The best thing Game Freak made that isn’t Pokémon is getting a remake

While Game Freak may be best known as the creator and maker of Pokémon, the developer has another beloved title. After ten years of being hidden in the attic, it’s releasing a remake of the game where you breed horses and make them race by playing solitaire. 

Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of Pocket Card Jockey. Released on the 3DS and mobiles back in 2013, it never found the same audience as its pocket monster siblings. 

Pocket Card Jockey: Ride On is an RPG that allows you to collect and breed horses that you race in competitions. Winning races isn’t as easy as releasing your best-looking stubby-legged horse and watching it sprint over the finish line. Through the race, you’ll be hit with solitaire quick-time events. You know, the card game. I’ve not seen much horse racing, but I assume this is how it plays out in real life. 

The remake is coming to Apple Arcade on January 20 and brings with it a transition to 3D graphics from the original’s 2D stylings. I hope it stays as adorable as the first game. 

It looks like the nuts and bolts of this new version of Pocket Card Jockey will stay the same: a single-player campaign, strategic track positioning, horse breeding, and on-track power-ups all feature. 

An intricate horse-tory  

(Image credit: Game Freak)

When Pockey Card Jockey first came out in 2013, it found a lot of diehard fans. Look, it turns out combining cards and horses is a potent cocktail of cute and hardline strategy. 

The game’s repetitive nature reminded some of Tetris, which is always a fan favorite, while the JRPG elements made for a surprisingly engaging narrative. The only problem may have been the protagonist’s different goals. If you pick the male jockey, you aspire to inherit your father’s orange farm. However, if you play the female jockey, the end objective is for you to have kids. While there’s nothing wrong with either of these pursuits, hopefully, these binary goals will get revamped in the upcoming sequel.  

An apple a day  

For those of you who are excited about the remake, I hope you have an iPhone. Pocket Card Jockey will be exclusively for Apple Arcade and kept behind a paywall. Apple Arcade takes a monthly subscription of $4.99/ £4.99 / AUD$7.99, though it may be possible to purchase the game when it launches on January 20. 

(Image credit: Game Freak)

Apple Arcade membership also gets you access to a bunch of games, but it’s nothing to take for granted, especially when you tally up the price of all your subscription prices. If you’re desperate to test Pocket Card Jockey for yourself, try out Apple Arcades’ first-month free trial; just remember to cancel before your time is up if you don’t want to continue your subscription. 

As it stands, this remake looks to be just as fun and addictive as the first. Hopefully, if it does well on Apple Arcade, Nintendo fans could see the solitaire horse-racing hybrid turn up on the Nintendo Switch

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