|Publisher(s)||The Pokémon Company|
Pokémon Duel (ポケモンコマスター Pokemon Komasutā, Japanese pronunciation: [pokemoɴ komasɯtaː]) is a free-to-play digital board game developed by Heroz and published by The Pokémon Company. It was initially released for Android and iOS devices in Japan under the title Pokémon Comaster in April 2016. It later released in other territories in January 2017.
Pokémon Duel is a free-to-play digital board game set in the Pokémon franchise. Gameplay is based on that of the Pokémon Trading Figure Game. Two players use teams of six Pokémon figurines, each with unique "moves" and "abilities". Both players start with all figures on the "bench" and attempt to reach a goal point on the opposite side of the board while preventing their opponent from doing the same. Figures may "battle" adjacent ones, with battles involving roulette-styled wheels with differing-sized segments from which a move is chosen randomly. Moves have one of several colors, and the colors of the battling figures' moves determine the outcome of the battle. White and gold moves deal numerical damage; the figure which spins a lower damage value is knocked out and moved to the "P.C.", temporarily decommissioning it. Purple moves, which often give detrimental status effects to opponents, beat white moves but lose to gold moves. Blue moves beat all other colors, but often have no effect of their own, simply cancelling the battle. Red "miss" moves lose to any opposing move. Enemy figures may also be "surrounded" by occupying all adjacent spots; this knocks the surrounded figure out without initiating battle. Players may also use "plates" which give additional effects for figures such as dealing additional damage or moving them in ways not otherwise permitted. A player may select up to six plates as part of setting up their "deck" of figures. In addition to reaching the goal point, a player may also win by forcing their opponent to run out of time (5 minutes in a multiplayer game) or by leaving their opponent unable to make a valid move on their turn (a "wait win").
Figures have five tiers of rarity; common (C), uncommon (UC), rare (R), EX, and UX.
Figures can be obtained with a purchasable in-game currency known as gems, generally by purchasing boosters in a gacha-like manner. Figures can be further upgraded by fusing them with other figures and items, using another in-game currency known as coins in the process. The game offers online multiplayer gameplay along with a single-player campaign where the player participates in the "Pokémon Figure World Championships". For multiplayer, the player holds overall and monthly ratings which are boosted by victories and reduced by defeats. Regardless of which mode is chosen, the game requires a constant internet connection to play.
In the single-player quest line, the player is a participant in the Pokémon Figure World Championships held on Carmonte Island, which hosts a large amount of hotels. Wearing a mask throughout the competition, the player befriends several other competitors including Luca (who acted as a tutorial guide, and later became a hotel owner) and Sharon (who accompanied the player). Throughout the challenge, the player's progress is followed by a group known as the Roger family, who eyed the player's seemingly-sentient AI named Carlo. As of 2018, only 6 out of the 10 hotels shown in the game have been unlocked, and it is currently unknown when or if the quest line will continue.
Development and release
Pokémon Duel was developed by Japanese company Heroz and published by The Pokémon Company. The game was announced in March 2016 as Pokémon Comaster for Japan. Comaster was released for Android devices on 12 April 2016, and iOS devices on 19 April 2016. The game later released in other territories under the title Pokémon Duel on 24 January 2017.
Pokémon Duel received "mixed or average reviews" from professional critics according to review aggregator website Metacritic. Joe Merrick at Nintendo Life remarked that the game was a "smart, strategic board game" with potential, although "improvements are needed for it to stand tall within the franchise". Destructoid also criticized the pay-to-win tendencies of the game.
- "Top Tips to Dominate Pokémon Duel". The Pokémon Company. 4 March 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- Skrebels, Joe (24 January 2017). "New Pokemon Mobile Game Gets Surprise Release". IGN. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
- "Take Your Duels to Another Level". The Pokémon Company. 5 December 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- Merrick, Joe (31 January 2017). "Review: Pokémon Duel (Mobile)". Nintendo Life. Retrieved 31 December 2017.
- Glagowski, Peter (24 January 2017). "Pokemon Duel gets a surprise release on mobile devices". Destructoid. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
- Porter, Matt (10 March 2016). "New Pokemon Mobile Game Announced for Japan". IGN. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
- Sato (12 April 2016). "Pokémon Comaster Launched In Japan, Has Figures With Various Rarities". Siliconera. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
- Sato (19 April 2016). "Pokémon Comaster Is Now Available For iOS In Japan". Siliconera. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
- "Pokemon Duel for iPhone/iPad Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
- Andriessen, CJ. "Review: Pokemon Duel". destructoid. Retrieved 31 December 2017.