(Updated 2010/12/24 @ 8:40PM : Updated tilesheet generator with lower-quality GIF images for faster loading, as well as download links for all current tiles in ZIP and RAR format. I'm still working out the details, but I plan to redo this page in the near future with updated rules and photos. I played with my friends at work and they all loved it, so I've made some updates that I hope will make this game even more fun. ) (Updated 2010/06/12 @ 11:50PM : Added clearer photos of completed game in intro and closing paragraphs) (Updated 2010/11/27 @ 9:07PM : Updated all tiles with type-borders and made tilesheet generator fully-customizable from the URL string) (Updated 2010/06/12 @ 11:50PM : Added clearer photos of completed game in intro and closing paragraphs) (Updated 2010/06/12 @ 6:56PM : Added printable Pokémon tile-sheet, should be able to fit 'em all on 5 pages at 30% size) (Updated 2010/06/12 @ 6:21PM : Expanded on intro/overview to clarify basic rules/goals) (Updated 2010/06/12 @ 6:04PM : Fixed my horrible spelling and clarified field bonuses) (Updated 2010/06/12 @ 5:53PM : Planning to add more photos) (Updated 2010/06/12 @ 5:48PM : Added more ideas, clarified point system)
These are a few photos of a completed game of Pokémon Tiles to give you a visual indication of how the game looks and plays. All you need to play this game is a printer, some ink, some paper, and a pair of scissors. I chose to print-out all the official artwork in full-colour, but if you're tight for ink you could just as easily print 'em out in grey-scale.
All Pokémon on this play area are connected by at least one type and/or a direct evolution link. Pokémon are placed in horizontal or vertical "chains" on a turn-by-turn basis. Chains must be straight-lines and cannot turn or backtrack. In order to place a tile in any given space, it must have at least one "link" with each Pokémon on any of its four sides.
Each player draws one new random tile per turn and the goal of the game is to empty all tiles from your hand before your opponent. There are alternate rule-sets (explained later) but this document is meant mainly to show the basic ideas behind standard play.
* I apologize for the crappy image quality - I only have my DSi XL camera to work with right now…
All the Pokémon Tiles are shaken up in a bag, and each player draws 10 tiles at random. For the purpose of these photos, there is only one player, but the gameplay will flow the same.
After drawing the 10 tiles, another Pokémon is drawn at random and placed in the center of the play field.
There is now a single Snover [Grass/Ice] in play and I have these tiles in my hand: Rotom [Ghost/Electric], Kadabra [Psychic], Mudkip [Water], Zekrom [Dragon/Electric], Swampert [Water/Ground], Drowzee [Psychic], Zangoose [Normal], Abomasnow [Grass/Ice], Beldum [Steel/Psychic], and Slakoth [Normal].
My first turn starts and I draw a Sudowoodo [Rock] tile. There are no Rock-type tiles on the field, so I'm forced to look to my other Pokémon Tiles.
Luckily I have an Abomasnow [Grass/Ice] tile that I can attach to Snover not-only because it shares at least one type (it shares two!) but it shares a direct evolution link.
Because the rules state that I may only add to one "chain" per turn and I do not have any more Grass or Ice type, my turn is over.
My second turn starts and I draw a Sealeo [Water/Ice] tile. I choose to attach this Sealeo under Snover due to their common Ice-type.
By placing Sealeo down I've started a new chain that I can continue using my other tiles. I sequentially place Mudkip next to Sealeo due to its common Water-type, and then place Swampert next to I'll try and take better pictures and run a few more test-matches later. Stay tuned...? for its common Water type (Swampert is not the direct evolution to Mudkip, so an evolution-link would not be allowed).
As I cannot continue the current chain, my turn ends.
My third turn starts and I draw a Ludicolo [Water/Grass] tile. I choose to attach this Ludicolo between Abomasnow and Sealeo due to their common Grass-type and Water-type respectively. I could have put Ludicolo in one of several other location as well, but wanted to show how adjecent tiles must match.
I have no further Grass or Water types to attach to Ludicolo, so my turn ends.
My fourth turn starts and I draw a Celebi [Grass/Psychic] tile. I attach this tile to Ludicolo due to their common Grass type but I could have just as easily attached it to Snover or Abomasnow.
Because Celebi is also a Psychic type, I'm able to continue the chain by sequentially placing down Drowzee, Kadabra, and then Beldum.
I have no further Steel or Psychic types in my hand to attach to Beldum, so my turn ends.
At this point I only have 5 cards left in my hand, and the game will continue on until my entire hand (or my opponent's in a 2-player match) is empty. There may be times where you go several turns without placing a single tile and other turns where you place your entire hand in one shot. That's the nature of the game.
You "win" when you (or your opponent) empty your entire hand in any given turn, and in a single-player match the goal is simply to empty your hand in as few turns as possible.
If you were playing with a point-based system (see Bonuses and Expansions) then the goal might be the first to get to a certain point total, or in single-player to see the highest score you can achieve before completing the grid (or running out of tiles).
If you're feeling adventurous, you can create special rules for the game (ie. Ditto and Kecleon being wildcards), but these types of rules must be defined before the game starts and agreed upon by both players.
You could even adapt the game rules to use a point-system if you wanted - perhaps giving two points for each "link" made when placing a new tile - placing an Abomasnow next to a Snover, for example, would net you 6 points (2 for Grass link, 2 for Ice link, and 2 for Evolution link). You could even define a "field bonus" for a specific type of Pokémon placed on the field any time during the match - all Grass types placed get two times the points, for example. Maybe based on the type of the first/original/root Pokémon placed on the field (placing Magikarp first would give all future Water-types a bonus)?
The flexibility and possibilities of these simple tiles could work for such a wide variety of games. Whatever you can think of that can be fact-checked in a Pokédex, Pokémon handbook or website should be free to use in a rule/bonus.
The length of your chains is only limited by the amount of play-area you have. Chains can go on and on and on as long as you have the right Pokémon. For this reason, it's probably best to print the tiles as small as possible (but not so small that you cannot see). I'd imagine sticking them onto some kind of wooden tiles (like Scrabble) would make them easier to work with, but is likely not worth the money/effort.
Due to the nature of this game, a deep understanding of the Pokémon world is essential. If you're playing with close friends and want more of a challenge, you could keep your tiles hidden from your opponent. Keeping the tiles face-up just felt like it would make it easier for new players if they need help.
If you wanted to, you could create separate tiles for all the Arceus types, multiple Rotom forms, Unknown tiles, Wormadam forms, anything. AS long as you can clearly define which 1 or more types it is, you're good.