I've only been playing against the AI and not human players note.
The game is pretty true to the original card game. The cards are the same as you can buy and the mechanics of the game are all the same.
The cards themselves vary in terms of how good they are. Some are just horriably bad, while others are ridiculously over powered. I managed to get a stage 3 pokemon out on turn 3 (given you can't evolve your first turn) and it just raped. Dealing some 30 damage to 3 of my opponents pokemon. Now combine that with the fact the attack is about 4 energy, and there's no downside to me for using it, that's a bit stupid. The only thing I guess you could argue is that it was fully evolved and it does require 2 of a specific energy (however given I was playing a water/Normal deck, that wasn't an issue in the slightest).
The victory conditions are the same as in the game of old, by achieving one of the following:
- Knockout 6 of your opponents pokemon
- Knockout all your opponents active pokemon (That's the one in battle and all benched ones)
- Your oppoenet has no cards left to draw.
That brings us to the second one, knocking out all active pokemon. I personally dislike this mechanic. While it makes sense, it adds a huge element of luck to the game. If my opponent only gets one basic (that's a non-evolved) pokemon in their opening hand, and I get 6, then I only have to kill that one before they manage to draw another to win.
That mechanic would work better if you were given the choice to draw a new hand if you had less than say 3 basic pokemon (giving you a chance to get some more).
I've not had chance to play against other people or look beyond the basic games so I imagine you can also buy more cards (certainly you earn tokens so i assume that's what they're for). But I've not seen anything beyond what you unlock by playing, which are automaticaly switched out for you (you appear to have little deck control). Unless you pay real money you only have a choice of 3 basic decks, but they perform perfectly well.
Anyway If you find yourself bored I suggest giving it a look, but be warned it's not a fantastic game. It does at least kill time though.