i was in the mood for something brainless, so i played through pokemon trozei for DS. by now i’m a pretty big puzzle game snob, and although trozei has some charms it just doesn’t come anywhere near the elegance of such classics as the panel de pon, aka tetris attack, aka puzzle league series or the puyo puyo series.
the main deficiency is that the combo system is unsophisticated, in that for a chain you first have to match 4 vertically or horizontally, then 3, but from then on a match of 2 will continue the chain. this greatly oversimplifies chains, which makes them far too easy to do and far too likely to happen just through chance, leaving you with very little motivation to try to set up really high-scoring chains. the gameplay itself is about on par with mindless match-3 games such as bejeweled, and unlike the bejeweled-esque puzzle quest the added-on trappings of the game add very little to the game mechanics. in this case, rare pokemon appear randomly and it does take a bit more finesse to capture them as part of a chain (i.e. line them up with the wildcard ditto piece), but not enough to offset the dullness of the game as a whole. the pokemon game mechanics have been successfully shoehorned into other genres, such as pinball and roguelikes, but here the “gotta catch ’em all” mechanic feels underdeveloped; a little more consideration could have made this a much more fulfilling pokemon spin-off.
i wasn’t a fan of the cartoon network-style presentation either, but it’s a change of pace from the usual pokemon trappings. incidentally, the game was developed by genius sonority, who were behind the enjoyable gamecube games pokemon colosseum and pokemon X D , instead of the series’ creator and main developer game freak. all in all the game could work as a “my first puzzle game” for young pokemon fans, but hard-core puzzle-game fans should pass this one up even if they’re fans of all things pokemon.
try and trozei these pokemon trozei links:
– great scans of an official trozei sticker book that includes all the pokemon from the game
– barebones official site that basically just includes some artwork
– entry at bulbapedia
– comprehensive FAQ at gamefaqs
– the game generally got pretty good reviews, although jeremy parish at 1up.com shares my opinion that the game is just too easy