The Pokémon Company
|ESRB PEGI ACB|
Pokémon Shuffle (PokéToru in Japan) is a free-to-play Pokémon puzzle game for the Nintendo 3DS eShop in 2015 and later that year on Mobile. However, unlike Pokémon Trozei!, this game is a match-3 game focusing on strategy rather than clearing the board with consistent switching.
Gameplay is similar to Bejeweled or Puzzle & Dragons. The goal is to Match Pokémon in groups of 3 or more to create combos to defeat the opposing Pokémon. The player has a limited number of moves so, to win, the player needs to find moves that give the biggest combo. Type advantages as well as Mega Evolution plays big roles here. Players can buy items to regain their hearts or wait.
Currently, there are 250 main stages that must be played in succession, 30 expert stages that can be played in any order once they have been unlocked through the main stages and a set of changing special stages with limited opportunities to catch Pokémon or gain Mega Stones. To see the stages in the game and each Pokémon's abilities see List of Pokémon Shuffle stages.
Catching and Ranking
After completing a stage with the exception of Mega Evolution stages and the Special Meowth stage, the player is presented with the Pokémon they just faced and a bar of percentage at the bottom of the top screen. This percentage is the chance the Pokémon will get caught. Ignoring Move +5 and Time +10, the remaining moves or time get added as percentage filling that bar. Each move or second counts equally but, even if it was a perfect run, the bar does not necessarily add to 100%.
When the player fails to catch a Pokémon, a Great Ball is shown for 2500 coins. If used, the catch rate will double, capping at 100%. If the player does not have that many coins on hand, the Pokémon will just runaway as if the player chose not to use it. Occasionally, Super Catch Power will activate and further increase the catch rate. The Pokémon trembles when this happens. The catch rate will be shown before the ball has to be purchased. If the player still fails, an Ultra Ball is presented for an additional 4000 coins. It doubles the rate again as well as another chance for Super Catch Power if that is still not enough.
Each stage is ranked regardless of if the Pokémon was caught. The ranking is based on the amount of remaining moves or time. If the player has half the total moves or time remaining, he will get an S rank, even if he used items. Below that, there are A, B and C ranks which are determined on a stage by stage basis with some stages lacking C and even B ranks all together. Only S Ranks hold any value as they are used to unlock the Expert stages.
The currency for the micro-transactions are jewels, which the player uses for either hearts or coins. The jewels are essentially $.99/ €.99 /£.89/100¥ per jewel but there are bundles which give bonus jewels. Here are the bundles with price in dollars. In some countries, there is a restriction of $100 or equivalent in a month while others have it for people younger than 18.
- $5: 6 Jewels (5 +1 free)
- $9: 12 Jewels (9+ 3 free)
- $25: 35 Jewels (25 + 10 free)
- $48: 75 Jewels (48+ 27 free)
Before each level, the player can buy items with the coins accrued from playing the game. They help make the level easier. They are the following
- Move +5 - 800 coins - Increases the moves left by 5 moves, but does not affect ability to catch Pokémon. It can only be bought on stages with Move Limits
- Time +10 - 800 coins - Alternative to Move +5 for in non-competitive stages with time limits that gives 10 additional seconds.
- Exp Points x 1.5 - 300 coins - Increase the XP gained at the end of the stage by 50%
- Mega Start - 2000 coins - Allows the player to start the level with Mega Evolution. It cannot be used on Competitive stages
- Complexity -1 - 9000 coins - One less kind of Pokémon, rock or block will appear
- Disruption Delay - 1500 coins - Delays the opponent's disruptions. This only appears if opponent can disrupt
- Attack Power ↑ - 3000 coins - Doubles Attack Power.
In addition, there are enhancements which improve a Pokémon. Currently, the only one is Mega Speedup, which reduces the number of matches need to make the Pokémon Mega Evolve
While critical reception was mediocre at best with a 54 on Metacritic, people have been downloading the game readily. On March 2, the game was announced to have been downloaded over a million times.