Beware: It's ten times more popular than Pokemon and it's coming over here soon

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The Independent Online

A children's card-collecting game that is already 10 times more popular than Pokémon in Japan is coming to British television later this year.

A children's card-collecting game that is already 10 times more popular than Pokémon in Japan is coming to British television later this year.

The comic book story of Yuugi, a young boy who beats rivals with an ancient deck of cards, has been made into a series called Yu-Gi-Oh. It has spawned sales of a spin-off card game of about 3.5 billion copies over the past three years – compared with 300 million Pokémon cards.

The series, to be seen on SkyOne in the autumn, will appeal to boys aged 10 to 14, with dark story lines, scary monsters and nubile female characters, including Yuugi Mutou, an "invincible gaming king" and Katsuya Jounouchi, who "takes matters into his own hands when he sees something he doesn't like", the programme's website says. The Yuugi cards are expected to go on sale in Britain when the television series starts.

SkyOne's autumn line-up also includes a late-night soap opera called Crash Palace, which is set in Sydney, Australia, and follows the lives of a group of British backpackers. Other SkyOne shows will include a version of the reality show Temptation Island, which tests the fidelity of long-term partners and starts next month; the comedy entertainment series, Rum, which puts the viewer behind the camera; and I Slept with Richard Blackwood – the comedian's attempts to spend a night with some of thesexiest stars.

New American imports include Mutant X, an action adventure series about a breed of powerful mutants, and The Sausage Factory, a comedy on male teenage angst.

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