MDA & 8 Kinds of Fun – Jiwon

The main line games of Pokemon have certain mechanics that create interesting and engaging dynamics for 1-on-1 combat between Pokemon.

To briefly explain some of the basic mechanics of combat:

  • Pokemon battles between your Pokemon and an opponent’s Pokemon is turn-based.
  • A Pokemon can have up to 4 moves that they can play in a single turn of combat, which can either inflict damage to the opponent’s Pokemon or create some sort of status change.
  • Pokemon have what are called stats — HP (health points), Attack, Special Attack, Defense, Special Defense, and Speed — and these stats are distributed in unique ways depending on the Pokemon. For example, Crobat is known to have a very high Speed stat, Slaking is known to have high Attack, etc.
  • The order in which the Pokemon make their move in the turn-based combat is based on their Speed stat, i.e. the Pokemon with the higher Speed stat than the other is the Pokemon that moves first.

These mechanics allow for many different strategies that a player can employ. For example, let’s say that you know the opponent’s Pokemon has a higher Speed stat than yours, so you know they will go first. You can take advantage of this by using certain moves that exploit this difference, such as Counter — if the opposing Pokemon inflicts a certain amount of damage on your Pokemon, this move will return double the amount of damage inflicted onto the opponent. Or you can use a move that has “priority” which ignores differences in Speed stats and will always go first, such as Quick Attack. Overall, these mechanics, when understood well, can allow for many interesting and unique gameplay and strategies (style of fun: challenge) that give players the opportunity to develop their own unique battle style (style of fun: expression).

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