What happens when Pokemon and the addictively popular Candy Crush Saga bump uglies in a digital Motel 6 after both having way to many shots of Bacardi 151? Well, once the awkward morning-after accompanied with a mild hangover and give or take 9 months, you get Pokemon Shuffle! Does this "Free to Play" game translate, or does it end up having daddy issues? Find out below.
Reviewed: 3DS, 2DS, New 3DS (Downloaded for Free)
Developer: Genius Sonority
Released: February 18, 2015 (Nintendo 3DS)
MSRP: Free to Play with in App purchases; $0.99 to $49.99 USD (3DS, 2DS, New 3DS)
Pokemon Shuffle art work is extremely clean, and works well with the overall puzzle style of the game. There is a lot of artwork dedicated to this game for each individual Pokemon, which gives the game a cheerful astatic. Game boards are also colorful but not distracting.
The puzzle gameplay is extremely accessible, with elements of customization between which Pokemon you use. There are some minor RPG elements with your Pokemon gaining EXP and gaining higher attack power with levels. Each individual Pokemon also has a special set of powers, which activate when they are matched on the puzzle field.
The Gameplay is not without its issues as the “Free to Play” business model is extremely crippling to the enjoyment of the game and does nothing but hinder what could have been a very competent puzzle game with allot of interesting gameplay mechanics. Limiting players to play 5 games in a row, even if you fail a match can make some players extremely frustrated if you only have access to the “Free to Play” elements.
On the other hand, the pay to play elements are extremely expensive and consumer unfriendly, making it extremely hard to justify any of the purchases. As of review $0.99 is equal to 1 Jewels, which equals to +5 hearts (the currency used to play one puzzle match) or 3000 Poke Coins (the currency used to buy boosts to help you in matches or to help catch Pokemon.)
Music and Sound :
Music is fairly simple stuff, mostly used to set the mood for the type of match you are playing or to signal the fact you have reached your Mega Evolution for your main Pokemon. Sound effects are almost addictive as they match extremely well with the overall visuals when you start making a combo. Very similar to that of a modern pachinko machine.
Over all, all elements work together in such a way that magnifies elements to stimulate the feeling of reward over actual gameplay. The Cohesiveness of the game is ultimately broken by the “Free to Play” model.