Pokémon Trading Card Game Live Preview: A New Way to Play Pokémon TCG

Finish the old and make way for the new! Pokémon Trading Card Game Live is an upcoming video game that lets you play the Pokémon TCG, replacing the Pokémon Trading Card Game Online client launched in 2011. Live offers a new look, a first-ever ranked mode, and a new crafting system among other updated features. IGN attended an early demo of PTCGL with a press group to get a glimpse of the game in computer action. We’re going to share everything we’ve learned, show off new screenshots, and give our thoughts on what we’ve seen.

Pokemon Trading Card Game Live Game Overview

Pokémon Trading Card Game Live uses the same official rules as the physical TCG. If you learned how to play the Pokémon TCG when it was released in the 90s, you’ll be happy to hear that not much has changed. Sure, there are new card types like Supporters and Pokémon VMAX, but the easy-to-learn/hard-to-master gameplay flow remains the same with Pokémon evolving, declaring attacks, and earning six prizes up for grabs. For those who need a refresher on the rules or are learning for the first time, PTCGL has a simple tutorial that teaches you everything you need to know.

Cards are played by dragging and dropping them into their appropriate place on the tableau, with highlighted prompts helping to guide your hand. Although we couldn’t try it out ourselves, playing cards felt easy and smooth. Pokémon cards soar into the air to launch attacks, and the board lights up with a neat glow to match the Pokémon’s elemental type. The presentation is flashy and clean, but also sparse and basic.

PTCGL offers improved visuals over PTCGO, sure, but so far it doesn’t feel like it’s pushed its innovations far enough. When you compare the PTCGL game board to other digital TCG games such as Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel or Magic: The Gathering Arena, the lack of style is even more glaring. Pokémon is a franchise full of substance and style, but when it comes to this demo, not much is on display in PTCGL.

Pokemon Trading Card Game Live Game Board. (Credit: The Pokémon Company)

Magic: The Gathering Arena game board.  (Credit: Wizards of the Coast)

Magic: The Gathering Arena game board. (Credit: Wizards of the Coast)

Yu Gi Oh!  Master Duel game board.  (Credit: Konami)

Yu Gi Oh! Master Duel game board. (Credit: Konami)

The same could be said for player avatars, which have a decent amount of fun customizable options but look a little odd with their overly slick features, overdone smiles, and blank eyes. Again, Pokémon features a cast of many iconic characters, each with their own signature outfits – did you seen Cynthia is an all-black, catchy battle obscene? – but you wouldn’t know that from the mere sweaters and shirts on PTCGL’s rack.

Pokemon Trading Card Game Live Desktop Preview

PTCGL offers both a casual mode (standard format with soon to be expanded) and a ranked mode (standard only), the latter being a long-awaited new feature for players of Pokémon Cards Online. Ranked mode allows you to access new levels of competitive play, earning rewards along the way. It currently lacks a numbered ranking system when reaching the highest level, so it’s unclear what will motivate players to continue playing after reaching the top of the ladder.

When PTCGL starts, players will receive a handful of ready-made 60-card decks to play with. More cards can be obtained through various methods, including the Battle Pass, boosters, and the new crafting system. It’s true, there’s no more trading between players like there was with PTCGO, but it’s a most welcome change because now all cards are easily obtainable through crafting, whatever whatever their popularity. Gone are the days of having to trade 30 packs for Mew VMAX on release day – and thanks to Arceus for that.

PTCGL presents itself as a completely free game with no microtransactions. Its three currencies (coins for cosmetics, credits for crafting, and crystals for additional rewards and perks) are all earned by playing the game and claiming them from daily missions, the Battle Pass, and more. However, as anyone who buys physical Pokémon boosters knows, the code cards found in packs can be redeemed in-game for digital boosters. Players therefore have the opportunity to throw money in order to expand their collections faster than normal gameplay. naturally allow. It might sound like a “pay to win” problem, and to some extent it is, but from what we were shown in the demo, it seems like it’s not too difficult to assemble a competitive deck using only the resources provided, which means winning. will ultimately depend on the skill you have more than the cards you have.

General Thoughts on the Pokémon Trading Card Game Live

Pokémon Trading Card Game Live is definitely a big upgrade to the Pokémon TCG online experience, with a modern new look and several long-awaited features, but the demo’s disappointing graphics and presentation make us doubt whether it’s quite large, especially compared to its competitors.

What platforms is the Pokémon TCG live on? Is it cross-platform?

Pokémon Trading Card Game Live will be available on iOS, Android, Windows PC and Mac. It will be cross-platform so you can access and play on the same account when switching between your desktop, tablet, and mobile device.

Linguistically, it will be available in English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.

What happens to your collection on Pokémon TCG Online?

If you already have a collection on Pokémon Trading Card Game Online, you can transfer it to Pokémon Trading Card Game Live. PTCGO will eventually be shut down, although no date has yet been announced.

When Does Pokémon TCG Live Release?

There is currently no public release date for Pokémon Trading Card Game Live. However, the Canada-only limited beta opens on February 22, 2022.

Joshua Yehl is the resident haunting of IGN’s Pokémon TCG. He’s been a fan of the game since its release, has played competitively since 2015, and qualified to compete in the Pokémon TCG World Championships. Hit it on Twitter @JoshuaYehl to learn more about Pokémon TCG Live.