched. Parents don't need to worry about inappropriate contact, since players can't communicate with each other in the game. Pokémon Duel is a game with polish that's certainly fun for a while, but the random nature of the battles and steep learning curve could turn off some players.
Talk to your kids about ...
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: March 23, 2017
- Category: Action Games
- Topics: Adventures, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Size: 174.00 MB
- Publisher: The Pokemon Company
- Version: 3.0.5
- Minimum software requirements: Requires iOS 7.0 or later; Requires Android 4.1 and up
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For kids who love strategy
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.