Of course my first post in nearly two weeks is about Pokémon…surprise surprise, right? Whatever, I’m still totally obsessed, but this time I’m raving about something a little different. Pokémon Shuffle Mobile is basically the cutest game I’ve played since Neko Atsume, which means it’s just way too darn cute.
Originally released as a 3DS game, Pokémon Shuffle is just another match-up puzzle game like Candy Crush. It’s definitely a time-waster, and the ‘freemium’ model drives me insane sometimes, but I still think it’s a sweet game to invest some time on.
The first handful of levels are an extended tutorial, but don’t be fooled by the initial ease at which you beat these. The game gets much more difficult as you progress, so it becomes necessary to level up your best Pokémon in order to beat some of the tougher opponents. Still, the tutorial had me hooked almost immediately because of the cuteness factor!
I never got sucked into to any of the free-to-play mobile puzzle games before now, so I’m not really sure how this game stacks up against others like it. I do think it captures some of the original Pokémon charm by adding in things like special abilities, type effectiveness, and mega evolutions, which sets it apart from the others a bit.
Just like in the handheld Pokémon games, certain types are Pokémon are more effective against others, while some don’t do as much damage. It’s up to you to manage your team and select the most effective Pokémon to play against the current opponent (kind of, there’s also a handy-dandy ‘optimize’ button that does the thinking for you, if you prefer that). Different Pokémon also have different special abilities that they set off during gameplay, and some are much handier than others.
This is basically what the game looks like. Once you’ve chosen your Mega Pokémon and your supports, it’s time to battle! Certain Pokémon have the ability to mega evolve and do some crazy awesome damage, but you only obtain those Pokémon after defeating them.
The levels get progressively harder, with the opponent ‘disrupting’ you in various ways (swapping Pokémon with unbreakable blocks, making Pokémon immobile, etc) throughout the battle. There are special perks that you can purchase with your in-game coins that will help in the battle, like an extra five moves or delayed disruptions. Ultimately, the goal is to get the Pokémon’s HP all the way down so that you can try to catch it.
Catching Pokémon in this game actually kind of irks me, since you only get one attempt with a regular Pokéball. If you don’t catch it on your first try, you have the option to buy a Great Ball with your in-game coins, which increase the Pokémon’s catchability but are also pretty expensive. I wasted most of my in-game coins buying Great Balls, and the cost definitely adds up quickly.
If you catch it though, you can use it in your future battles. You’re brought to a screen that shows the Pokémon’s type, level, attack power, and special ability. If you encounter a Mega Pokémon of the same type and defeat it in battle, you can mega evolve the one you caught too! So that’s cool.
There are also fun little side adventures, like timed battles with rare Pokémon and Mission Cards that you can complete for rewards. Some of the more unique Pokémon only appear as weekly events, so catch them while you can! And of course, there’s an in-game shop where you can buy extra hearts because, like most free-to-play games, you can only play for so long before you run out of gameplay. I’ve already given in and spent real money on the game because I’m impatient, but your hearts do regenerate after a while.
Over to you!
So what do you think? Is Pokémon Shuffle Mobile something you would consider playing? If you already play, are you loving it? Let me know in the comments below!