There's a deep multiplayer Pokémon experience that you can enjoy on your Apple or Android device right now, but we're not talking about Pokémon Go (which absolutely dominated the world this summer, we know: we're not n00bs!). The game we're referring to is Pokémon Duel, and yes, it's a complete surprise to us as well!
So what is it? What Pokémon Duel seems to be is a pretty nuanced digital board game that appears to borrow some mechanics from the main series of Pokémon games. According to IGN, Players have a six-creature party and battle other Pokémon when they land on the same space, but instead of wiping the other team out, the goal is more like capture the flag, as you're supposed to reach a space on the opponent's side of the board before they reach yours.
As you'd expect, each Pokémon has different abilities in terms of attack and movement across the board, so like in the original RPGs, choosing the right team is an important part of your gameplan. To attack, you spin the Pokémon's Data Disk and attack with whatever move it lands on, with the intention of either knocking out the opposition or moving them out of the way. There are also items you can use during your turn (here called "plates), and plates can do everything from swap positions of Pokémon to enhance their own attacks.
While competitive online multiplayer is a main feature, what's also notable about the game is that it was developed with HEROZ, a Japanese company whose game Shogi Wars has AI so advanced that it's capable of giving professional players actual competition.
Our Japanese friends have had their hands on the game for months now—as it was released in Japan back in April as Pokémon Comaster—but now we can play it ourselves, so learn more about Pokémon Duel here, watch the trailer above, download the game for iOS or Android (it's free, with in-app purchases), and let us know what you think about this surprise bit of Pokémon fun in the comments below!
Featured Image: The Pokémon Company