Have you heard of PokeRogue?

The viral game added 900k users this month

We’re heading into peak season here in Victory Road: the tunnels and caverns are full of Pokémon League hopefuls. Like most years, you get your balance of competent challengers and then the totally inept trainers that run screaming for their mommies the first time they encounter a swarm of rabid Golbat.

It’s the small things in life that bring real joy.

This week’s rundown (estimated read time 8 minutes):

  • Have you heard of PokeRogue?

  • Announcing the newest Pokémon TCG set

  • Cooltrainer Chronicles Part 11

Pokémon goes Rogue

It’s the latest explosive trend in Pokémon (sorry Electrode). PokeRogue: a browser based Pokémon fangame heavily inspired by the roguelite genre.

Wait, what?

It started back in March 2023 with a dude named Samuel (@FlashFyreDev on the Tweetster).

In his words, roguelite is “a game where you play temporary sessions or 'runs' rather than a single playthrough, though there are many unlockables that carry over to make future runs easier. This game has no overworld, and the entire game takes place within the battle engine for the sake of simplicity.”

He expected the game to take 3-4 months to finish. Then he kept adding more features (listed below).

In April this year, it passed 100k accounts. This month, it broke 1 million.

Because Cooltrainer Ace leaves no journalistic angle unexplored, I tried it out this week. You start off by selecting three of the starters from Gens 1-9 (I went with Cyndaquil, Rowlet, and Froakie).

From there, you begin an endless series of battles against both wild Pokemon and trainers, some single, and some double format. Each time you win, you an choose a free item like a potion, revive, rare candy, Poke Balls or held item, plus you can purchase items like ether, revives and potions with money you win.

Wild Pokemon can be caught to add to your team. Catching more of the same type unlocks them to use in new games and stacks their stats. You heal after certain boss checkpoints, but otherwise, the only way to restore HP or PP is through the items you receive or purchase after fights.

Opponents scale in difficulty after each win. Oh yeah, and levels go WAY past 100.

Here’s a huge list of the features:

  • Mobile support

  • Cloud saves - seamlessly swap devices on the same account

  • All Pokémon species from generation 1-9

  • All moves and abilities from generation 1-9 available but not necessarily implemented (this is an ongoing effort, unimplemented content will be labelled as such in-game)

  • 35 biomes with their own original background art, Pokémon pools, and trainer pools

  • Animated sprites

  • In-game day/night cycle

  • Stacking item system inspired by Risk of Rain 2

  • A large variety of items to find randomly throughout your runs

  • Classic and endless game modes

  • Daily scored runs with a leaderboard and egg voucher rewards​

  • Gacha system for Pokémon eggs with vouchers obtainable through normal gameplay (no real money involved)​

  • No level or stat cap

  • Starter system, where any first stage evolution can be used as a starter once they are caught or hatched (including mythicals and legendaries)

  • Original rival and player characters (1 pair for male and female respectively)

  • Any 2 Pokémon of different species can be fused with DNA splicers to trade abilities, average stats, and merge learnsets (fused Pokémon are dynamically palette swapped)​

  • Various mainline gimmicks including mega forms, gigantamax forms, and terastallization​

Pecharunt debuts in the Shrouded Fable TCG

The pesky, poisonous purple peach, Pecharunt (say that five times fast) is coming to the next TCG with a few tricks up its sleeve.

According to the official press release, players can use Pecharunt ex to switch in a Benched Darkness-type Pokémon with its Subjugating Chains ability. Pecharunt ex also pairs with Okidogi ex, Munkidori ex and Fezandipiti ex to unlock different play combinations.

Gameplay aside, Shrouded Fable features a new, unique foil pattern surrounding the card artwork called a “parallel foil.” Players can identify cards in the parallel foil set by viewing the expansion code at the bottom-left corner of the card. (It’s normally in a black box with white text, but in this case, it will be illustrated in a white box with black text.)

PokeGuardian reports that Shrouded Fable will also introduce promos with unique Ukiyo-e (woodblock) art style, most likely only available in specialty project (source).

Highlights from the expansion include:

  • Three ACE SPEC rare Trainer cards

  • Five Pokémon ex and one Tera Pokémon ex (

  • 15 illustration rare Pokémon

  • 10 ultra rare Pokémon ex, Tera Pokémon ex and Supporter cards

  • Five special illustration rare Pokémon and Supporter cards

  • Five hyper rare gold etched cards

The Cooltrainer Chronicles, pt. 11

Weighing our options, I decided Route 1 was probably our best bet to start training. Nobody hung around there to battle and the Pokemon were comparatively weaker than Viridian Forest. 

And the last thing I wanted was Nigel to run into that pack of Mankey on Route 22 or a Beedrill swarm in Viridian Forest.

Even though this Pokemon Center was located on the campus grounds of Indigo Academy, they still had a couple of traveler rooms. After being shown to mine I promptly crashed on the bed and was out faster than a Ratatta fighting a Machamp.

The next morning after breakfast, I wandered out on the campus grounds, curious to see what such an expensive place looked like before making the trek south to Route 1. I kept Nigel in his Poke Ball, in part to discourage the random student trainers from battling as they started their day.

What students there were, anyway. The buildings and landscape were beautiful but the place felt empty. I could tell a few areas were still under construction. That didn’t seem to account for the lack of students given that enrollment had been open all spring. I’d seen a semester schedule in the Pokemon Center—classes were set to begin in just a few days.

In short, the place felt like they’d just closed for the summer. No buzz, no hype. I sat down near a pristine new water fountain and fresh-cut lawn, then released Nigel. The threat of a battle didn’t concern me. None of the students had given me so much as a second glance.

They were probably wondering what they’d done to their parents to deserve going to a big, empty Pokemon boarding school.

As soon as Nigel appeared, he sneezed. Several times. I glanced at the green lawn and winced. “Sorry buddy.”

After shaking his head and rubbing his nose on his front leg, he propped himself next to me to look at the fountain and our surroundings. His ears constantly twitched, like he was still in the forest on the lookout for danger. 

Poor dude. Without his Poison Point ability he probably would have been Spearow food already.

As if summoned by my thoughts, a series of shadows passed over the crystalline water in the fountain. I looked up and saw a flock of Spearow flying in formation high above. Nigel saw them too, and freaked.

With a terrified squeak, he shot off across the lawn toward the nearest building. I fumbled for his Poke Ball, knocking it into the fountain. By the time I frantically fished it out, he was almost inside the massive double doors.

“Nigel stop!” I shouted, setting off after him. For a Nidoran with asthma, he sure moved fast when he thought his life was on the line. “They aren’t going to get you!”

Still squeaking and running, he disappeared inside the building.

Card of the Week

Is this Palafin a superhero or just a really yolked butler trying to provide world-class service? My suspicion is the latter. Artist: PLANETA Mochizuki

Random encounters around the internet

  • 📺️ Don’t forget: Part 2 of Pokémon Horizons is now available on Netflix!

  • I love that Pokémon embraces how cray cray some of its Pokédex descriptions are. Quick Quiz: Do you know who this is? “If a child it has made friends with is bullied, XXX will find the bully’s house and burn it to the ground.”

  • 🍒 Bounsweet Community Day is this Sunday, May 19, from 2 to 5 p.m. local time.

  • This weekend is your last chance at 7-star Primarina (runs today, May 16, at 5 p.m. PDT to Sunday, May 19, at 4:59 p.m. PDT.)

  • 🎁Mystery Gift alert: Get a Gyrados based on the one used by Melvin in the Singapore Championships with code GYARAD0S2023SG


Love monster training franchises like Pokémon and Digimon? How about audiobooks?

Beast Mage is the best of both and right now, it’s just $5.99 (75% off) for Audible members.

Not an Audible subscriber? Get the audiobook direct from the author for the same price.

Obscure Pokémon Fact (from u/Mx_Toniy_4869)


Until next time,
Cooltrainer “Rogue One” Ace

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