Puzzle (Pokémon Puzzle Challenge)
The Puzzle (Japanese: パズル Puzzle) mode from Pokémon Puzzle Challenge contain various predefined puzzles. The player solves the puzzles by clearing all the blocks under a certain number of moves.
Number of puzzles
In Pokémon Puzzle Challenge, there are 126 predefined puzzles, distributed this way:
- 6 normal rounds with 10 puzzles each
- a 7th normal round with 3 puzzles
- 6 star rounds with 10 puzzles each
- a 7th star round with 3 puzzles
Entering the Puzzle mode
The Puzzle mode is one of various options in the "1 Player" menu, accessible at the start of the game.
There are 3 save slots, displaying the progress of the player, for instance "Rnd 4-3". An unused save slot is displayed as "New Game". Unlike the previous game, these are specifically Puzzle save slots and don't affect other game modes. The player's progress at the list of save slots is formatted as "Rnd <X>-<Y>", where X is the highest currently available round and Y is the lowest puzzle within that round that was not solved yet. There is also the option to erase any saved game.
The progress screen contains a list of solved and unsolved puzzles. When a round is available, the player is able to choose any puzzle from that round.
Professor Oak talks to the player at the progress screen. The player is able to unlock each next stage by solving at least 8 puzzles from each of the 10-puzzle rounds.
Solving a puzzle
When a puzzle starts, there is a 3-second countdown while the player is able to see the current puzzle and move the cursor, but is not able to move the blocks until the countdown ends. The player is required to clear all the blocks from the playing field. However, they are only allowed to move the blocks a certain number of times, which is displayed at the right side of the screen, with the label "Count". The player may press B at any time to return the blocks to the previous state, except they don't have the chance to do this after the last move has been used, which ends the current puzzle immediately.
When the player successfully solves a puzzle, there is a fireworks animation, and the next puzzle appears automatically. As an exception, the player returns to the progress screen after 8 out of 10 puzzles have been cleared from the current round, because this unlocks the next round.
The game starts with 3 available hints. The player may spend a hint by pressing Select, which causes the cursor to move by itself to the correct place. Each puzzle has exactly one available hint, which is the first movement. If the player moves any blocks and then attempts to use a hint, the current puzzle will restart in order to display the hint.
A small star is shown when the player has used their hint for the current stage at any point in the current save slot. The player is free to press Select multiple times in the same puzzle to see the same hint again, without decreasing the number of available hints anymore, even if the player has closed the puzzle or restarted the game. Whenever the player finishes all 10 puzzles of a given round for the first time, they receive an additional hint.
The timer displays the total amount of time the player has taken in all puzzles from that save slot, regardless of whether the player has solved or failed the previous puzzles. However, if the player shuts down the game system during an ongoing puzzle, the time taken in the current puzzle will not be added to the timer.
The player may press Start to pause either game, which opens a menu with the options below.
|Continue||つづける Continue||Close the pause menu|
|Restart||さいしょから From the beginning'||Restart the current puzzle|
|Quit||セクレトへもどる Back to secrets||Go back to the Puzzle select screen|
|Save||ちゅうだん Take a break||Save the progress of the ongoing puzzle to continue later|
If the player pauses during the 3-second countdown at the beginning, only the options "Continue" and "Quit" appear.
Whenever the player solves a puzzle, the current progress is automatically saved.
Additionally, there is a feature to interrupt an ongoing puzzle in order to shut down the game and resume playing later, by selecting the "Save" option at the pause menu. When the player saves an ongoing puzzle, they have the option to press Start and continue playing anyway or shutting down the game. If the player resumes playing without shutting down the game, the saved ongoing puzzle will be deleted. If the player saves the ongoing puzzle and restarts the game, they will have two options:
|Continue||さいかいする Resume||Resume the saved ongoing puzzle|
|Quit||さいかいしない Don't resume||Go back to the main menu|
If the player goes back to the main menu and then enters the "1 Player" or "Training" options, the saved ongoing puzzle will be deleted. This is explained by the game in this situation. The "2 Players" option remains available and will not delete the saved ongoing puzzle. If the player accesses the main menu and still wishes to resume the saved ongoing puzzle, they will have to reset the game again, since they are unable to access that puzzle via the "1 Player" option.