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5 Ways Pokemon Shuffle Can Be Saved


I play a lot of match-3 games. I“ve jeweled, dragon“d, quested, de pon“d, free falled, montezuma“d… well you get the idea. So when Pokemon Shuffle, Nintendo“s attempt at a F2P match-3 with in-app (in-game?) purchases, I was definitely game (get it?!). What I got was…. not what I expected, not that I even expected much. So the dust has settled and it seems I am certainly not the only one a little disappointed with the final product, but that doesn“t mean it“s beyond redemption. In fact, there are quite a few great elements to this game so there“s no reason it can“t be improved further by removing some of the more unsavory elements! So without further ado, Nintendo please take notes, cause I“m here to save your from yourselves.

  1. Reduce the heart time. This is by far the easiest. Most other games that limit plays with a sort of heart system have a much less ridiculous timer to regain them. Disney Tsum-Tsum has a 15 minute timer for regaining hearts, half of what Pokemon Shuffle does. Not to mention Disney Tsum-tsum has other ways to offset that timer as well…
  2. Allow people to send hearts to each other. It“s fairly common for F2P games in general, but friend benefits in match-3 titles generally allow for sending hearts to each other. Disney Tsum-Tsum allows players to send a heart to each of their friends up to once an hour, meaning the more friends that play the more chances you have to basically never stop playing yourself. I realize this would require an internet connection, but so does the daily check-in Pokemon Shuffle has.
  3. Change the game to a “fail system”. Many games nowadays, like Marvel Puzzle Quest and Disney“s Free Fall games don“t limit players to how many games they can play. Instead, they limit how many times players can fail. Marvel Puzzle Quest characters all have hit points which slowly regenerate when not in a match, but health packs can be used to restore them instantly, and those regenerate every 35 minutes. Despite that sounding terrible, most MPQ players can manage more than the five matches Pokemon Shuffle allows via hearts without using a single health pack. Disney“s Free Fall games are similar, allowing players to play as much as they want, but failure will make them lose a heart, of which five exist to start, and even those replenish once every 30 minutes.
  4. Change the system to an “energy system”. Puzzle and Dragons, currently one of the most popular match-3 games in the world, doesn“t work off a traditional “heart” system. Instead players have an amount of stamina that decreases every time they start a match. As players “level up” they get further increases to their total stamina and can play quite a while this way, not to mention energy regenerates about three minutes per point.
  5. Increase Pokemon catch rates. It“s pretty much an insult added to injury when you can only play 10 times every 5 hours without ponying up some cash, and you continuously fail to catch a Pokemon you want. Look no further than the third generation starters in Pokemon Shuffle who have an abysmal 5% base catch rate and tough levels that make it hard to gain bonus catch percentage. Even buying great balls to boost the catch rate doesn“t work much on pokemon that hard to catch, essentially becoming a waste of coins. I feel like the terrible reload time for hearts would be far less terrible if the game didn“t force us to repeat certain stages so often to catch certain pokemon.

And that my friends is really just the bottom of the barrel. There are so many redeemable qualities in this game that I hate to see it arouse so much ire from gamers, and most, if not all, of it completely justified. This is still one of the very first attempts Nintendo has taken in the F2P market so let“s hope they can learn from the mistakes here and give us better products in the future, even if this one isn“t improved!

What other ways would you guys improve Pokemon Shuffle?

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