Recently, I got my hands on the new “How to Play” DS game which comes with a starter set of TCG goods in Japan. Perhaps some of you have been wondering what it was like and whether it was a dry “tutorial” or more of an actual game. Basically I got to play through the simple tutorial mode and can only speak about that experience, but it didn’t seem like a bad game. Even though I don’t play TCG physically, I’ve enjoyed the original Gameboy game and also the official online TCG flash game Pokemon USA recently released. This game had the mechanics down (but a little simplified, 30 card deck w/ only 3 prize cards for this introduction) and the playing field was laid out nicely. One thing you’ll notice quickly is how stylus-driven the game is. The directional pad and ABXY buttons both do the same things so the game can be played with either hand. To move a card somewhere you tap it and drag your stylus to where you want it (ie: basic pokemon to bench spot, trainer card to a circle that appears next to your active pokemon).
When selecting an attack a magnified view of the card will pop up (pictured) and the moves you can execute are circled. This was my beastly Pignite and Emboar that won me the match 😉
After you win you’ll see a screen like the left one above. The right screen shows off the character that was helping you learn the game, she’s saying, “How was your pokemon card battle?” Overall it was a neat little game and if the full version has some deck building features it would be worth the buy even if you’re just facing NPCs. Otherwise the game does seem very simple and aimed at the most inexperienced of Pokemon TCG players. This will be released on August 5th in Japan.
ps- Anything you want to know about the game? Leave a comment and I’ll try to answer it!