You can’t play Pokémon Go all day.

If you’re getting deep into the app, chances are you’ve exercised more in the last week than you have done in the last decade combined.

You’re doing to need to take breaks. And during those breaks, what could possibly match up to the magic of Pokémon?

There’s something unique about PoGo. It hits on some universal fun-factors while retaining strong nostalgic magnetism.

While you’re waiting for you muscles to heal – or for the servers to start working properly – here’s a few games which will evoke the look and feel of Pokémon on your tabletop.



For: The original bug-catching source material of Pokémon.

Did you know Pokémon has its roots in the harvesting of insects from nature? Executive producer Satoshi Tajiri used to capture insects as a child, which is where the series draws it’s ‘Catch ‘Em’ theme from.

Hive isn’t about you catching bugs, it’s about other bugs surrounding other bugs’ queen. It’s a quick, always-different strategy game for two players with weighty pieces of high production value.

Buy it on Amazon: US or UK

Beasts of Balance


For: Colourful creatures that let you use your iPad.

Alright, we get it. You’re craving Pokémon Go because you’re addicted to apps. Have no fear – this game is really high tech.

Built by a fun London studio, each game comes with a ton of plastic colourful animals that you have to stack by following orders from your iPad. It’s a little like Jenga, but with the wooden blocks replacing with living geometric oddities.

Pre Order: Here

King of Tokyo

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For: Scrappy monster fighting that brings a city to a standstill.

What’s the worst thing about Pokémon? Right! They’re way too bloody small.

This game is what you get if you turn ‘pocket monsters’ into ‘skyscraper monsters’. Primarily a dice-rolling game, we’ve actually sunk hours of time into getting giant apes to beat the shit out of giant lizards.

Forget Pokemon Go withdrawals, this is a must-have for any game shelf.

Buy on Amazon: US and UK

Pokémon: Trading Card Game

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For: Crippling nostalgia and terrifying new territory.

Most of you probably collected Pokémon cards. Maybe you were one of the whiners who managed to get them banned at your school. You almost certainly never played it, though.

Glenn, from Best Play, did play it. And he got pretty far.

If you pick up a starter pack of Pokémon cards again, you’ll instantly be whisked back to the primary school playground. But you’ll also be met with some unfamiliar faces too.

Buy a Pokémon TCG Two-Deck Starter Pack from Amazon: US or UK


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For: Treasure hunting on a tropical map.

Imagine if instead of sending you the dodgy part of town, Pokémon Go sent you to a lush tropical island and packed you into a jeep.

In Tobago, you’re finding clues to point you to buried treasure. Like Pokémon Go, you’re hunting as a team – and the treasure is divided up depending on who put in the most legwork.

Buy Tobago on Amazon: US or UK 

Dominant Species

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For: Evolving a plant-dinosaur into a much larger plant-dinosaur.

The makers of Pokémon have always messed around with evolution chains. You should be familiar with the infamous case of the ol’ Venemoth-Butterfree switcheroo.

To claim victory in this board game, you’ve got the chain together a series of powerful effects to level up your mammal, reptile, bird, amphibian, arachnid, or insect.

It’s just like being a Pokémon Gym leader. But in between battling trainers, you’re making weird Pokémon fuck to make stronger, weirder babies.

Buy Dominant Species on Amazon: US and UK


For: Looking like a right dingus in public.

Hey this isn’t a board game you lying little shits! Okay, hold up, chill out. Yes, this isn’t played on a flat surface, but its proximity to Monopoly in the Argos catalogue means we’re letting it in.

Before iPhones, before the Nintendo DS, pre-teens roamed the world looking for monsters hidden in barcodes, not geo-caches.

If you want to succeed in Scannerz, you’ll want to hit up a supermarket and run down the aisles, holding up your stupidly overpriced mess of plastic and microchips to every tin of tomatoes you pass.