So what else is in these boxes?
Each deck is then in its own card box nice and safe, again with good thematic art, so far I am liking what I am seeing, its nice high production values.
Lastly you get your themed playmat, which folds out showing you where your cards go and having handy rules hints to the side. On the back are the rules, its a simple game in conept, but very deep in play.
One of the suprises of the pack is it comes with a code card, it said to unlock this deck online input this code here which then let me download the Pokémon online trading card game for free, and play it online with a few decks, and the ones from the unlock codes. I could explain how to play it, but the free online game has an excellent tutorial system that will guide you smoothly into the world of Pokémon and allow you to battle online against other players, or the AI all the while earning virtual coins you can spend on booster packs, and other theme decks to unlock in game. When you buy a booster in real life you also get a code to unlock online, its a fantastic idea that I am very pleased with and surprised other card game systems (looks at you MTG) have not adopted as a free format.
The very basics are you battle your Pokémon, they are a certain energy type, grass, metal, neutral etc, you equip the relevant amount of energy and decide what attack they use and they inflict damage, there are several other types of cards, trainer cards that can help in other ways, or items to enhance your Pokémon. The first to claim all your prize cards (you get one each time you knock an opposing Pokémon out) is the winner, or if your opponent runs out of cards you win, or if you destroy their last active Pokémon (you can have one active and up to 5 at a time on your bench).
You can head here to download the rules for free, and also the online game for free which will both do a better job of telling you about the game then I can.
but the next card could decide my fate!
So what is my opinion of Pokémon? I have to say I really quite enjoyed it, there is more depth to it then I imagined, and it can be very tactical and competitive as well. Olivia has mastered it quite nicely, though her sitting with me and playing the online helped her immensely. I have to say this is a great system to get into if you have children as the resources here are superb, and by having the online element each time you get cards you never feel the physical packs are wasted, as they provide the codes for online, and if you are playing together in person it is always more fun. Though of course, I have been known to play a few sneaky games online when Olivia is in bed!
You can pick up packs of boosters or theme decks from your local GAME store, and frankly I would rather these then a video game for Olivia, it helps her thinking, and her maths working out how much damage she has done or taken.
All in all, I must say I had a great time with Pokémon, and am certainly now a convert, pick some up, give it a try yourself, or try it online first for free.
The Theme Decks RRP at £9.99, and the boosters retail for £3.49 with 11 cards. They also include the relevant online codes as well.