Happy Friday, everyone! Are you all ready for the new year?
With New Year’s Day on the way, many people look toward the future, with resolutions and ideas on how we can improve ourselves and our lives. Today, however, we’re going to take a step back and soak in some nostalgia with Pokemon Puzzle Challenge.
Released in North America in December 2000, Pokemon Puzzle Challenge was a side Pokemon game for the GameBoy Color. It was styled after the Japan-released Panel de Pon, which was then known as Tetris Attack in North America, despite having no resemblance to the actual Tetris game.
The concept — being faced with a grid of stacks of colored blocks that are cleared when three or more of the same colored blocks are arranged horizontally or vertically — was used with several side games from Nintendo, including a minigame in Animal Crossing: New Leaf and the Nintendo 64 version of this game Pokemon Puzzle League.
While the Nintendo 64 port of this game focused on the anime characters, Pokemon Puzzle Challenge follows the main Pokemon characters of the Gold and Silver games, like Chikorita, Cyndaquil, and Totodile, along with the second generation’s main protagonist. During the Challenge mode, the player battles with the Johto gym leaders and their Pokemon. The opponent Pokemon has an HP bar that the player and his/her chosen Pokemon partner for the battle can deplete with combos created by clearing blocks. Challenge also allows players to unlock even more Pokemon partners (and even eggs!) by defeating certain conditions.
Other modes include Marathon, Time Zone, Line Clear, Puzzle, and Garbage. Marathon plays until the player loses when the grid of blocks reaches the top of the screen. Time Zone is timed play, and Line Clear is beaten when a player clears blocks beneath a line. Puzzle involves certain conditions — such as a limited number of moves or combo requirements — to beat, and Garbage is a more difficult version of Marathon, where barriers fall and hinder the player.
Pokemon Puzzle Challenge was released on Nintendo’s Virtual Console for North America in November 2014, going for less than $10 at the time of this post. It’s a fun puzzle game that’s not too long or strenuous, a perfect game to sit and play while relaxing. And it’s Pokemon — what more could you want?