Nintendo Switch Online gets its first Game Boy Pokémon game on August 8 by way of the trading card RPG adaptation, Pokémon Trading Card Game. For anyone who’s too overwhelmed by the prospect (or the cost) of buying and collecting actual Pokémon cards and doesn’t have time to mess around with the app version for smartphones, it’s the perfect shot of late ‘90s trading card nostalgia.
Like Pokémon Red and Blue, Pokémon Trading Card Game lets you pick one of three starter-themed decks and then sees you travel around the map battling club masters until you eventually defeat the card game’s version of the Elite Four and collect all 226 cards that are in the game.
Like some beloved card game mini-games in RPGs like The Witcher 3 and Final Fantasy VIII, it threads the needle between interesting but not overly complex mechanics dressed up in a straightforward adventure. Hence why it ended up being number four on our list of the best Pokémon spin-offs ever.
The Pokémon Company revealed that Pokémon Stadium 2 for the Nintendo 64 will be arriving on Switch Online’s subscription library today as well. It’s largely considered better than the first one, especially on the multiplayer front, which Switch Online supports. It also adds creatures from Pokémon Gold, Silver, and Crystal, including Lugia, Ho-Oh, and a bunch of other Legendaries.
It’s still unclear what this means for the future of the mainline franchise on Nintendo’s retro service. So far, only Pokémon spin-offs have come to Switch Online, even with Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games now joining the more expensive Expansion Pack tier. Hopefully it means we’ll see games like Gold and Silver and Ruby Red and Emerald Green soon, though between The Pokémon Company and Nintendo I’m not holding my breath.