Time Played: ~824 hours
Considering how much time I’ve sunk into this game, I should probably give it a review. While on its surface, Pokémon Shuffle is merely a branded version of a “match three” puzzle game, the mechanics it adds to this genre gives the game an amount of strategy that is clearly addicting. As a free-to-play gamer, I haven’t put a single dollar into this game (on either the 3DS or mobile versions). Consequently, it takes a very long time to get anything done in this game, at least when it comes to maxing out the stats on the best Pokémon to use.
While the game has finally entered a regular cycle of events and specially available Pokémon, there was a time when I was excited to open up the game on Tuesdays to learn what new Pokémon I could catch/power-up each week. At the very least, with the normalization of events, I know I won’t have to wait an undetermined amount of time before a rare Pokémon comes back to the game. Unfortunately, as a free-to-play game, I needed to accomplish plenty of grinding to advance. Some levels are quite difficult, to the point where even using a full slate of items isn’t enough to win (not a cheap option, considering the in-game currency).
Having beaten and caught all the special “S-rank” Pokémon and made my way half-way through the UX levels, at this point, I’m a high enough level that I can get some fairly good rewards from the bi-weekly competitions. And even if I haven’t managed to beat the Survival Mode itemless, I still find the grinding of Pokémon levels and skills to be enjoyable enough for me to keep playing every day. Because, in the end, these special abilities make Pokémon Shuffle more than just a “match three” puzzle game.
A unique take on the “match three” puzzle genre, I give Pokémon Shuffle 4.0 stars out of 5.