Pokémon Card Top Trumps
A fun comparative and superlative game that also helps students practice numbers.
Submitted by onighost
February 16, 2023
Estimated time: 10 mins per game.
I have been teaching my special needs kids comparatives and superlatives, and also big numbers lately and wanted to combine them all into one game to help them practice and remember!
Top Trumps is a staple British comparison game and fits the bill nicely.
I modified the original starter set of Pokémon cards to use for the game as my kids are big Pokémon fans.
There's a fair bit of cutting out so ideal if you have a lot of downtime one day and need something to do!
I printed the cards out on thick paper used for certificates and put them in clear trading card sleeves to make them durable. You can simply cut out and flip one half over the other to make a card. I personally prefer this way to laminating as it is much easier to cut out, and saves a bunch of time, but folk who prefer laminating feel free to modify accordingly.
How to Play
The game works best with up to four players as there are a limited number of cards, and you don't want the students sitting doing nothing for long periods of time while they wait for a game to end.
- Deal all the cards out face down to each player until everyone has an equal number.
- Decide the first player however you like (I like to ask students a question like "Who is the youngest/oldest/tallest?" etc.
- The first player chooses a stat they think will be the highest number from Speed / Strength/ Size and says it aloud ("Strength 72!"), then reveals the card.
- One at a time, the other players look at the number for that stat on their top-most card and answer if it is more or less using comparatives (e.g. My Pokémon is weaker/stronger/faster/slower/bigger/smaller than yours.) revealing their card.
- The card with the highest number wins (My Pokémon is the strongest!) and that player collects all the other player's cards and adds them to the back of their deck along with their winning card.
- The winner of the round then chooses a stat from the next card and repeats all the above steps.
- When a player runs out of cards they are out, the overall winner is the player that ends up with all the cards!
Instead of the winner of the round choosing the next stat to play you can go around each student to make sure everyone gets an equal turn. This tends to significantly increase the length of the game.
If you happen to get cards with the same number as the highest stat (quite rare unless you are playing two player), all the played cards are left in the middle of the table and another round is played, the winner of that round then takes the cards as normal, and additionally the cards from the middle of the table.
You can include the HP number at the top of the card as an additional stat to choose from (mine has more/less/the most health). Thanks user otmshank for reminding me to include this rule!
Instead of playing the game until one student holds all the cards you can instead play a limited number of rounds (I find around five to ten rounds is a good number) and then everyone totals up the number of cards they are holding, most cards wins. This ensures students aren't sitting with nothing to do while the game plays out, and as a bonus is good counting practice.
My students had a lot of fun with this and always have a good laugh, especially when Mewtwo shows up or gets beaten!
When I get time I will be adding more cards so check back for updates if you want the latest cards!
All content is provided under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 License.
Great cards. I've been using top trump for years for comparatives. It is always a hit.
Could you upload the file in another format? Can't open .pub on my school computer.
@midnight26 Just added a pdf version. Sorry, I assumed schools would have access to the entire Microsoft Office suite!
Thanks, these look great!
Just played this with my kids and they loved it. The second time playing I added the HP as a 4th stat to balance the cards and it works great.