Pokémon Go is like kindling. For many nostalgic fans, it has ignited a passion for Pokémon that long laid dormant. But, just like kindling, Pokémon Go has burned quick and hot, but without adding to that flame it may die out.
That’s why the app is losing popularity even though it’s still one of the most popular mobile games. For many Go players, the thrill of finding a Pikachu on their sofa only made them long for more. They wanted to experience the thrill of battle, and that doesn’t just mean tapping your phone’s screen as fast as possible.
You want a real Pokémon battle. The type that takes strategy, a strong team of Pokémon, and a little bit of luck. If you’re looking for that something extra, these 3 ways of playing Pokémon won’t disappoint:
1. Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG)
You may remember collecting and playing with Pokémon cards back when Pokémon first hit the scene. You might even have a deck stuffed away somewhere. While you (and many others) left their cards to collect dust, a dedicated community continued to play.
Because of that community, Pokémon went on to release over 71 expansions to the original game. This grew the community even larger. Now, there is a large competitive scene and plenty of places to find others willing to play.
Pokémon TCG captures much of the thrill of battle contained in the games, mixed with a deeper strategic twist. The game is simple and easy to get into on the surface, but offers plenty for the advanced player. Here are some of the pros and cons to playing Pokémon TCG:
- No Internet or game console required!
- Strong community. You’ve got a pretty high chance of finding someone to play you at your local game shop.
- Collectible. Some cards can be worth thousands.
- The game is competitive. If you play with a friend, you may find yourself obsessing over how you can beat them in your next match!
- Fun for all ages. The game is easy enough to play that younger players can be competitive with adults, and it’s fun enough that both want to play!
- Engaging battles. The trading card game manages to capture the essence of battle seen in the anime and the games.
- The game can be cheap. All you need is a Theme Deck to get started with the game.
- Full art cards and other cool designs. You’ll get the chance to see artwork by many talented individuals.
- Pokémon TCG contains all Pokémon (700+) whereas the games and Pokémon GO usually only contain a couple hundred.
- The game is strategic with a bit of luck providing engaging matches that don’t always play out the same.
- You can play anywhere, at home or at your local game shop.
2. Pokémon Video Games
Pokémon exploded on to the scene with the original games, and for good reason; they’re a blast to play! While the originals are still worth a play, there are plenty of new games too, some quite different from the originals.
Now, there’s mystery dungeon series, the Pokémon ranger games, and Pokken Tournament. We also can’t forget Pokémon Sun and Moon, coming out November 18th, which brings new Pokémon, a new setting and many other improvements to the original game. With so much diversity, a return to any of the Pokémon video games is sure not to disappoint.
Whether you get back into the games by blowing the dust out of your old cartridges, or you opt for a newer game, you’ll have loads of fun. Here are some of the pros and cons to playing Pokémon Video Games:
- If you’re playing on the hand-held consoles, you can play anywhere. Some titles only play on the Wii or Game Cube.
- Most games don’t need an internet connection to play.
- This is the way Pokémon was originally meant to be enjoyed.
- Different kinds of video games will appeal to different gamers, meaning there’s a Pokémon game for everyone!
- You’ll need a console to play the games. This will set you back $70 for one of the older DS, but you’ll have to pay more for the newer consoles. It’ll also cost $30 or more for each of the games.
- Games don’t lose their value. If you play through a game, you can often resell it for close to what you paid for it.
- Newer Pokémon games allow you to bond with your Pokémon with training and mini games.
3. Pokémon TCG Online
Pokémon TCG Online takes all the fun of the trading card game and brings it to your PC or smartphone. It plays just like the card game, but allows you to play online against players all around the world.
One of the best parts about TCG Online is that it allows you to add any physical cards you buy with codes in each package. This means you can use your deck both in person and in the game. Here are some of the pros and cons to playing Pokémon TCG Online:
- It requires an internet connection. This isn’t necessarily a con as you can almost always find an internet connection nowadays, but it’s something to make note of.
- It allows you to connect to a larger audience of Pokémon TCG players of all skill levels.
- The Online game pairs with your existing TCG collection. The cards you buy will be able to play with online via codes you can redeem online.
- You can play it on your phone just like Pokémon GO, making it a great alternative for Pokémon GO players to try.
- If you’ve played hearthstone, you may find that Pokémon TCG is just as good if not better!
- It’s the cheapest cheapest option. You can play for free on your PC or smartphone, using fire, water or grass starter decks.
Which Should You Try First?
Pokémon Go still remains one of the most played games on mobile, but if you’re looking for something more engaging any of the above three options would be a great choice.
With that said, you want to start with Pokémon TCG Online. It’s on the app store, so you can download and play right on your phone, plus it’s free to try. If you like it, consider upgrading your deck with theme decks and adding to your deck with booster packs.