|Dev: Genius Sonority Inc.|
|Release: March 20, 2014|
|Screen Resolution: N/A||Mild Fantasy Violence, Comic Mischief|
by Becky Cunningham
Why do Match-3 games have such a powerful pull on our psyches? Perhaps it's because the urge to categorize and sort items touches on a deep element of early human development. Maybe it's just fun to hear the games go “ping” when you make a cascading match. Whatever the reason, the Match-3 formula is oddly addictive, so it almost seems evil to think of marrying it with Pokémon.
Since King has pretty much cornered the “evil Match-3 game” market with Candy Crush Saga, however, I'm more than happy to pony up $8 for Pokémon Battle Trozei. Although it's a spiritual successor to 2006's Pokemon Trozei, this game lacks a storyline and plays quite differently. It's quick and easy to get into, but accessing its bonus stages and catching all the Pokémon in the game will take practice, not to mention a fair dash of luck.
Pokémon Battle Trozei is divided into stages, each of which challenges the player to defeat and capture a number of Pokémon before running out of energy. The battlefield, called a Trozei Box, consists of a number of adorable Pokémon icons. The Pokémon being battled show up outside the box, and the player does damage to them by making matches of three or more icons. This is done simply by using the stylus to drag an icon on top of another, swapping them until a match is lined up. Unlike many Match-3 games, icons don't need to be next to each other to be swapped.
The key to capturing Pokémon quickly (a capture is called a Trozei in this game for some reason) is to quickly make chains of matches in order to do maximum damage in one attack. During ordinary play, your opponent attacks at regular intervals, doing damage to your box's border and its energy. If it damages your border enough, it'll jump into the box giving you less space to work with and jostling your icons around. If it damages all your box's energy, it's game over.
Enter Trozei Chance. If you match four icons, followed quickly by a match of three, you'll enter Trozei Chance mode, during which your opponent does not attack, you now only need to match two icons at a time, and you can build up a massive number of matches in order to unleash a powerful attack. If you manage to clean out your entire box during Trozei Chance, you'll have the opportunity to continue your string of matches, enter Trozei Chance mode again, and create massive combination numbers.
Emptying the box isn't easy, though. You'll have to make sure you match each kind of Pokémon in your box evenly. Dittos rain down from above during Trozei Chance, acting as wild cards. They can be very useful for wiping out odd numbers of Pokémon, but they can also hinder your progress by matching a Pokémon you needed or falling at the last second, become left over and ending your run. Excellent stylus reflexes are needed to keep a multiple Trozei Chance run going.
Several classic Pokémon elements have been brought into the game to add strategic elements. Elemental strengths and weaknesses are in play, so beginning a string of combinations with a type-advantaged Pokémon (and avoiding type weaknesses) is highly recommended. There are no dual-type Pokémon in the game, so type matchups are easy to figure out if you have them memorized. They're also indicated in the game, so never fear if you're not a complete Poké-nerd.