It’s a shame but Nintendo will always have a cash cow in Pokemon. I gave in during the Ruby and Sapphire days, and I had a fair amount of fun, I almost caught them all and came away satisfied. Now it’s time to catch them all over again, in the form of a snazzy puzzle game that tries to be many of Nintendo’s past puzzle classics but just fails to maintain that lasting appeal that made games like Dr. Mario and Tetris Attack instant classics.
The best way to define Pokemon Trozie is that it is a hybrid between Yoshi’s Cookie and Tetris Attack, with more emphasis on the cookie. Gamplay is confined within a space that is six squares wide and eleven squares tall, making good use of the DS screen. With the stylus you shift lines or rows of Pokemon on the bottom screen, attempting to connect four either horizontally or vertically. After the initial line is formed the number of required Pokemon to form a chain is reduced to three, and then once more down to two. With each chain that is formed you are given a set, and limited amount of time to form another chain. That is quite simply all there is to this game, well that and the whole catching Pokemon bit, but it really can be quite the forgettable experience, and boring, as this game starts to feel like it is on auto-pilot during some of the later stages of the game as sometimes chains are formed without any effort on the part of the player.
There is a story to the game that follows the high-octane exploits of one Miss Fleetfoot who is a secret agent for a forgettable agency out to stop the Phobos Battalion which has been stealing Pokemon. Fleetfoot’s job is to use a new Trozei beam to pick up the Pokemon from their captured Poke-ball state. In total there are about thirty stages each having a requisite number of Pokemon that need to be “Trozei’d.” Does this all sound like nonsense yet? It has only just begun, for you see you also have rare Pokemon that make it in to the shuffle. But odds are you won’t see them, or if you do you will only see one and will need to link it in a large chain with a jack of all trades Ditto. It’s quite a challenge and makes for an annoying factor more than anything.
You are rewarded for meeting score quotas with special coins that allow you a chance at a two minute mode that takes place on a much larger than normal playing field, which really only serves to have your opening lines to a combo be much larger than normal. There is also the chance for more rare Pokemon to appear but on a larger field it’s just that much harder to get them to line up for capture. And if you’re really looking for something to sink time in to there is an Endless mode which is exactly what it sounds like, and it provides a good variety of Pokemon to help you reach that elusive one hundred percent, though that can take an exceedingly large amount of time seeing as how one play through of story mode can net a collection of about forty percent.
What I find odd is how I enjoyed the music more than the core game play. It’s a whole lot of techno ditties that came together and kept me interested. Too bad I cannot say the same for the art which is some art-deco wackiness that goes in a completely opposite direction from previous versions of the game, however it is tolerable and doesn’t affect the game play at all so I’m not going to hold it against the game. Control is handled completely with the stylus which is nice as it’s very easy to pick up and play, sink in twenty minutes and be satisfied. That is if you can get over how shallow the game is, or how short this game can be.
Pokemon Trozei is another game in the ever growing library of DS puzzle titles, and between Meteos and Puyo Pop Fever there really isn’t any reason to pick up this substandard puzzler. It’s over very quickly and doesn’t contain the lasting appeal that many other puzzle titles have, portable or non. However if you’ve got a child that can’t get enough Pokemon then this could be right up their alley, especially if they are new to the whole puzzle thing.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
In a past life I worked with Interplay, EA, Harmonix, Konami, and a number of other developers. Now I'm working for a record label, a small arm of casual games in a media company along with Gaming Nexus, and anywhere else that sees fit to employ me.