Six months after the launch of Pokemon Go, another mobile Pokemon game has been released, but this time with almost no promotion whatsoever.
Nintendo announced today that Pokemon Duel is now available for Apple and Android devices. The company had not released a single trailer beforehand; the first promo for the game was released the same day that it launched.
So what exactly is Pokemon Duel, and how does it compare to Pokemon Go? Aside from both featuring Pokemon, they have almost nothing in common. Duel is essentially a digital board game in which each player takes turns moving Pokemon figures around a board and trying to reach a space on the other side. You select six Pokemon to be on your team, and you have to simultaneously defend your own goal while also going on the offensive and getting to your opponent’s goal.
When one of your Pokemon encounters one of your opponent’s Pokemon, the two will engage in battle. From there, you spin a wheel to determine which attack your Pokemon will use. Part of the challenge comes from selecting the perfect combination of six Pokemon, as each one has a unique set of abilities. The first player to reach their opponent’s goal wins the game. The app includes a major online component so that you can duel with gamers around the world; you’ll be matched with a player of a similar skill level.
Like Pokemon Go, Pokemon Duel is free to download, but it contains in-app purchases. Luckily, you can still get plenty out of the game without spending a cent. Real world money can be used to purchase booster packs, which contain more Pokemon, but you can also get booster packs with gems, which are earned throughout regular gameplay.
Pokemon Duel actually came out in Japan last year, when it was called Pokemon Comaster, but nobody had any idea it was coming to North America this week until literally a few hours ago.
It remains to be seen if Pokemon Duel can come close to recapturing the phenomenon of Pokemon Go. While that game was developed by Niantic, this one is developed by The Pokemon Company and HEROZ. Duel does give players the opportunity to engage in one-on-one Pokemon battles, something that was sorely missing from Pokemon Go, although the battles are quite different in Duel than they are in a typical Pokemon game.
As was the case when Pokemon Go first launched in North America, the Pokemon Duel servers have been quite unstable today, so don’t be surprised if they are down for maintenance when you download the app for yourself.
Pokemon Duel is now available for Apple and Android devices.
Read more about Pokemon Duel in Spanish at AhoraMismo.com: