Updated: Apr 30
Amidst the craze of Pokemon Go I find myself weary of the endless pursuit acquiring Pokeballs, Stardust and the tireless laps around the block in hopes of hatching a Poke champion from my inventory of eggs. Though my interest in the game has diminished I find myself still intrigued by the world of Pokemon and it's characters. Being a collector at heart my eyes turned to the game which started the brand and has been around for two decades. Pokemon the Trading Card Game or Pokemon TCG for short. Even more so walking in my local Target I am drawn by the endless selection of trainer sets and booster packs. Nearing 40 I cringe at the thought of sitting across the gaming table from an adolescent child looking for a good Pokemon challenge so I turned to the best next option Pokemon the Trading Card game Online or Pokemon TCGO for short. Here one can take on any persona he or she wishes only being identifiable by their screen name. Let the battle for Pokemon trainer dominance begin.
Being a complete noob to the game I find myself at a loss after registering into the Pokemon TCGO site. The site provides an informative and quick to learn game tutorial which really made the game very clear to begin playing so I won't go much into game play mechanics. Once up to speed you really appreciate all the site has to offer and how there is relatively not much lost in translation from playing in a real life tabletop setting. The objective of the game is really very simple, collect all your prize cards. Upon the start of every game each player starts off with a deck of 60 cards. You begin by drawing 7 cards from the top of the deck and pick any basic Pokemon to place either as your active play card or on the "bench". Once done the player then draws 6 prize cards from the top of their deck. The game is turn based, the beginning of every round is used to play instant cards (enhancement and situational cards) and an energy card (the amount of energy cards placed on a Pokemon card unlock the abilities inherent to that card). The end of every Pokemon battle the winner is rewarded with one of their prize cards. Collect all 6 prize cards and you are the winner. Simple right, but winning is highly dependent on superior deck building skills which are acquired from being an experienced player. Or for people who like shortcuts just Google "Best Pokemon Trading Card Deck builds".
If you are familiar with the tabletop game even experienced players can submerge themselves into the online game. The online game offers everything a player could want including but not limited to various flavors of deck building, card collection inventory management and even a public and private card trading market. Acquiring cards is also possible via redemption of codes from physical packs purchased from a retail store or by using Pokemon coins at the online store which are accumulated by playing the game. Game types are available in a variety of forms such as trainer challenges, versus battles, special events and quick matches. The game also tracks metrics from leader boards to card statistics.
I am still pretty new to the game and find it very fun to play. The collecting of cards aspect can be very addicting. Deck building can be a bit more doing if your one to go in alone with a potentially winning strategy. Bottom line the Ragin' Geek suggests you give Pokemon the Online Trading Card Game or the actual table top game a try. If Pokemon, trading card or just tabletop games steam your engines it will prove to be a winner.