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Pokémon Trading Figure Game released in Australia

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United States, Japan to get game in 2007 if Australia goes well
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  • Sunday, August 27, 2006

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This editorial has been written by Archaic. It expresses the views of the writer, not necessarily those of Bulbagarden networks.
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This is an editorial by Archaic.
About the author
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Liam Pomfret, a.k.a. Archaic, is the webmaster of Bulbagarden since December 2002. A long time member of the online Pokémon fandom, he has worked on numerous Pokémon websites as an administrator, moderator and news correspondent since early 2001.

Offline, Archaic is an academic involved in the study of online consumer privacy behaviours, and is currently in the process of working towards his PhD. He has taught for undergraduate subjects relating to Marketing, Management and International Business Strategy, and has guest lectured on the topic of online communities for post-graduate students.

With the Pokémon Trading Figure Game now available in hobby, toy, game and department stores across Australia, I figured that it was about time that I introduce you all to this great new game, especially considering that the majority of you won't be able to see it for a few months yet, with Australia having been designated as the game's test market. Here's hoping it does well here, or it's possible that we'll never see the like of it again.

Basic information

The Pokémon Trading Figure Game, or PTFG, is a collectable miniatures game, similar in some aspects to games like HeroClix. The objective of the game is to move a Pokémon from your side of the game field to the goal square on your opponent's side. Players take turns moving and attacking with their Pokémon until one of them wins.

The rules

The game rules themselves are fairly simplistic, as currently written. It looks like what's been presented thusfar are only starter rules, with some text and icons on the models (referencing things like the Pokémon type, and what the Pokémon evolve from) not actually being used in the current rules. Given this fact, it's fairly difficult to come to any real clear judgement on the rules, but the game does seem like it has enough of a layer of complexity to satisfy most gamers.

Central to the game is the spin mechanic, where the Pokémon figures are spun on their bases to determine the outcome of attacks. A Blue spin (usually a Dodge, or something similar) beats a Purple (attacks with special effects of some sort, for the most part), beats a White (simple damage attacks, which KO an opponent if they win, sending them to the player's Pokémon Center area), beats a Red (a miss). In the event of tied Purple spins, the one with the highest number of *'s wins. If both have the same number of stars, nothing happens. In the event of tied White spins, whichever spin has the highest damaging value wins. If both have the same damage value, nothing happens. If both Dodge and/or Miss, of course, nothing happens.

While this spin mechanic has been criticised by some for making luck too much of a factor in games, I believe this is a non-issue. Afterall, it's not like there isn't luck involved in what you draw in the card game, or in your attack hitting or not in the video games. Just as in these games also, with the right choice of Pokémon, it appears fairly easy for a player to reduce the luck element involved in his or her attacks.

The figures

The figures are sculpted by Kaiyōdo, a Japanese company well known for its collectable figures; however, this is the first time its products have been used in a game, to my knowledge. All figures appear to be hand-painted.

Thusfar, the figures are only available in two different packages, the starters (selling for AUS $39.99) and boosters (selling for AUS $19.99) featured in our earlier preview. The Battle Starter Set, featured in our more recent article, has still not been released to the public, though will apparently be made available in Australia starting in October.

There are 42 standard figures in this initial Next Quest set, listed below. In addition to the above, there is a Special Crystal Subset of the EX Rare figures, and a Special Pearl Subset of the Rare figures. There is an additional figure, the Referee from the Battle Starter, but this figure is not listed on the Next Quest checklist found in the starters. It's unknown at this point if this figure will count as a Secret Rare of the set, or is part of the next set.

Key

  • @ = EX Rare
  • ^ = Rare
  •  ! = Uncommon
  •  % = Common

Available figures

  1. Charizard @
  2. Feraligatr @
  3. Groudon @
  4. Ho-oh @
  5. Kyogre @
  6. Lugia @
  7. Abra ^
  8. Absol ^
  9. Dratini ^
  10. Eevee ^
  11. Meowth ^
  12. Murkrow ^
  13. Salamence ^
  14. Skarmory ^
  15. Corsola !
  16. Golem !
  17. Mudkip !
  18. Pikachu !
  19. Raichu !
  20. Scyther !
  21. Torchic !
  22. Treecko !
  23. Voltorb !
  24. Weezing !
  25. Zangoose !
  26. Beedrill %
  27. Doduo %
  28. Ekans %
  29. Machop %
  30. Maeep %
  31. Marill %
  32. Nidoran Male %
  33. Sentret %
  34. Shroomish %
  35. Spearow %
  36. Tauros %
  37. Teddiursa
  38. Weedle %
  39. Brock ^
  40. Misty ^
  41. Brendan %
  42. Red %

The cards

Included with the games are special trainer cards, which players can use to impact the game in various ways. While it was thought up until now that these cards would only be available from starters, I've found them randomly inserted in some boosters as well. This insertion in the boosters is fairly uncommon though, though the actual rarity of finding them is as of yet unknown. The packs I've purchased which included cards seemed to include fewer rare figures, but if this is connected with the inclusion or exclusion of figures is something I can't say for certain at this point in time.

In standard play, each player recieves three cards, though the competitive play rules that the rulebook references but doesn't elaborate on apparently allow for players having cards up to a certain point value, with the cards in the current set apparently being worth either 50 or 100 points each, depending on if they have a half or a full circle filled in, in the top right corner of the card. This corner space has three circles, so it's likely that later cards will be published in higher points values.

The cards available in the Next Quest set are as follows. All are labeled as common.

  1. Full Heal
  2. Long Throw
  3. Max Revive
  4. Scoop Up
  5. Swap Spots
  6. Switch
  7. X Accuracy
  8. X Attack