I don't know what it is about Pokémon, okay, I will take that back. I know what it is about Pokémon that keeps me coming back for more. I collect Pokémon cards, and I play because it holds a special place in my heart, it is that safe place I go from my childhood. There are a lot of other TCGs out that you could collect instead. But, games like Magic and Yu-Gi-Oh! just seem so generic for me. Nor do the creatures do not mean anything to me.
They're less colorful, imaginative, and charming than Pokémon.
I like how smooth and quickly Pokémon flows.
I like how much access to your deck you have because of all the draw and search. I like how deck composition decisions play out so quickly in terms of performance. I like the basic mechanic of it being a battle between active Pokémon with a little bit of interaction from the bench.
It's simple enough that 10 year old me could pick it up and play a competitive game and yet it is deep enough for me to spend hours a day acting as a strategist now as an adult. There is far more decision making than one would be led to believe if you only looked at it in the context of a "kid's game." There are a lot of different ways/tactics to play which keeps it interesting. And now it is an activity Bae and I can enjoy as a couple.
I tried playing competitively, but ultimately got frustrated with it because of things like turbo Flareon/Empoleon, Toad, the coming Vileplume, Toad, LaserBank, Toad, the coming Giratina, Toad, crushing/enhanced hammers, Toad, etc.
I just walked away frustrated whenever I tried playing seriously.
I started playing rogue decks and it's fun because people are so focused on the meta that they don't expect rogue decks.
One thing that bothers me, and I'm sure that this is the same in other card games as well, is the insane amount of hype cards get while others are hated for no good reason.
Why did you start with Pokémon, and why do you stick with it?
Why physical cards instead of the online TCG?
I like online and the TCG. Which I like most goes up and down.
Online is so smooth with the setup and shuffling done automatically. But there is a wonderful tactile quality about drawing cards, about physically a Pokémon into the active, about revealing the card that will mess up your opponent.
And it's just fun to be physically opposite someone.