– PHOTO: Pokemon Shuffle game cover art. Courtesy of –


By Jennifer Boyer, Staff Writer for The Current –

“Pokemon Shuffle” is a free-to-play puzzle game for the Nintendo 3DS. It was released on February 18 of this year, developed by Game Freak and Genius Sonority, and published by Nintendo. The game is only available for digital download though the eShop.

There is no story to this game. There is, however, a tutorial mode to help the player understand the game. The object of the game is to battle Pokemon by making matches of three or more of the same Pokemon in a line to attack. The player does this by swapping any two Pokemon spaces to make a match. The player can swap any two spaces, not just two spaces adjacent to each other. The Pokemon must be defeated in a certain amount of turns or the player will lose. After defeating the Pokemon, the player has the chance to catch it.

Two features that make “Pokemon Shuffle” different from puzzle games of this type are the type match ups and abilities. Like the main Pokemon games, every Pokemon is at least one type. However, all Pokemon in this game only have one type. This makes the game simpler for doing more damage to a Pokemon. For example, the Pokemon Bulbasaur is normally a Grass and Poison type Pokemon, but in this game it is only a Grass Pokemon.

The other feature is the abilities. Like in the main Pokemon games, each Pokemon has an ability. The abilities in this game are simple things like having a chance to do more damage. Creating a match of four will also do more damage.

The mega Pokemon introduced in “Pokemon X and Y” are featured in this game as well. The player must catch the Pokemon and defeat the mega stage to earn the mega stone needed for the Pokemon.

While the game is free to play, there are items the player can pay for with actual money. These are called micro transactions. There is also a limit on how long one can play in one session. A player can only play five times before having to wait 30 minutes for a new heart.

The puzzles in the game range from very simple to very hard. Some stages need to be done in very few moves, so there is little room for error. There is also a system that ranks the player.

The art in the game in great. “Pokemon Shuffle” takes the colorful art style that Pokemon is known for and makes it cuter. Even the Pokemon that look big, bad, and strong in the typical style, look somewhat cute in this game’s art.

The music in this game reflects the art style. It is cute, but not to the point where the player might get annoyed by it. There are not that many tracks to the game, but the game is simple enough that it does not need a large soundtrack.

“Pokemon Shuffle” is a fun game to play for small amount of time. It feels like a mobile game and it also acts like one with the micro transactions. Any Pokemon fan or a puzzle fan with a 3DS should try this game out, since it is free to play.

© The Current 2015