Like everyone else we were reaching for the pitchforks when Pokemon Shuffle was launched, a title published by Nintendo with explicitly freemium bullshit unlike the freemieish Steel Diver: Sub Wars which started life slightly less free to play and then got updated to be slightly more free to play and of course the Pokemon Trading Card Game Online which is a card game so for whatever reason the gaming press give it a pass or don't bother covering it. As lifelong Pokemon players I'd also like to throw in the "physically drag yourself to a GAME store to download a legendary Pokemon" for the Pokemon main series into the same category but only because those experiences have been so harrowing in the past it feels like a cost that transcends money. Our trajectory with this game went like this:
|Please won't you buy some jewels to errr shuffle me? Please?|
Boo. Hiss. Ninty sellouts!
It's... okay but I'd like to buy it. I doubt I'll stick with it.
Has it been two and a half hours yet? Has it been two and a half hours yet?
SHIT I NEED TO DO MY DAILY CHECK IN.
GODDAM YOU MEGA MAWILE. GOD DAMN YOU.
The main gripe was that unlike Steel Diver:Sub Wars there's no way to buy the full game so all you can do is wait for the fairly generous recharge of in game currency, hearts, which replenish every half an hour to a maximum of five or to shell out for in game currencies (jewels buy you hearts and coins AND FUCK OFF IN-GAME CURRENCIES) with real virtual money which the game rather cynically prompts you to do every time you lose and don't have any resources in the bank to carry on. One oversight seems to have been that it's not possible to use play coins, the 3DS currency you earn by walking around with the 3DS hasn't been incorporated. For a while Sub Wars allowed you to use play coins to buy online play time and it would have helped to dampen the initial knee jerk cynicism of this F2P title.
Actually though, it's an alright game. Yeah sure it's a match three game with a Gotta Catch 'Em All twist but the quality is high, Genius Sonority polishing the experience and for those of you who don't get hooked there's little incentive to buy extra credits. But of course, as we all know it's not the well adjusted majority who pay, it's the minority percentage who give in to the one more go cravings.
I'd be interested to see if payment figures are ever released (we doubt it) but according to the news it's been downloaded over a million times at least and anecdotally I've seen a lot of StreetPassers playing it this last week (whether this is just because the game is new or more enduring remains to be seen). I'll also be keeping an eye on whether or not the generous currency recharge will be updated.
In the meantime carry on shuffling and whilst you're at it download IronFall: Invasion. As a leftie it was impossible to play without a circle pad pro and we're too classy to be seen out with that abomination hanging off our 3DS like a malformed conjoined twin.