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Pokemon trading figure game review

super...super... __BANNED USERS regular
edited October 2007 in Critical Failures
Pokemon trading figure game review

It feels like a year ago I heard about a Pokemon miniatures game coming down the pipeline. I saw a few of the figures and got exited, finally some Pokemon models that capture the fantastic look of Ken Sugimori's Artwork! After a bit more investigation i discover that the game was highly abstracted and there was some gimmicky figure spinning going on to resolve combat. This had me crest fallen, you see i had always wanted a Pokemon miniatures game that could better represent the combat thats seen in the original manga, where positioning and terrain influenced the combat. This clearly was not what i was hoping So I wrote the game off and did not give it another thought.
Flash to a few days ago, I found some starter packs at my local target. “this game is finally in America, dang these figures actually look as good as the images on the Internet!” I thought to myself. I pass up the chance to pick some up and decide it's not worth it unless I have another friend to play with. A few days later my brother IM's me about the game.

Frank Were you aware of this?
tyler yes the minis are super cool
Frank They look pretty cool.
Frank Why do they keep spinning like that?
tyler because thats how combat works
Frank So spin instead of roll a dice?
tyler yep
Frank Seems like you could cheat at that pretty easily.
tyler or be skilled at it
Frank How much are they?
tyler $15 for the starter (4 figs and playmats rules)
tyler you see everything before you buy
Frank *Watching Demo*
tyler i would try the game but the figures are really what i would be buying
Frank They ARE adorable.
tyler the paint jobs are out of this world
Frank That's cool I guess. The game seems really simple.
Frank I wonder if it has depth.
tyler only one way to find out!
Frank hehe
Frank Oh so there ARE hidden figure boosters.
tyler i guess so
tyler dang it
Frank I bet you can only get good ones in the secret figure packs.
Frank Yeah, if they didn't have secret packs it wouldn't be a "Trading" Figure Game.
Frank Okay, let's go look at these

we cruse a few stores looking for the game, the first target we go to only has one starter in stock so we leave it there. Then we check out the local ToysRus, jackpot they have every type of booster and both starters. Only problem is they charge a few bucks more per pack then MSRP. My bro picks up two two figure boosters and gets misty along with a few other pokemon. I refuse the 17.50 stater and get a fire starter at another target.for a cool 15.00

After reading the oddly constructed rule book we play our first few games. It's much easier to grasp then the Pokemon card game and could serve as a child's introduction to light games so long as they are taught the game.
As we play, each game takes longer and longer to win. Even playing with just three figures we start to find enough depth to the game that we want to play it one more time after each game. Despite the feeling that the games were won or lost with a few bad or good spins we were still having a blast playing the game.
This is the part of the review where I can't just tell you about the pure feeling of child like joy I get when playing this game but instead this is where i need to over examine each and every detail of the game until I have proven myself as someone who knows a thing or two about game design!

Overall play
The game is played on a mat that shows each players bench, pokemon center, and a shared playing field where the action takes place. During the game Pokemon move from the bench to the field moving on a grid of connected dots to reach their goal on the oposit end of the field.

When Pokemon are next to each other on the field it's possible for them to battle. When pokemon battle both Pokemon are spun. The spin determines what attack each Pokemon uses, with only the strongest attack being applied. They work in order of strength as such

Blue attacks
blue attacks are doges, these end the battle without much lasting effect, useful to defend your goal or for holding a key location on the field.

These are effect only attacks and they add a true amount of character to each figure with one. Purple attacks also have a have a number of starts to determine strength over other purple attacks.

These are damaging attacks that can also have effects attached to them. The attack that does the most damage is applied and the receiving Pokemon is knocked out and sent to the Pokemon center.

A Red result means the Pokemon missed their attack and the other Pokemon's attack is applied.

A tie for strength means no attacks are applied.

If a Pokemon is knocked out in battle it is returned to the Pokemon center and reenters play once more of your Pokemon are knocked out. This ensures no player falls too far behind. Eventually one player gains the proper positioning and moves a Pokemon to their goal and wins the game.

The figures

The figures themselves are made by the Japanese company Kaiyodo. They make some fantastic models and these Pokemon are no exception. These figures are fun just to look at, the spinning base even helps this process. The paint applications are subtle and the color builds are perfect. Even the finish of each model is appropriate. With finishes ranging from a super high gloss to a flat matte. These figure will appease even the most demanding miniature gamer.
The overall rules of the game while simple, allow for a wide verity in how each figure functions. In addition to the attack dial, figures also have a movement value. Ranging from 1 to 3 slower pokemon are the heavy hitters while faster pokmeon are weeker. Some pokemon also have a special power in the form of an effect thats always on. The combination of these elements allow for figures to gain very unique rolls on the battle field and give each figure a real feeling of character. It's really fun to learn where each figure should be on the board when it's attacking and who it should attack or even if it should attack.

Trainer cards

In addition to building a team of Pokemon you also get to pick a few trainer cards to use during the game. These are one time effects that mirror the items and abilities a trainer uses in a video game Pokemon battle. They really help mix up the game and allow for some well timed maneuvers on the field. These can be used to overcome a figures weakness or allow for overpowering their strengths.

Buying and collecting

there are a number of ways and packages to get your figures but I'm going to talk about the effect these ways have on your overall purchasing and enjoyment.

The starters are the only way to guarantee getting a trainer figure so it's best to start with one, they also have three trainer cards and a full two sided play mat along with rules. Note: two players can actually share one starter because they can share the trainer figure as all of them function in the same way. However aside from the trainer figures all of these pokmemon can also be found in...

The two figure boosters. These boosters have one visible Pokemon and one secret Pokemon along with a trainer card. These will be the core way to build your collection. Having one figure viewable means you really have some good control over what your buying and allows your meta game to determine your purchases. This format really works well for this game because each figurer costs an average of $3.50us.

In addition to these two products there are also three figure boosters and single figure boosters. The three figure boosters are just a two figure booster with one of three different limited edition diamond&pear starter Pokemon. Buy these first if you want to collect them all! The single figure boosters have no card but they also don't have a secret Pokemon so you know exactly what your buying. There are only six different Pokemon available in these packs. they are also contained in the two figure packs so buy them last if you want a full collection. However they make a good way for a player on a budget to round out a team. Also they put some of the best looking figures in the single packs so everyone can get a really cool figure.

Overall buying and collecting this game is a good experience. The visible/hidden Pokemon is a good compromise and is something I hope more games adopt. I have yet to get a figure i was not happy with and would not include in a team.

Overall build of play

This game is rather unique in the way it rewards strategic play and just how much advantage a player can have at a given time. While it's really difficult to push a match to the point where feels like the players are spinning their wheels in an endless back and forth, some matches can drag on for a bit between experienced players. The Pokemon center, bench, and field can really fluctuate during the game and the key component to wining is understanding when these elements are in your favor and keeping them there, this even sometimes involves moves like not knocking out enemy Pokemon to make sure the ones most useful to your opponent at that time stay in the Pokemon center.

Hopefully you have already come to a conclusion of your own, however if your laking in decisiveness I will share mine. There is a good market for this game and I'm not too sure many of the vocal people here are that market. While the game has a good level of strategic depth the you can still play well and lose because of bad spins. However the game holds within it a very elegant system and has some truly fantastic game play.

Odds ends and general what ever

The rule book while doing a fine job of teaching the game is laid out so it's a bit difficult to find rules while playing.

The three Pokemon play mat does a really fantastic job of keeping important information visible, while the six Pokemon map is uncluttered and easy to play on.

Play the three Pokemon game a good number of times before moving up to the six Pokemon game. But if your experienced gamers include the trainers and cards in with your first game.


I'm going to make a few more play mats for this game look for them as a download soon on

super... on


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