Pokémon fans got a surprise today with the release of Pokémon Duel on iOS and Android. The game, a board game-style 6-on-6 strategy game originally released in Japan, won’t make you a Pokémon master in quite the same way Pokémon Go will. But, there are plenty of Pokémon, and you can catch them!
This time around, the game centers around figurines. Playing against either a CPU or another player, six Pokémon figurines of your choosing can be placed on a grid — the object is to get one of yours to the other side. Of course, your Pokémon are going to come across your opponent’s at some point — battles depend on a spin of the wheel, which will land on a special move that your Pokémon will perform — here’s hoping it’s super effective.
As you come across new Pokémon in the game, you can collect them as figurines and use them in future games. You’ll also get gems for use getting items that can power up Pokémon before they get into battles.
The game isn’t part of Nintendo’s new push into mobile gaming. While they were somewhat involved in Pokémon Go, Nintendo’s push has only been seen in Miitomo and Super Mario Run so far. Pokémon Duel is coming straight from The Pokémon Company, which is owned jointly by Nintendo and developers Game Freak and Creatures. While we understand that Nintendo took in some revenue directly from Pokémon Go, they’ll likely only see cash from their stake in The Pokémon Company this time.
Pokémon Duel is available now for free for Android and iOS. There are microtransactions, allowing you to buy gems or powerups. The game does specify that the microtransactions are not necessary, and that all in-game items can be earned within the game.