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You can get the Pokémon Trading Card video game on Switch right now

With Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack Membership.

Pokémon Trading Card video game
Image credit: The Pokémon Company

Players can get their hands on the Pokémon Trading Card video game on Nintendo Switch right now.

Originally released for the Game Boy Color in 1998 (2000 in US and Europe), Pokémon Trading Card Game is a video game that enables players to play a virtual version of the tabletop trading card game. The title features the first three sets of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, with players able to collect and build their own decks to challenge virtual opponents with.

In the game, players control a character who must travel across the world searching for new opponents to play the Pokémon TCG with. As in the tabletop original, players create decks of 60 cards made up of various Pokémon, items and allies. Players pit their decks against those of their artificial intelligent opponents, playing a Pokémon into their active slot and placing energy cards onto them to power their moves.

Cover image for YouTube video
The most recent Pokémon Presents, featuring a trailer for the Pokémon Trading Card video game on the Nintendo Switch.

Should players ever draw a card that is a next stage evolution of a Pokémon they have in play, they will be able to evolve that Pokémon into a more powerful version. Each Pokémon card has a set amount of health points, which, when they are reduced to zero, cause that player to discard that card and play a new Pokémon card in their place. If a player is forced to discard five Pokémon cards or discard a Pokémon card with no Pokémon cards on their bench, they lose.

Throughout the Pokémon Trading Card Game video game, the player must journey through the game world in order to challenge eight different club masters, each of whom hold decks themed around the various types of elemental energy. At the beginning of the game, players can choose between three starter decks – each featuring one of the three starter Pokémon from Pokémon Red and Blue – but can make their own decks with the cards they win from their battles.

Once players have successfully defeated all eight club masters, they will be able to face-off against the game’s four grand masters, who each present a much tougher challenge. Beating each of the grand masters will gift the player with a legendary card, with there being four legendary cards in total to collect.

Pokémon Trading Card video game screenshot.
Image credit: The Pokémon Company

Besides the solo game mode, the Pokémon Trading Card video game originally featured a multiplayer mode that enables two players to compete against each other by connecting their Game Boy Colors – each with a copy of the Pokémon Trading Card video game – via a link cable or infared connection.

The Pokémon Trading Card video game is available to download now for Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack members – which is Nintendo’s online service – on the Nintendo Switch. It is not confirmed whether the Pokémon Trading Card video game on Switch will contain multiplayer features.

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Pokémon Trading Card Game

Tabletop Game

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About the Author
Alex Meehan avatar

Alex Meehan

Senior Staff Writer

After writing for Kotaku UK, Waypoint and Official Xbox Magazine, Alex became a member of the Dicebreaker editorial family. Having been producing news, features, previews and opinion pieces for Dicebreaker for the past three years, Alex has had plenty of opportunity to indulge in her love of meaty strategy board games and gothic RPGS. Besides writing, Alex appears in Dicebreaker’s D&D actual play series Storybreakers and haunts the occasional stream on the Dicebreaker YouTube channel.