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Platform

DS

 

Genre

Puzzle

 

Publisher

Nintendo

 

Developer

Genius Sonority

 

ESRB

E (Everyone)

 

Released

March 6, 2006

 

- Adventure mode offers a level of challenge that avoids frustration

- Easy to get into

- Downloadable demo

 

 

- Not enough modes

- Adventure mode makes Endless mode a cakewalk

- Music can get old pretty quick

 

 

Review: Meteos (DS)

Review: Pokemon Dash (DS)

Review: Pokémon Emerald (GBA)

Review: Polarium (DS)

 

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Pokémon Trozei!

Score: 8.0 / 10

 

Most gamers associate Pokémon with kid-like role-playing games where you're tasked with defeating (then catching with a Pokéball) a variety of Pokémon creatures by battling other Pokémon trainers and stumbling upon wild Pokémon.  Pokémon Trozei! has almost nothing to do with any of the previous Pokémon titles.  This is a puzzle game with a Pokémon skin -- familiar creatures put in appearances, albeit in the form of disembodied heads, but it's still a puzzle game in the vein of Tetris and Meteos.  It's actually not a bad choice for a theme of a puzzle game, I only mention it in case anyone thinks Pokémon Trozei! is a traditional Pokémon experience (which has yet to be done on the DS).

 

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There are four modes of play: Adventure, Endless Battle, and Pair.  The latter two are played against human opponents but the overall gameplay remains the same.

 

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Each round of Pokémon Trozei! begins with a number of lines of Pokémon scattered at random on the bottom screen.  Using the stylus, the player can move the lines of Pokémon down (which then fall from the top screen) and horizontally (there are no "edges" per se because they can be pushed off the screen to appear at the start of the line) to align Pokémon in lines of four.  When this happens the line vanishes and you have a "Trozei Chance" 

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for about a second.  Lining up three Pokémon will result in another Trozei Chance and the number of Pokémon that needs to be lined up to clear them out drops to two, which is accomplished by some frantic stylus sliding (or simply by chance as the Pokémon drop into place).  During Endless mode, the action isn't quite as frantic as that found in Adventure against some really tough "bosses" which can screw up your trozei chances or completely turn out the lights on a level, forcing you to match up the outlines of Pokémon.  There are enough change-ups to create a high level of difficulty.

Adventure mode also sports bonus challenges, which offer a horizontal line are of seven Pokémon or swiggly lines (so obviously stolen from Meteos) that makes the experience even more frantic and exacting.  That said, Pokémon Trozei! doesn't offer much in the way of variety.  Adventure Mode is probably the most challenging and it's over all too soon. Further, after playing through the Adventure, Endless mode seems like a cakewalk in comparison because Endless just drops Pokémon and doesn't throw in any monkey wrenches.

 

If you have a DS-toting buddy you can enjoy multiplayer.  A wise move on Nintendo's part, a demo can be downloaded from a host and played against human opponents.  The only real change is that the Pokémon that are cleared out drop on your buddies screen.

 

Pokémon Trozei! provides a higher-than-average addictiveness (for this reviewer, at any rate).  For longer car rides, commutes, or flights it's very easy to while away hours sliding and matching Pokémon.

 

Though it doesn't quite fir the Pokémon mold (neither did Pokémon Dash), fans might still want to give Pokémon Trozei! a whirl.  As a puzzle game for short and long play sessions Pokémon Trozei! should have offered more modes of play but that doesn't make it any less engrossing while it lasts.

 

- Omni

(March 17, 2006)

 

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