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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

What's Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On!?

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - A sequel? A remaster? I dunno, but here's some ideas.

Today, in unexpected but quite appreciated news, GAME FREAK announced that Pocket Card Jockey, their best game in the past 10 years, will be coming to Apple Arcade in a form called Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On!.

What kind of game is this? Well, let's check out the 30-second trailer and the Apple Arcade page for it.

That trailer portrays a game that is very similar to Pocket Card Jockey. The starting two rows of Solitaire to begin a race with a certain amount of Unity Power with different and better moods on a Giddyap button; the names of the races (Kingfisher); the gameplay is identical with comfort zones and abilities; the music is the same; the final 200 metre homestretch dash at the end with the boosts. However, there are small differences if you look closely. Stamina Monster is a horse characteristic/skill that isn't in the first Pocket Card Jockey. And the screenshots have several new details.

Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! screenshot montage differences from 3DS version Apple Arcade
Top left: Stamina Monster is new. Also, the design of the track in the bottom right corner is new and appears to include a short-cut? There's never been short-cuts.
Top right: This menu design is new, and Game Center is a new feature. The UI was previously Stables, Shop, Museum, Calendar, Tips, and Save. (And Next for a race.)
Bottom left: A clothing shop is completely new.
Bottom right: Happy Horses shop in the first game prices things in the low hundreds when on sale, or several thousands normally. A two-digit coin economy is drastically rescaled. Puzzle pieces are also missing.

The Apple Arcade page describes how Pocket Card Jockey's “basic rules are the same [from the Nintendo 3DS version], [but] the racing segments have been reborn in glorious 3-D!” I wonder if the use of “reborn” here is meant to imply Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! as a remaster of Pocket Card Jockey rather than a sequel, similar to Pokémon Shining Pearl and Pokémon Brilliant Diamond.

It's very important to note that Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On! is currently exclusive to Apple Arcade, releasing on January 20, 2023 in English, Japanese, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. There's no word on it coming to the Switch. Pocket Card Jockey gameplay is quite reliant on a touch screen, and while the Switch DOES have a touch screen, hardly anyone remembers that this is the case and it definitely needs non-touch alternatives. Maybe motion controls would be a fun alternative. (I think this is why Big Brain Academy: Brain vs. Brain wasn't the best experience, because it was touch or inferior button.)

Ludwig is quite pleased that the first commentary article of 2023 gets to be related to Pocket Card Jockey, still available on the Nintendo 3DS eShop for only $7. Buy it before it's too late. There's also a free demo.

Reminder that KoopaTV was the first/only website to publish the credits of Pocket Card Jockey.
It's released, and is a remake. There are some mechanics differences, but the story and characters are the same.


  1. The horse is wearing a Charlie Brown shirt.

  2. Either way, I'm happy to see more Pocket Card Jockey!

    (I'd be happier if it was on the Switch, but I have an Apple Arcade demo I've been meaning to start anyway to play Fantasian...)


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