Pokemon Master Trainer is a board game adaptation of the popular Pokemon series of video games where players opt to collect pokemon while traveling around a large game board in a frantic race to see who can get the most powerful mons to challenge the pokemon champion and win the game. Using dice rolls to navigate and build their party players collect pokemon chips and powerful support cards to stack the odds in their favor while doing everything they can to hinder their rivals.
Nowadays the game is mostly remembered for being a surprisingly complicated and brutal ordeal where even the slightest mistake or run of bad luck could spell disaster. Catching even low level pokemon could prove difficult and luck seemed to govern success far more than skill or strategy, especially for a game primarily aimed at young kids. Despite its many shortcomings, however, the game is still looked upon fondly by nostalgic gamers to this day who remember it for being a mostly fun (if punishing) experience.
This game provides examples of the following tropes:
- Law of Chromatic Superiority: Pokemon chips are sorted into different categories by color with each different group generally having higher or lower stats and catch rates.
- Luck-Based Mission: The main defining flaw of the game is generally agreed to be the overwhelming reliance on dice rolls and good support cards rather than any kind of strategy or planning. Even when a player has masterful luck and assembles a perfect team they can still fall short of victory due to one of their opponents playing a devastating card at just the right moment to snatch it all away at the last possible second. As a result games can easily go on for hours before a winner is finally crowned.
- Unstable Equilibrium: While the first game had some problems with this the second game in the series suffers especially heavily from it due to its refined mechanics. All it takes is a few bad moves for one player to soar ahead or lag behind, making victory and defeat almost predetermined before the game even starts.