Stylish graphics, nice soundtrack, and constant updates – all of this proves that developers care about their creation. The gameplay is easy to understand and get into, but still, there is a tutorial for beginners. Single player mode offers some kind of career progress and marks the main goal for any Pokémon trainer – become the arena champion. You can play vs. AI on three different difficulties, which allows you to train and test your skills before challenging real players. Don’t expect much, though – all AI adversaries are dumb and don’t stand a chance.
Players get bonuses for playing daily. The most useful bonus is a ticket that allows participating in the online tournament (one of the important aspects in this game where players from all over the world are fighting each other for rare cards and rating). Tournament rules are simple: all players are fighting for a couple of rounds, those trainers with worst results are kicked out of the tournament.
Pokémon TCG Online has tons of stuff for visual customization that can be bought with real money: new card backs, new cloth for the avatar on the icon, and more things like that. All those goods purely serve cosmetic needs and don’t affect the gameplay in any way.
There are eleven different types of Pokémon in Pokémon TCG Online. It will take hours and hours of gameplay to collect them all (basic pocket monsters are legion). Expect to see several online modes: training (without rewards), standard battles 1vs1, and the tournament. Unlike story mode practice, you will be able to choose favorite decks and cards. You can create new decks using a neat tool called Deck-Builder. It may look a bit complex at first glance – all those elements, evolution stages, energy, trainer cards – but you will get used to it very quickly.
A few words about gameplay. Players are taking turns to make their moves and initiate actions. Each turn they draw one card from the deck into the hand and use any amount of Pokémon and trainer cards of the battlefield. Trainer cards can easily change tip the scales in the match: heal wounded monsters, allow additional manipulations with the hand or deck, and so on. In other words, they provide an instant advantage. Nevertheless, there are limits for using energy card – you are allowed to use only one per turn. That makes things a bit more strategic since some Pokémon need a lot of energy to perform their attacks.