New Pokemon TCG Pocket game feels like Nintendo's version of Marvel Snap

Someone taps on a glowing Pikachu EX card on their phone
(Image credit: The Pokemon Company, Creatures)

Pokemon Trading Card Game Pocket, a new app for the TCG, has been slated for launch later this year.

Revealed as part of Pokemon Presents – alongside the new Pokemon Legends: Z-A for Nintendo Switch – the app will offer "streamlined rules" for a quicker, more bite-sized spin on one of the best card games. In addition, Pokemon Trading Card Game Pocket features 'immersive' cards that let you step into the world of their artwork. 

A lot of emphasis was placed on opening boosters as well, with footage of players slicing open packs taking up most of the announcement trailer's run-time. It feels like Creatures Inc. (the team behind the Pokemon TCG) is trying really hard to make the experience as satisfying digitally as it is in person. With that in mind, you're able to trade the cards you draw with your friends.

It's unclear whether the standard Pokemon TCG system will make its way to Pocket alongside this simpler alternative, but the game will apparently cater to experienced players as well as newcomers. More specifically, Creatures Inc. CEO Yuji Kitano noted that those behind the game are "working hard to deliver a fun experience for those of you who already enjoy the Pokemon Trading Card Game as well as those who've never played before."

Thanks to its more accessible gameplay, quick matches you can "enjoy in the free moments of your day", and the inclusion of 3D foil cards, Pocket reminds me a lot of another popular app – Marvel Snap. That card game trades on speed, ease, and the rush of collecting too, not to mention upgrading your cards with a very similar 3D effect.

New app, new cards

Hands holding phones showing Pokemon TCG Pocket being played

(Image credit: The Pokemon Company)

There was a massive change to Pokemon TCG hidden in the Pocket trailer: the back of the cards seem to have had an update. That means this Pokemon card problem has finally been fixed after 25 years.

It's not a bad goal to shoot for. To start with, Marvel Snap is tremendously popular. Crucially, it ditches the overwhelming amount of depth that can make trading card games so off-putting to beginners.

That depth is on full display in the Pokemon TCG's other app, Pokemon TCG Live. I assume that competitive fans will be able to stick with this one while Pocket serves more casual players, but it's a little confusing to have two Pokemon Trading Card Game apps competing against one another. Hopefully we'll get clarity soon on what the difference between them will be.

We don't have an actual release date yet, but Pokemon Trading Card Game Pocket is due to launch in 2024.

For something new to play, be sure to check out the best board games and the best tabletop RPGs.

Benjamin Abbott
Tabletop & Merch Editor

As the site's Tabletop & Merch Editor, you'll find my grubby paws on everything from board game reviews to the latest Lego news. I've been writing about games in one form or another since 2012, and can normally be found cackling over some evil plan I've cooked up for my group's next Dungeons & Dragons campaign.