Play your favorite childhood card game on the Internet
Pokemon: The Card Game Online is a free-to-play PC version of the famous Pokemon card game. While it has the appeal of the beloved franchise, this version feels altogether incomplete, lackluster, and simply poor in quality. Being an avid fan of the Pokemon universe and everything that encompasses it, I was particularly disappointed by the waste of such potential.
Based upon the inadequate user-interface, it almost feel likes a cheap knockoff version of Pokemon. While the cards possess the original, more recognizable design, the character art shares seldom to no similarities with the franchises design. While this may be considered a small detail, it disconnected me from any form of immersion. Also, the dull background music, which sounds like the same song on a loop, adds to sense of this title being a cheap duplication.
The gameplay itself, specifically the single-player campaign, is the main aspect of the game that does redeem the lesser quality aspects of it. As you stride along the exciting single-player mode, you will face NPC after NPC unlocking many cards in the process. If you truly want to "catch em' all", you will spend a lot of hours working through these matches. Your hard work will likely pay off in a very promising collection of Pokemon cards.
The games NPC's are pretty inconsistent, even if you find yourself on the most difficult setting. While I would ordinarily be critical of this, I accept it because the original Pokemon: The Card Game had the same issue. In both games, some battles are dictated over chance more so than level or skill. A prime example of this would be when I played Wurmple, the fledgling caterpillar, against Charizard, the gigantic, fire breathing dragon. If you look at this fight objectively, there is no possible way that Wurmple wins this matchup. However, being the underdog that I usually am, I kept poisoning Charizard, which resulted in it falling asleep. After a series of lucky coin flips, Charizard could not attack my Wurmple. Then I was able to call in another Pokemon, who could actually give some damage to Charizard. Shockingly, I was able to win this matchup. While some fans would call this a broken system, I found that it made for a very engaging, unpredictable battle.
While I found the single-player mode relatively exciting, the online play is horrendous. The potential is there, but the networks are temperamental. If you're lucky enough to even get into a matchup, the gameplay is often too slow-paced and laggy to enjoy it. Many opponents would take too long to select their Pokemon, either because of a bad network connection, or because they simply had better things to do.
After playing through this game for several hours, I can conclude that your time would be better spent on the actual card game.