Tales from the Backlog 54: Pokemon Trading Card Game (Gameboy Color)

Longtime friends and listeners of the show know that I am not one to be ruled by nostalgia for video games, and for this reason, I am not often eager to revisit the games that shaped my childhood. But my story of growing up with video games really begins when, at age 10, I was afflicted with a chronic case of Pokemania. What started with a Gameboy Pocket and Pokemon Red quickly spun into Pokemon Yellow, Pokemon Snap, Pokemon toys at Burger King....and the cards. I collected cards, begged my parents for booster packs when we went to Target, looked up their values in magazines...but didn't really play the game. The only real experience I had with the rules of the game and card battles came from the Gameboy Color game from the year 2000.

The Pokemon Trading Card Game (GBC) is still a fun game to play in 2022, but it struck me how much innovation that trading card games and deckbuilders have undergone in the two decades since its release, especially when it comes to video games. Decks have become smaller, roguelike mechanics have been emphasized, and deck synergies have become the name of the game. The Pokemon Trading Card game doesn't emphasize any of these things, and as such it's one of the more simple deckbuilding games that I've played in the past five years. The Pokemon Trading Card game is also one of the more frustrating deckbuilders that I've played in recent memory, as grand strategies, synergies, and even your capability to attack other Pokemon all come down to some random element, due to the size of the deck and the game's reliance on literal coin flips. I still enjoyed the game itself, and enjoyed seeing all of those sweet, sweet chunky Gen 1 Pokemon designs. This was a fun game to replay and think about!

Joining me for this episode is Bill Barber, host of Gaming & Collecting, which is a nostalgia-based look through the history of video games and anime. Bill and his sister Alex take on a different topic each week, and it's a great mix of nostalgia and knowledge. You can check out everything they're doing by following THIS LINK.

You can listen to episode 54 of Tales from the Backlog (Pokemon Trading Card Game) of Tales from the Backlog in the player below, or you can follow the links to the show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Podcast Addict, Stitcher, Google Podcasts or search "Tales from the Backlog" in your favorite podcast app!