Pokémon Duel launched earlier this year, and may have slipped under the radar of many Pokémon fans. If you've never heard of it, or never given it a chance, here's what you need to know, and why you need to play it.
Pokémon duel is a sort of board game and deck building hybrid. You and your opponent use 6 Pokémon and a handful of plates. Plates are sort of like trainer cards in the TCG or items in the main video games. To win the game, all you need to do is get your Pokémon to your opponent's goal.
The game is mostly centered on the multiplayer experience with single player battles (versus AI) for training purposes. There is a bit of a story, but it's nowhere near as in depth as the core video games.
Unlike Pokémon TCG Online, Pokémon Duel doesn't tie into a physical game. There was a Pokémon Duel board game which existed about 10 years ago, but the game only receive one expansion and was discontinued after two years. So, there is the possibility of a return for the physical game, but nothing has been said about it so far.
There's a lot to explain, and it's a bit too much to try and put into here. The best way to learn the game is to play it's tutorial. Even after playing the tutorial, you may feel uncomfortable with the game and it's mechanics. That's okay. There are a few training battles you can play in afterwords which provide rewards and a chance to become more familiar before playing against another player.
With that said, the basics of gameplay are this. You move Pokémon figurines around the board and try to push them into your opponent's goal (while defending your own). When next to an enemy Pokémon, you may attack by spinning to see who does the most damage. winning the battle will knock the opponents Pokémon off the board. You also have plates which can add special bonuses to cards (such as attack or defense bonuses) or be used for other things such as reviving Pokémon, switching Pokémon, and more.
Pokémon Duel is an interesting game in that it doesn't play much like other games. Matches are typically very fast and while there is RNG in the game, it's deeply strategic. It's not a Pokémon battling game like some may have hoped for, but definitely deserves to be downloaded. Who knows, maybe you'll fall in love with the game and it'll keep a permanent spot on your phone as I have!