A fan has created their own Pokémon board game based on Pokémon Master Trainer, a title from 1999 that old school Pokémon fans might remember with nostalgia (or frustration: for a kids board game it was hard-as-nails). This fan-made variant adds new features to the Pokémon board game, like the ability to level up and evolve your Pokémon, held items your Pokémon can equip, and a more in-depth battling system.
With the power of graphic design and 3D printing, Reddit user Arcamita has created their own version of Pokémon Master Trainer, a game which tasks you with journeying far and wide, collecting a team of Pokémon, battling eight gym leaders, and then taking on the Elite 4. Essentially, it’s a board game version of the quintessential Pokémon experience.
The original Master Trainer was created by Hasbro and Milton Bradley in 1999, adapted to English from the Japanese version, simply titled Pocket Monsters board game. At time of release only the 151 Pokémon from Gen 1 existed (you would not believe how many Pokémon there are now).
The sequel brought that number up to 250, but it still pales in comparison to the whopping 400 mons featured in Arcamita’s game, which spans every generation, with Pokémon from Charmander all the way up to Melmetal.
In the original Pokémon Master Trainer, everyone plays as Ash clones, using identical colored Ash Ketchum pieces to mark their place on the board (you didn’t know Ash Ketchum has clones? Why do you think he’s always 10 years old?) In Arcamita’s version, you start the game with a trainer card, representing your character’s speciality, which grants you a permanent special power that might affect your strategy.
The original Pokémon Master could be quite a drawn out game (in part because it there’s a card that forces you to swap your strongest Pokémon out for another players’ weakest – good luck taking on the Elite 4 with a Magikarp, sucker). But Arcamita has designed their board game with a hexagonal tile board, which can be adjusted for a smaller and quicker game.
Arcamita says they’ve been playing and testing ‘Pokémon Master Trainer: Hex Edition’ with friends for two years, and while they know they can’t publish something like this, it’s “worth seeing my friends battling and collecting all their loved Pokémons”. Check out the rule set to get a glimpse at how the game functions.
If you want to create your own board game, you might need our best 3D printer for miniatures guide. Or, if you’re interested in stepping into the world of Pokémon, here’s how to play Pokémon cards, and the best Pokémon decks right now.