Pocket Card Jockey (3DS) - How did I not know about this???

Gratch
Gratch
edited March 2017 in Portable Gaming Apps
Someone mentioned Pocket Card Jockey in a weekend playlist thread a couple weeks ago. I had some long flights last week, so decided I'd give it a shot. It's only $7, no big loss if it sucks.

Holy hell...I literally cannot drag myself away from this game. It's freaking brilliant. It's a combination of horse racing, solitaire, and Pokemon that somehow all comes together and just...works. I honestly played it for 6 hours straight on Tuesday, starting at the airport in DC then the entire 4+ hour flight home. Here's a great article about how this it was the best game of 2016 that no one played, and I completely agree.

It takes a while to figure out what the hell is going on, but once it clicks, it's impossible to put down. My only gripe is that certain races (and sometimes the career of that particular horse) can be won or lost on sheer luck. You get a bad starting draw, someone bumps you off course, you misclick a card or miss a match...these can all spell disaster pretty quickly. And since each horse has a limited time to advance, that one missed click can have a nasty snowball effect on the horse's development, and therefore success in future races. Thankfully, this is mitigated by just how much damn fun the whole thing is.

I never would have possibly expected to enjoy a horse racing/solitaire matchup this much. Talk about a game that came completely out of the blue! :eek:

Comments

  • Bullwinkle
    Bullwinkle
    GT Member
    Yeah, there really is something about this game that's crazy addictive. I picked it up when it came out, and I remember being up hours after I was supposed to be asleep playing the thing.
  • katamaris4ever
    katamaris4ever
    GT Editor
    Muhahaha, I'm taking over with recommendations! :icon_twisted:

    But in all honesty, I'm glad you love the game! I remember playing the demo and spending so much time on it (to the point where the only other demo I've spent more time with was the Dissidia sequel).
    I'm currently on my fourth horse in growth mode, and this is still a great game to pick up and play in ten or fifteen minute bursts. It's a neat little title at a pretty bargain bin price if you ask me (7 bucks from the Pokemon people? Aw yasss.)
  • Gratch
    Gratch
    GT Member
    Just started my 5th horse in Growth Mode last night, and have won 7 GI races. I even bred a couple of my previous winners, but their offspring was disappointingly average.

    The one thing I can't really figure out is the formula for how energy converts to enthusiasm during the homestretch. It seems to be entirely random. I've had some races where energy of 120 gets me 100% enthusiasm, and others where having energy over 600 only gave me 85% enthusiasm. I think it has something to do with the level of race (i.e. G1, GII, GIII) you're doing and the pace (i.e. super slow, normal, etc.), but it would be nice to have a better idea of what energy number I need to shoot for in order to get 100% enthusiasm.

    The RNG aspects were driving me absolutely batty yesterday. Things like having 100% enthusiasm and 2 boost cards for the homestretch...only to find myself boxed in and unable to move. Or being down to that last card with 8 remaining on a Comfort Zone 3 solitaire deck, and not getting the match you need. Or getting knocked completely off track by another horse, even though I had the gold crown (i.e. the most energy) which supposedly prevents that from happening.

    The game is still a ton of fun, but RNGeesus can be a real bastard sometimes.
  • katamaris4ever
    katamaris4ever
    GT Editor
    on 1489416294:

    Just started my 5th horse in Growth Mode last night, and have won 7 GI races. I even bred a couple of my previous winners, but their offspring was disappointingly average.

    The one thing I can't really figure out is the formula for how energy converts to enthusiasm during the homestretch. It seems to be entirely random. I've had some races where energy of 120 gets me 100% enthusiasm, and others where having energy over 600 only gave me 85% enthusiasm. I think it has something to do with the level of race (i.e. G1, GII, GIII) you're doing and the pace (i.e. super slow, normal, etc.), but it would be nice to have a better idea of what energy number I need to shoot for in order to get 100% enthusiasm.

    The RNG aspects were driving me absolutely batty yesterday. Things like having 100% enthusiasm and 2 boost cards for the homestretch...only to find myself boxed in and unable to move. Or being down to that last card with 8 remaining on a Comfort Zone 3 solitaire deck, and not getting the match you need. Or getting knocked completely off track by another horse, even though I had the gold crown (i.e. the most energy) which supposedly prevents that from happening.

    The game is still a ton of fun, but RNGeesus can be a real bastard sometimes.


    The enthusiasm is based on mood; you'll want to get your horse at blue at all times, and even then it might be a stretch. After peak time, the horse will be tired, so that might be an issue as well. You also need to make sure that you can move out the way (you can check the top screen to see where you are relative to the rest of the racers). Winning hands in level 3 stretches also helps with stamina recovery.
  • Gratch
    Gratch
    GT Member
    on 1489637437:

    The enthusiasm is based on mood; you'll want to get your horse at blue at all times,


    Hmmmm, I don't think so. I've had a number of races where I remained blue the entire time, but my enthusiasm was low because I didn't have enough energy (bad start only put me in a level 1 comfort zone and I couldn't get back in). I know enthusiasm is tied to energy somehow, I just can't quite figure out the ratio. Although, it could be a combination of both mood and energy.

    Finished my 7th horse last night, and picked up another 4 GI trophies. Lost a 4th one by literally .01 seconds. :mad:
  • Gratch
    Gratch
    GT Member
    4 more GI wins this week, now up to 11. Just 10 more to go. :)

    Level 10 Fire Boy, ftw.
  • Canuck
    Canuck
    GT Member
    Never even heard of this game before. If it's $7 then maybe I'll give it a try.
  • Jimmy the Fish
    Jimmy the Fish
    GT Member
    Based on the love here, I bought the game. Holy hell it is seriously the best $7 ever spent.
  • Gratch
    Gratch
    GT Member
    on 1490028839:

    Based on the love here, I bought the game. Holy hell it is seriously the best $7 ever spent.


    Might be the best "hours/$ spent" ratio I've ever experienced.

    Finished a horse in growth mode last night that went 9 (of 11) wins during her career. Was one XP card short of level 10 when she finished. Trying to decide whether to keep running her, or retiring and breeding her.
  • Gratch
    Gratch
    GT Member
    I have no idea how I'm ever going to beat some of these higher level races. You only have a set amount of time to increase your stats, and then are put in races against a whole set of horses that have nearly double your speed and stamina (in "Mature Mode). Without any way to improve, how am I supposed to win against that?

    Did one race last night (King's something-or-other), where I was nearly perfect. Completely cleared 5 out of the 6 solitaire games at comfort zone 3, and only left one card on the other. Stayed out of the red and yellow turn zones that cause stamina loss. Had nearly full stamina, two boost cards, Enthusiasm of 100, and a completely calm horse for the homestretch...and still had half a dozen horses simply blow right past me. I didn't stand a chance. At the end (where it tells you how to improve) I got the "you did really well, the other horses are just stronger" message.

    WTF am I supposed to do to compete at these higher levels? :saywhat:
  • Gratch
    Gratch
    GT Member
    The RNG in this game has finally beaten down my will to continue. I have 6 puzzles that need 1 piece each to finish, and my last 18 pulls (yeah, I've been counting) have been pieces I already have. In my last 2 races, I hit the 5-star card to start, yet I got bumped clear back to the back of pack (out of zone 1), and there's usually no way to recover from that. I've had long initial draws where I've got through 8-10 cards without being able to play anything, or I'll have 8-10 cards still in the deck and only need one to finish a round perfect...and I won't get it. I still haven't figured out any way to tie energy to homestretch enthusiasm, and it still feels entirely random. I have no idea what I'm supposed to do to progress a horse to the point where I can compete in any of the 7 remaining GI races that I have yet to win.

    All that said, I've probably put over 40 hours into this game, and I absolutely love it. Maybe I just need to take a breather, light a few candles, say a prayer or 12 to RNGeesus, and hope he plays nicer in the future.
  • Dante Rising
    Dante Rising
    GT Member
    Sounds like it is time to scrap the game. 40 hours is a great money value, and after 18 attempts I would be hard pressed to beat my head against the wall any longer. Of course, I'm a Dark Souls and Nioh fan, so I might be something of a hypocrite.
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