Video Game: Pokémon Trozei!

It's like Puzzle League, but different.

Pokémon Tro-o-zei, move real fast now don't go slow.
Pokémon Tro-o-zei, four in a row and you're good to go.
The U.S. commercial for the original game.

Pokémon Trozei!, known as Pokémon Link! in Europe, is a puzzle game series developed by Genius Sonority. Players use the touch screen to move Pokémon around the playing field, with the aim of making matches. The number of Pokémon required for a match depends on the game and difficulty level, but a successful match triggers a Trozei Chance, a short period of time where fewer Pokémon are required for a match.

The first game in the series, Pokémon Trozei! was released in Japan for the Nintendo DS in 2005, and internationally the following year. It follows SOL agent Lucy Fleetfoot, who has been tasked with rescuing kidnapped Pokémon from the Phobos Battalion. She accomplishes this by using a device called the Trozei Beamer, which teleports groups of Pokémon back to SOL headquarters.

To many people's surprise, a Nintendo 3DS sequel named Pokémon Battle Trozei! was released in March of 2014. In this game, the player battles and captures wild Pokémon. The wild target's hit points are lowered by creating matches, but it may attack the playing field in turn, which lowers the player's health. Once a Pokémon's hit points are reduced to zero, it may be captured.

Another game in the series on 3DS, Pokémon Shuffle, was released in 2015, with gameplay based primarily on Battle Trozei but based more on using a limited number of moves and building combos than on clearing the board. The game is also free-to-play, with a hearts system and microtransactions similar to many mobile phone games.

Tropes used in the Pokémon Trozei! games:

  • Anti-Poop Socking : Like many free to play games, Shuffle utilizes a "Hearts" system where you spend one Heart to play a stage. The Hearts recharge over time, and you can hold a maximum of five rechargeable Hearts at any one time. However, you can spend Gems to get more Hearts, allowing you to exceed the five Heart cap.
  • Boss in Mook Clothing: In Shuffle, Milotic, full stop. All outside tiles and the four tiles in the middle are frozen when you start the stage, giving you very little room to move. Good luck.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: Downplayed in Shuffle. The game is free to play, but via Microtransactions, you can purchase Gems from the shop to use in game. Gems can be spent on more Hearts (see Anti-Poop Socking ), or can be traded in for a payload of Coins, which in turn, can be used to purchase helpful items. However, the Coins used to buy help items are generally easy to come by, and you can earn a large amount twice per week by tuning in on Saturday and Sunday and battling Event Meowth. Additionally, the game is truly free to play, in that there's nothing in the game that can't be accessed without paying for it.
  • Bonus Boss: Shuffle's EX Stages, where you get the chance to fight Legendary Pokemon, fully-evolved Starter Pokemon, or otherwise powerful or popular Pokemon. The difficulty between stages can vary (Swampert won't give a seasoned player much trouble, Blaziken can be pure hell), and you may need to get adjusted to the fast-paced time format.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Lucy Fleetfoot does not appear in Battle Trozei! or Shuffle.
  • Crutch Character:
    • Mega Kangaskhan in Shuffle. It's available early on, easy to catch, and sees a lot of use in the beginning-to-mid stages for its nifty effect that clears large chunks of tiles, but is eventually left in the dust by other Megas, owing to its Normal-type (meaning no super effective hits), its slow power creep (struggles to get past 60 attack power when other Pokémon with 70-80+ are available at level 1), and the conditions that its effect requires to work properly (it has to be lined up in a column to erase five columns to the left and right, which is extremely unhelpful when trying to beat a level with frozen tiles).
    • Also in Shuffle, Mega Sableye. While its base form has the ability Risk Taker (which does either double or half normal damage randomly when it activates), its O pattern Mega power helps clear out otherwise unbreakable obstacles and builds up a fair bit of damage from the large number of tiles it clears out. Besides that, it has a tendency to set up very large chains quite easily, especially with Complexity -1 selected.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory:
    • The games have different methods by which you move Pokémon around the board. In the original, you move them in any of the four cardinal directions and try to line up matches, while Battle Trozei! and Shuffle have you swap their positions instead. Moving from one system to the other can be very jarring.
    • Pokémon that have two types in the main games only have one type in Battle Trozei!, which can be disorienting since type matchups play a crucial role in the gameplay.
  • Depending on the Artist: The first game makes it rather obvious that Lucy Fleetfoot has a rather exaggerated art style compared to the Pokémon who retain their own distinguishable art style.
  • Difficulty By Acceleration: The infinite modes speed up as the player reaches higher levels.
  • Difficulty Spike: Battle Trozei! starts using Legendary Pokemon as bosses in world 3.
    • Mega Mawile in Pokémon Shuffle.
    • Mega Ampharos in Pokémon Shuffle, too. The stage is 90% frozen tiles, and they're refrozen as quickly as you can thaw them.
  • Easy Levels, Hard Bosses: Shuffle demonstrates this quite well. Many of the standard Pokemon Main Stages are fairly simplistic, being mildly challenging at worst. The Mega Evolved Pokemon, on the other hand, tend to be magnitudes more difficult than most of the other levelsnote , with a particular few, like Mega Mawile and Mega Glalie, being a mix of Nintendo Hard and Luck-Based Mission with a dash of Character Select Forcing.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: The sequels utilize this, though to a lesser extent than the main games in that you just have to remember the basic type matchups.
  • Endless Game: Endless and Forever modes in the original, and Infinite Ruins in Battle Trozei!.
  • Excited Show Title!
  • Excuse Plot: The first game features a SOL agent named Lucy Fleetfoot, who must rescue boxed Pokemon from the evil Phobos Battalion by matching four of the same Pokemon in a row. Battle Trozei! didn't even bother with a plot.
  • Final Boss: The first game had Baron Phobos. Battle Trozei's final boss is supposedly Xerneas and Yveltal. However, the screen slowly scrolls up and some awesome boss music plays. And then out comes Zygarde, the final boss of Battle Trozei.
  • Gotta Catch 'Em All: Or rather, Trozei them all. They're Pokémon games, of course.
    • Back to catching in Battle Trozei! and Shuffle, where defeating a Pokemon gives you a chance to capture it, then use it against other Pokemon.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: In Shuffle, Disruptions that cause your own Pokémon tiles to transform can cause this. This may happen because of two things: 1) The transformed tiles match in a row and damage the opponent, and may possibly start a combo, or 2) the resulting Pokémon's type is super effective against the opponent. The latter is even more hilarious if the opponent and the Disruption Pokémon are both of a type super effective against itself, like Ghost or Dragon.
  • Interface Screw: Bosses in the original can use a "Jammer" move that temporarily turns all Pokémon shapes into silhouettes.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: In Battle Trozei!, Espeon and Solrock only appear during the day, and Umbreon and Lunatone only appear at night. Additionally, the Safari Jungle has a different set of wild Pokémon every day of the week.
  • Last Lousy Point: Legendaries in the original are this, if one wants to complete the National Pokédex. They only appear very rarely, and only under very specific circumstances.
  • Match Three Game: Three Pokémon are required to make a match in Battle Trozei! and Shuffle, four in the original, and five in the original's Forever mode.
  • Metal Slime: Every level in the original had three "Can you Trozei these?" Pokémon. They were rare enough that it was possible to clear the level without seeing one, they would disappear if you couldn't Trozei them fast enough, and this was the only way to get Pokédex data for them.
  • Microtransactions: Shuffle operates using this business model.
  • New Game+: After completing story mode in the original game, the player can start over with a greatly increased difficulty level.
  • Not Completely Useless: Many of the Pokémon from Wacky Workshop in Shuffle are already outclassed by the fully-evolved Pokémon from earlier areas. Feebas in particular is extremely weak, as its to be expected from a Magikarp Expy. Now scroll back up to the entry on Boss in Mook Clothing. That's Feebas's evolved form and all of those frozen spots are filled with Feebas. While Water-types resisting themselves further weakens the damage Feebas can do, bringing Feebas to open up the level is the easiest way to handle Milotic without having to shell out coins for either Complexity -1 or Mega Start.
  • Play Every Day: Shuffle encourages with its "Check In" feature, which allows the game to connect to the internet to look for any extra data. Checking In also grants the player 500 bonus Coins once per day, with a 1000 Coin bonus per 10 Check Ins.
  • Power Up Let Down: Some abilities in Shuffle are fairly useless, like Ampharos having Dancing Dragons (powers up all Dragon-types in a combo, but since Dragons are only super-effective against other Dragons, why would you use the Electric-type Ampharos alongside one?) or Sylveon having Mega Boost like the rest of its family (there are no Fairy-type Megas in the game and it doesn't seem likely that this will change unless Gardevoir or Diancie is made a Fairy-type upon their introduction to the game rather than their other type. As of version 1.1.11, Leafeon and Flareon have no use for their Mega Boosts either, but at least both of their types have Mega Evolution-capable Pokémon already in the game.)
  • Rank Inflation: Battle Trozei! has D, C, B, A, and S ranks, awarded based on score and combo performance. Shuffle cuts out the D and only uses C, B, A, and S, and grades based on moves/time remaining.
  • Solar and Lunar: SOL is represented by Solrock, while the Phobos Battalion uses Lunatone as its symbol.
  • Super-Deformed: All the Pokémon are represented as chibi face icons.
  • Wrap Around: The original did this with the bottom screen, to facilitate its movement system.

Alternative Title(s):

Pokemon Link, Pokemon Battle Trozei, Pokemon Link Battle, Pokemon Shuffle