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Parents' Guide to

Pokémon Shuffle

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Simple puzzler badgers kids to make in-game purchases.

Game Nintendo 3DS 2015
Pokémon Shuffle Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 3+

Based on 1 parent review

age 3+

Good puzzler and I completed it without paying anything

Yes it does have the pay to play thing going on but now that it's been out for a while and now is also available on Google Play app store it might seem like it will be impossible to beat without paying, however it's very generous about giving out free hearts/plays and free items and jewels (main in game currency). They added in insane amount of levels but if you know what you are doing you can get pretty far very quickly without paying anything. It's still best in short bursts to take advantage of the limited hearts/plays. And you can't make in app purchases on the 3DS unless you have an eShop card to put credit on to the account and you can disable the credit card option to avoid thieves if that poses a problem.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (4 ):

Pokémon Shuffle is a thoroughly average match-3 game with a bit of a sour flavor, thanks to the way it hounds players to spend money to keep progressing. To be fair, some strategy is involved. Players need to pay close attention to the type and level of the Pokémon they send into new battles and figure out which Mega Evolution species' powers will be most useful, especially in more challenging fights. Plus, effective use of special single-use items (such as one that removes a single type of Pokémon from the gameboard, making it easier to make chains that do more damage) can mean the difference between victory and defeat.

However, as the game progresses and puzzles/battles become harder, players may find these items necessary to win. You can purchase them with coins earned in the game, but it takes a lot of playing to earn enough to buy the most useful items. This pushes players toward the game store, where they can spend real money for more game coins. Just as frustrating is the need to use hearts to start a new game. If you run out, you either need to wait a while for a new one to appear or head to the store to buy a crystal with real money, which you then can spend on more hearts in the game. The puzzle action isn't terrible, and Pokémon fans will eat up the authentic atmosphere, but it's a shame Nintendo doesn't offer a paid version of the game that removes the need for in-app purchases.

Game Details

  • Platform: Nintendo 3DS
  • Pricing structure: Free (This game is free to try, but pushes in-game purchases in the form of crystals and coins.)
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Nintendo
  • Release date: February 18, 2015
  • Genre: Puzzle
  • ESRB rating: E for Mild Fantasy Violence, Comic Mischief
  • Last updated: February 11, 2021

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