Taking a break from the excitement and putting hours of dedication, blood, sweat and tears into playing Fate Grand Order (FGO) whilst waiting to ring in the new year, I always turn to puzzle games to keep me both calm and entertained.
Pokemon Shuffle Mobile puts a puzzle matching game spin on the Pokemon franchise. You’re still a Pokemon trainer aiming to be the very best by battling and capturing Pokemon.
Like any other mobile game, this Pokemon game requires time to reload hearts needed to access a level. The player is given five hearts and each heart takes 30 minutes to regain. For that reason, I chose to play this game when I’m not up to combating difficult enemies in FGO or watching anime. The player’s hearts can be replenished through gem purchases or by completing certain levels that offer hearts as a reward.
Coins are made for in-game purchases to give power-ups to the player at the start of a level or to purchase a great ball during the Pokemon capturing process.
Lastly, gems can be used to purchase hearts and other special items or to continue a level if the player fails to do so.
Although you don’t have to necessarily spend real money (to buy gems) to advance in the game, the game does offer the player the opportunity to do so with three shops to speed up their game play.
The Jewel Shop allows the player to purchase more jewels with real money. The Shop allows the player to swap a certain amount of gems for hearts. As shown previously, the Special Shop gives players special items that can be swapped for gems as well.
For the players who are minors, the game gives free items through daily login bonuses and once the player ranks up by capturing a certain number of Pokemon. The rank up feature does add to the Pokemon journey experience by pushing the player to continue on to the next area of their game.
Match three or more of the same pokemon’s head on-screen to deal damage to your opponent to lower their health bar, while making sure not to exceed the amount of moves you have in order to clear the level. The player is able to slide their finger across the screen to drag Pokemon to any space they desire.
And just like the original Pokemon video games, this mobile game doesn’t skip on giving the player the nail biting excitement that comes with capturing Pokemon. I think the way they presented the probability of capturing a Pokemon to emphasize that it’s also a game of chance is a nice touch.
It can be frustrating to not capture a Pokemon every single time, but the game allows you to re-try the attempt by purchasing great balls at 3500 coins. However, you can only use a great ball once per attempt and the rise in percentage of capturing a Pokemon with a great ball doesn’t always ensure that you capture it.
It wouldn’t be a Pokemon game if the player isn’t given the option to create and swap in Pokemon to build the best team to capture wild Pokemon! The introductory screen of a level gives the player the option of allowing the game’s system to optimize your Pokemon team, ensuring that the Pokemon picked have a type advantage over the wild Pokemon. The player can always choose to make their own teams by selecting the Pokeball icon on the bottom right of the screen.
Capturing so many Pokemon, who may or may not possess special abilities, and allowing the game system to optimize your team every time isn’t a bad thing. It does take away from allowing other Pokemon in your collection from leveling up.
Another interesting feature of the game is the level where the player combats another in order to gain the mega-stone used for mega evolution of particular Pokemon. In order to use said-Pokemon, they need to be placed in the first spot of your team line-up.
All of the mega-evolved Pokemon can only be activated once the number of a particular Pokemon is matched to fill up a bar situated below the “Moves Left” box.
The ability of the mega-evolved Pokemon differs for each Pokemon when the player creates a three or more matches of that Pokemon. A mega-evolved Audino, for example, can remove the immediate Pokemon that surrounds it whereas a mega-evolved Kangaskhan can eliminate full horizontal rows of Pokemon if their matches are made vertically.
The game wouldn’t be as fun if there weren’t extra challenges.
In the game play, wild Pokemon can place obstacles like rocks, metal blocks, freeze your Pokemon in place to impede more Pokemon from entering the playing field or placing themselves onto the playing field to stop you from your goal. The counter beside the wild Pokemon displays how many turns it needs to make another disruption. In order to destroy the obstacles, the player needs to make matches beside the obstacles.
The game offers daily challenges in the special stage and an expert mode to give the player a chance to capture stronger and rarer Pokemon.
The Special Stage can offer players battles against certain pokemon that can give them special effects or items. For example, when playing against a Meowth, the playing field will also have coins added to it. If coins are matched, then those coins are added to the reward at the end of the battle.
The expert mode differs from the game play found in the special stage and the regular game. Instead of being restricted by moves, the player is given a time limit in order to defeat the level.
Little challenges found in Mission Cards are fun to do while journeying on to become the best Pokemon trainer. Completing the card will reward the player with items or coins. I forgot what happens if you decide to abandon the card, but I think it forces you to restart the missions on it.
Pokemon Shuffle Mobile is an IOS/Android version of Pokemon Shuffle, a Nintendo 3DS video game developed by Genius Sonority and published by The Pokemon Company. The original Nintendo 3DS game was released back in 2015.
Pokemon Shuffle Mobile can be enjoyable with its flaws, but it’s not going to be a game that I’d put as much time in as FGO.
It’s fun to play in the moment but it forces the player to wait a considerable amount of time to play if they’ve consumed all their hearts. The player doesn’t need to spend real money but purchasing gems can allow the player to speed up the process and according to the comments section over on Google Play, allows the player to access better Pokemon.
What mobile games are you enjoying right now? Let me know down below!