Pokémon Duel (iOS) Review

By David Lovato 04.09.2017

Review for Pokémon Duel on iOS

The unstoppable juggernaut cash cow that is Pokémon needs little introduction, with the franchise spanning anime, merchandise, video games, trading cards, and countless other knickknacks and doodads. One of the various shades of Pokémon is a trading figure battle game, where small figurines of various series characters duke it out much like their virtual counterparts. The Pokémon Company has made a digital version of this game available for iOS and Android devices, but how does it compare to other games in the franchise?

Pokémon Duel has one of the more unique methods of battling, while sticking to some series basics: trainers choose six Pokémon to take with them into battle against each other. However, where most Pokémon games see the tactical selection of moves and usage of items as the focal point, the main goal of Pokémon Duel is simply to get one figure onto the opponent's goal space. Figures have a certain number of spaces they can move, and should opposing critters come into contact with each other, a battle will ensue.

Screenshot for Pokémon Duel on iOS

Battles consist of both players spinning their respective creature's wheel. This is a disc with several slices representing attacks, abilities, or the dreaded "miss." Different attacks or abilities outrank each other, and Pokémon can find themselves knocked out, passed over, or simply unaffected depending on the spin. Players can level up their Pokémon, increasing and decreasing the sizes of various slices of their wheels, increasing the odds of good spins. Abilities (for example, some ghost Pokémon being able to simply pass others on the game board) add a layer of strategy to the mix, and the Pokémon models, often depicted in mid-attack, are quite fun to look at and collect.

Where Pokémon Duel falls short is in balance. A few overarching strategies are objectively better than simply choosing one's favourite monsters and sending them into the field, and more often than not a battle is all but decided from the gate; keen-eyed players will know exactly what strategy their opponent is employing by just looking at their Pokémon, and whether or not it works will often come down to nothing more than who gets a luckier spin.

Screenshot for Pokémon Duel on iOS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Pokémon Duel is a solid endeavour for any Pokémon fan—collectors will want to catch 'em all, while battlers will have some fun rooting out the game's strategies. Unfortunately, there are few of these that really work, and the gameplay is based more on luck of the spin and who just happens to have objectively better figures to battle with than it is on strategy or tactics, something that doesn't quite do the Pokémon name justice. Still, it's a fun app that doesn't go overboard with advertisements or microtransactions, and earns its place in the world's most popular video game franchise.




The Pokémon Company





C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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