Monday, January 26, 2009

Gotta Get 'Em All

Or not. My son has "earned" Pokemon cards. Entirely his choice - I would not have chosen any kind of collectible game for him to get started in until he could at least earn his own money, but this is the thing he really wanted and it appears to have motivated him along. So at any rate, we bought a couple of theme decks at target and he earned one. Now of course, Dad had to have a deck as well (or else he couldn't have played and I'm not spending money on these cards so he can look at them), so I picked up one of the decks at random to be "Dad's Pokemon cards". After he got his cards, I read through the rules and we sat down to play. Now, my son is just learning to read, and while he can read the cards after some effort, the names of the Pokemon confuse him - he doesn't know if a word is a word, he's sounded it out incorrectly, or what - so I just basically explained the game and read the cards for him. Each round, he'd go through the things he could do and I offer him his options (do you have a power card? do you have a basic guy to play to your bench? do you have training cards? who do you want to attack?). Well, as it turned out, Dad's cards were all vulnerable to Red and Yellow energy. Guess what color cards my boy got? Yep - Red and Yellow. Now, I still won most of the games, but there was one game he just trounced me like 6-1. There was also a close game he had against my wife where he just barely lost because she got out a stage 2 guy and it took a long time for my son to realize he should knock it out. Overall, this is not a complex CCG, but its not so light as to be unfun. Its actually a pretty good introduction to this kind of game. I think as my son's reading improves, new decks will start to be enjoyable to him as well. I'm trying to keep him clear of the whole idea of boosters, because I hate the idea of spending $5 for a packet of cards (especially when a fully playable deck is there for $12). Deck building or even replacing a couple of cards is still probably out of his scope for a while, but I hope I'm not creating a monster.

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