Nintendo has just released a brand new free-to-play mobile game. Unlike most other Pokemon games, Pokemon Duel is a new spin on the franchise, pun definitely intended.

Pokemon Duel is a free-to-play mobile strategy game for iOS and Android devices where players try to outthink and outmaneuver their opponent. The game starts off simple enough: each player places one Pokemon figure on the board in predetermined locations. Players then take turns moving or placing figures on the board and battling opposing figures. The game ends when either time is up or one player places one of his or her figures in the opposing player’s goal. Sounds straightforward, no?  Well, no, it isn’t.

Each Pokemon figure has a spinner that determines which moves it can use in combat. Spinners are divided into white, purple, yellow, blue, and red spaces, each with their own special effect. These spaces play a large role in the strategy aspect of the game, as different Pokemon figures have different spinner layouts that determine their role in a game.  For example, Tyrogues and Seedots have spinners that make them strong against straightforward attackers but weak against opponents that inflict status ailments. Squirtles and Chespins, on the other hand, have large portions of their spinners devoted to defensive abilities that make them ideal roadblocks.

The game has numerous features and mechanics, far too many to discuss in this small article. Fortunately, the game is free. You can easily download Pokemon Duel onto your smartphone and see for yourself if the game is right for you. However, the game contains micro-transactions, so make sure that if you give the game to your children they can’t “accidentally” purchase $250 worth of in-game items.

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