Pokémon Shuffle (Japanese: ポケとる PokéToru) is a freemium Nintendo game. The 3DS version was released on February 18, 2015, and the Mobile version on September 01, 2015. The Mobile version can be downloaded and played on Android 4.1+ or iOS 7.0+. The object of the game is to match Pokémon icons on a 6x6 grid to attack and catch Pokémon. Each Pokémon has a single type and ability. The Pokémon's type is used to determine the types of their moves, and their ability has a chance to activate when matched first in a combo. There are currently 531 Pokémon available to catch in the Main Stages and 53 available in the Expert Stages.
Gameplay and Mechanics Edit
Pokémon Shuffle is a puzzle game where the player matches Pokémon icons in rows of three or more, similar to Pokémon Battle Trozei.
There are currently 23 areas in the Main Stages, each with several to many stages within. The first 11 stages make up the Tutorial, in which Amelia teaches the player the basic gameplay and features. There are also Expert Stages, which are stages limited by time rather than by moves, and are unlocked by achieving certain amounts of S-Ranks, and Special Stages, which are event stages that are only available for set durations (usually 1 or 2 weeks), and have unique stage rules not found in the main or expert stages.
Stage Gameplay Edit
In move-limited stages, the player can swap any two Pokémon icons as long as a match of three or more is made, but won't be able to make another move until the icons settle (aka the combo ends). In time-limited stages, the player can swap any two Pokémon icons at any time (even during combos) until the target Pokémon's HP bar is depleted or time runs out. In either mode, whenever Pokémon icons are matched, damage is dealt to the target Pokémon. The score is the total damage dealt so far during a stage.
Each stage has its own set of Disruption rules. Disruptions occur during stage gameplay as an attempt to limit the player's gameplay. Stages with disruption rules may or may not have a countdown timer next to the target Pokémon, indicating in how many moves the stage will disrupt. In case it's not there, the trigger condition may be based on combo. Some stages have two or more sets of rules, and switch between them after one has been carried out a certain number of times or a certain HP threshold has been reached. Various Skills can interact with the countdown or erase certain disruptions, and Mega Powers always erase disruptions (if it is a Mega Power that erases icons).
If, after the icons settle, there are no available moves left, a message will appear saying "Let's shake things up!", and the grid will be reset. If the stage has a predefined layout, it will reset to that layout.
If the player runs out of moves or time without depleting the target Pokémon's HP bar (aka reaching a certain score), the player has failed to clear the stage, and cannot continue and try to catch the Pokémon (if the player has not caught it already). However, the game will offer to recover 5 moves or 15 seconds at the cost of 1 Jewel.
Catchability is the catch rate of the target Pokémon that the player can catch once they clear a stage. Catch rates are fixed and varies across stages, but can be increased with any extra moves/seconds that the player has after clearing the stage. If the player fails on the first attempt, the Catchability doubles, but the player has to pay 2500 Coins (3500 on Mobile) for Great Balls for further attempts. There is also a chance of Super Catch Power, which greatly increases catchability. If the player succeeds in catching the Pokémon, they can use them as Support Pokémon in future stage attempts.
When a player clears a stage, a Rank is given based on the number of moves/seconds left. The rank given can be either S, A, B, or C, in order from highest to lowest. The only current use of this system is to unlock Expert Stages by achieving a certain number of S-Ranks in the Main Stages.
Support Pokémon Edit
Pokémon that the player catch can be used as Support Pokémon. These Pokémon appear on the puzzle grid for matching. Some stages have an additional Non-Support Pokémon that isn't on the player's team, which results in more difficult gameplay. When deciding which Pokémon to bring to battle, the player can use the Optimize button, which will automatically select Pokémon with the highest attack power and whose types are super effective on the target Pokémon.
Each Pokémon have a single Type, in contrast to traditional Pokémon games which allow for up to two types. Certain types are super effective against target Pokémon, dealing twice the damage than normal, and other types are not very effective, dealing only half the damage.
Each Pokémon have an Skill (similar to abilities in traditional Pokémon games) that can trigger during stages when the player matches that Pokémon first in a combo. Activation rate depends on the skill itself, but generally the chance is higher if more in a row are matched. Some skills include erasing certain disruptions, preventing disruption countdowns, and dealing extra damage.
Each ability has a Skill Level and Skill Gauge, which, when increased, increases either the damage modifier or activation rate of the ability (depending on the ability itself). The Skill Gauge can be increased by using certain Enhancements.
Mega Evolution Edit
Some Pokémon have a Mega Evolution, which can be considered an extra ability, and can drastically change gameplay. However, the player may only bring one Mega Evolving Pokémon to battle (which must be in the first slot on the player's team), and they must have obtained the respective Mega Stone. Mega Stones are obtained by clearing the last stage of any area, or by placing in the leaderboards of Competitive Stages. During gameplay, a Mega Gauge on the side of the screen fills up as the player matches icons of that Pokémon, Mega Evolving the Pokémon when it is full. When a Pokémon Mega Evolves during a stage, it gains a new Mega Power that replaces its original Ability.
Enhancements are items that can be used on caught Pokémon to upgrade them in various ways, such as boosting their experience or increasing their Skill Gauge. They're obtained through various rewards from Special Stages, Survival Mode, and Mission Cards.
Mission Cards Edit
Mission Cards are sets of challenges the player can take to earn rewards. Upon its initial introduction at the start of the v1.3 (3DS) and v1.6 (Mobile) updates, only 3 cards were available - recent updates have increased the number of cards to 10. Each card has a set of missions and milestone rewards. Notably, some of the rewards are Mega Stones that were previously only available through competitions.
Survival Mode Edit
Survival Mode is a special stage that unlocks after clearing Stage 150 - Mega Mewtwo and having at least version 1.3 (3DS) or 1.6 (Mobile) of the game. The player chooses 4 Support Pokémon to bring on a 50 stage marathon, some of which are preset and some that are selected randomly from sets of stages. There are milestone Enhancement rewards after clearing certain levels, one for clearing that level for the first time and one for every clear of that level afterwards.
Pokémon Shuffle features a Heart system, which limits how long the player can play the game. The player starts with five Hearts, and loses one each time a stage is attempted. Once the Heart count is below 5, it replenishes itself every half an hour. Hearts stop replenishing after the player has recovered all five Hearts. Alternatively, Hearts can be purchased with Jewels.
A player can check in daily with Pokémon Shuffle using the Internet, receiving 500 Coins for checking in (1000 every 10 days). Checking in allows a player to receive and view announcements, news, and current event info. Players can only check in if their game is updated to the latest version.
Some Special Stages costs Coins to attempt.
Jewels are premium currency that can be purchased with real money. One Jewel costs $0.99 USD, but buying in bulk gives various discounts.
At the shop screen, players can enter download codes, which might award free Jewels. Certain events and Special Stages will sometimes award free Jewels. In the 3DS version only, 1 Jewel can be obtained after clearing the last stage of any area. They can also be awarded for reaching certain SpotPass tags milestones.