The Pokémon TCG might be beloved by millions the world over, but there’s no standout Pokémon board game that’s successfully brought the franchise to the tabletop. That might have changed, however, as one fan has produced the self-styled ‘Ultimate Pokémon board game’ that spans the entire Kanto region, takes 23 hours to finish, and includes virtually every element of Pokémon you could think of.
Shared by Reddit user BZNintendo, the game is heavily based on the Pokémon video game series, and challenges players to build a team of pocket monsters, battle gym leaders to collect eight badges, and win the Pokémon League by defeating the Elite Four and final Champion. If you can defeat the Champion first, you’ll win the game. Players move around the massive Kanto region board, landing on spaces to encounter Pokémon, catch them, train them in battle, and evolve them.
BZNintendo says he wanted to make a game that mimicked three players simultaneously playing a Pokémon video game, and designed it to capture almost every aspect of the games. The battle system, in particular, matches the fighting of past games, and although uses artwork from the Pokémon TCG relies on dice rolling. As in the digital games, you’ll have to wield different physical and special move types, and trade against the weaknesses of Pokémon to defeat them.
As you battle opponent trainers, your Pokémon will earn experience points, which can be used alongside stones to evolve them into their higher forms. Each player has their own inventory, and can collect money to buy items, potions, and revives for use mid-battle.
All original 151 Pokémon are present, except for the original trio of Legendary birds, Mew, and MewTwo. The designer said including these creatures would make the game too easy to win, and excluded them for balance.
Responding to the many Reddit comments, BZNintendo said it took them four months to design and make. Although many have asked whether there are currently plans to release the board game more broadly, BZNintendo says they have no intention of creating more copies, crowdfunding a commercial release, or making a Tabletop Simulator version of the game, describing it as a “passion project”.
The designer also denied requests to share the game’s rules and digital assets that fans might use to make the game themselves, citing fears that others would try to recreate the game and sell it publicly.
If you have a collection of classic TCG cards sitting in your loft, read our guide to rare Pokémon cards to see if you have any valuables. Or, check out our pick of the most powerful Pokémon, if you want to be the very best.