Pokemon Shuffle is Nintendo's Next Free-to-Play 3DS Game

Match-three style puzzle game is free, with micropayments model.

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Nintendo has revealed match-three puzzle game for 3DS, called Pokemon Shuffle, that will release on the handheld in February.

The game, available for free, is similar in style to the likes of Bejeweled and Candy Crush, though with gems replaced by faces of popular Pokemon. Players must line these up in rows of three for them to disappear. The twist on the match-three format is that a player will have a limited number of moves available to create a certain number of matches, meaning that in some cases thinking ahead is required with chain combos lined up.

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Nintendo says that players "will be able to take advantage of their own Pokémon’s type during gameplay".

It explains: "Players will also be able to raise the level of their Pokémon as they play, enabling them to deal even more damage. Some Pokémon can even Mega Evolve, just like those in Pokémon Omega Ruby and Pokémon Alpha Sapphire. Mega-Evolved Pokémon are able to remove many wild Pokémon from the Puzzle Area at a time."

Pokemon Shuffle will be available for free, with the game offering five play sessions. Once this is depleted, the play allocation is restored over time. However, players can pay to speed up this process.

Nintendo has not revealed how much it will charge for each replenishment of play sessions.

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