The Pokémon Company has released Pokémon Shuffle on iOS and Android devices. The match-three puzzle battle game sees players completing levels to capture wild Pokémon or defeat those owned by rival trainers.
In each battle, players have a limited number of moves to create matches, with the goal of draining the enemy Pokémon’s health. Rather than swapping the locations of two touching symbols, Pokémon Shuffle allows players to drag and drop symbols anywhere on the board, so long as the switch results in at least one line of three or more touching Pokémon symbols.
When players have successfully defeated a wild Pokémon, they have a chance to capture it. Each Pokémon has a base ‘catchability’ percentage, which is boosted in relation to the number of moves players had left when they finished the battle. If gamers fail to capture the Pokémon, they can play the level again for another chance, or spend coins on a better Poké Ball to increase the Pokémon’s catchability. Gamers also receive a letter grade at the end of each successful battle, and can play the battle again to potentially increase this grade.
It’s worth noting, even if players fail to catch a particular Pokémon, the next level will still open up for play, allowing gamers to come back to these missed Pokémon later on at their leisure.
As players capture Pokémon, they’re added to their collection, and can be used in future battles, affecting the kinds of symbols found on the game board, and unlocking bonuses while battling. For instance, Charmander’s ‘Power of 4’ ability would see matches using four symbols cause boosted damage. In addition, a Pokémon’s type (Water, Fire, etc.) will impact the battle, encouraging players to fill their team with stronger ‘types’ of Pokémon based on the opponent.
In addition to being spent on better Poké Balls, coins can also be spent on power-ups before each stage. One may add additional moves to the level, for instance, while another may increase the amount of experience points Pokémon receive in the battle, and so on. As Pokémon earn experience points and level up, they become stronger, potentially making future battles easier to complete.
Over time, players will receive Mega Stones, allowing them to Mega Evolve specific Pokémon in future stages. This mega evolution is triggered while battling by making enough matches with the necessary Pokémon symbol to fill a bar at the top of the board. After evolving, the Pokémon’s symbols change, and will trigger special effects each time they’re used in a future match.
Each battle of Pokémon Shuffle costs one heart, or energy, to access. Hearts recharge automatically over time, or can be purchased with Jewels, the game’s premium currency.
Outside of campaign levels, players can also complete levels against rare Pokémon in the ‘Special’ section. This section also offers limited time events and daily Pokémon stages.