Pokemon Shuffle, the free-to-play game for Nintendo 3DS, saw a major update this morning that included a graphical upgrade and several new features to bring it up to the mobile version’s quality. The most obvious addition is Survival Mode, unlocked after clearing Stage 150, which has players select a team of four support Pokemon and take them through stages of increasing difficulty until they run out of moves. The selected Pokemon cannot be switched out between rounds, and the number of remaining moves is carried over from successful rounds, with a five-move bonus each time. Completing a certain amount of stages results in certain rewards, namely items, that can be used in other parts of the game. Survival Mode requires three hearts to attempt.
Nintendo has also added Mission Cards to Pokemon Shuffle. These cards can be viewed and selected from the main screen and have a number of conditions written on them. Similar to challenge mode, these conditions must be met during a stage in order to receive rewards. Conditions can include playing a certain stage, using a certain Pokemon, or getting certain combos or matches.
New items are available as well. First, a Raise Max Level enhancement item is given free with the update, which will increase the maximum level (currently 10) of a selected Pokemon. Only specific Pokemon are eligible for the raise at this time. Also new to the game is the Exp. Booster M, which raises a Pokemon’s experience points by a “moderate amount.”
Minor updates to Pokemon Shuffle include being able to see the experience gain from stages and how much is needed to level up, fast-traveling between main stage zones, a “recommended” score for certain Pokemon, the number of Pokemon caught and remaining to be caught, how many S ranks are required to unlock future expert stages, and which safari Pokemon have been caught. It now shows the top five rankings on competitive stages, and, finally, purchasing jewels during a month will increase the maximum number of time-recovered hearts and the amount of coins from Check-in, depending on the number of jewels purchased. These bonuses last until the end of the month of purchase.
With two new ways to play and several other small enhancements that add up quickly, Pokemon Shuffle’s quality and playability are sharply raised (that was a reference, by the way). The game will offer to take players to the eShop to download it if they haven’t already. This update is required in order to use the Check-in feature and play competitive stages.
Matt Eschbach is a PC, Mac and Android indie game developer and fiction writer. His works have won multiple monetary awards from various contests. Graduating college in 2012 with a major in Game Design, Matt spends his time making stuff up and then building it. His favorite hobby… is sleeping.