Our quest to catch them all is no longer just a collecting adventure. Pokemon gaming comes in all shapes and sizes; we can be Pikachu and raid tombs, we can catch their portraits in art academy, we can even be rangers and just take photographs. The newest way to catch all the Pokemon is with Pokemon Shuffle, a free to download Nintendo 3DS game.This is essentially candy crush; except waaaaay easier, and with all the adorableness of Pokemon.
First we meet Amelia (she is not deserving of a professor status like all other games, which really shows you Shuffle’s standards). Amelia goes through the ropes, telling us the constantly tap the screen and urges us forwards into the game.
The first Pokemon to appear is Espurr, because who isn’t in love with Espurr? Espurr, and eventually Meowstic, is the psychic type backbone to any good team. You click on Espurr’s adorable, stoned face and see its floating head bouncing sweetly on your 3DS top screen. Lower screen is a Pokemon filled candy crush/ Disney’s free fall style game board. As you would expect you have to move (or indeed, ‘shuffle’) adorably shaking Pokemon faces to match up lines of three or more.
Simple eh? Well it gets simpler. You know how frustrating it is in Candy Crush when you have a sweet one column over too many to get a line? Well Pokemon will shuffle anywhere if it gets them into a line, + shape, L shape or whatever. I mean anywhere. I could swap, ahem, I mean shuffle, the opposite corners if I wanted to. To a candy crush addict, this just makes everything oh so very easy. That Espurr is mine.
Each turn costs a move, and you have limited moves per game. Every match you make gains you points, which in turn takes away the opposing Pokemon’s health. The idea is to reduce their hp to 0 (as is ever the cruel point) to make them ‘catchable’. You are then taken to a screen where your points translate into their catachability rating (in a handy %) and any spare moves you have left will boost this %.
Espurr makes 100% easy (I had more than half of my moves left), and tap the pokeball and I caught it. What did I tell ya.
When you catch a Pokemon, you can add them (up to 4) to your support crew. Each have special abilities (like attack x 4 or something, at least in the beginning), and obviously their types depend on if they will have a super effective score against the opposing Pokemon.
Next up is the original starters, Bulbasaur, Squirtle and Charmander. Then Eevee. Funny how when I reached Eevee, although I got my highest score and still had 13 of 16 moves left, it only had 50% catchability, thus my pokeball failed. Amelia steps in and says here have a great ball. I catches, because great balls are amazeballs.
Eevee conveniently also drops a jewel, which can buy more great balls, lives or coins to buy in game tricks (like 5 extra moves, etc, standard candy crush stuff). These jewels can be purchased with real life money too using your Nintendo shop account.
Next, several Pokemon silhouettes appear on my supposed route between the usual looking Pokemon game town. No long grass needed here. Pidgey lights up, but when I click on his adorable shaking head I am informed that I have no more hearts, and would I like to use my jewels to buy more? Nah, I say. I’ll wait the 30 minutes it takes to reload one heart.
So, in conclusion, this is candy crush but with Pokemon. Should you download it? Well, yeah, its free. Why wouldn’t you get a free game? But also, this game is all kinds of adorable. From the moment you match up a line of three animated faces, to then watching them squirt, fire or throw some leaves (you know, whatever their type is) right at the kawaii, bouncing head of the opposing Pokemon, and watch them get splattered in the face repeatedly.
And of course, you would have to download it to catch ’em all, right?