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Officially licensed Pokemon puzzler to hit iOS, Android this year

A Pokemon-themed puzzler featuring characters from Nintendo’s long-running portable RPG franchise will launch for iOS and Android devices later this year, licensing corporation The Pokemon Company confirmed this week.

Pokemon Shuffle Mobile is the latest of several officially licensed Pokemon-themed apps to hit mobile devices in recent years. The Pokemon Company exists as a separate entity from publisher Nintendo, and frequently licenses Pokemon-related properties for use beyond the franchise’s portable console roots.

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Released digitally for the Nintendo 3DS earlier this year, Pokemon Shuffle is a free-to-play game that challenges players to collect element-themed critters and battle them against rival monsters in the context of a match-three puzzler. Gameplay takes inspiration from GungHo’s free-to-play hit Puzzle & Dragons, as successful matches will deal damage to enemy characters. Defeated enemies can then be collected and used to level up your party members, giving them an edge in subsequent battles.

While Pokemon Shuffle is available as a free eShop download, players are limited to a small number of gameplay sessions within a specific time period. Additional sessions can be purchased with real money. The Pokemon Company notes that the eShop edition of Pokemon Shuffle has been downloaded more than 4.5 million times since its launch in February.

The Pokemon Company previously released an official Pokedex app for iOS platforms in 2012, followed by similarly themed apps like the mobile activity center Pokemon Camp and the on-demand animated series app Pokemon TV. An online multiplayer adaptation of the Pokemon Trading Card Game premiered for iOS devices in 2014.

Nintendo announced plans to enter the mobile marketplace earlier this year, and notes that “all Nintendo IP will be eligible for development and exploration” via a partnership with mobile publisher DeNA. To date, specific plans for Nintendo-themed apps beyond The Pokemon Company’s offerings have not been announced.