Pokémon Rumble World
One of the best times you'll have on your 3DS.
PokÃ©mon Shuffle was an instructor at the school of hard knocks when it came to microtransactions, so when PokÃ©mon Rumble World was announced, I was cautious about approaching further. Not only was I unsure of what to expect, but I was afraid of being burned once more or being nickel and dimed to death. Fortunately, I was welcomed into a colorful world rife with familiar PokÃ©mon, simple yet engaging mechanics, and a microtransaction system that not only seemed fair, but easy on the wallet. In short, I was very impressed by this steadfast little game, and I'll likely continue to play it for months to come -- until my collection is complete, that is.
Your primary goal is to head out into the world by order of a silly old King and capture new breeds of Toy Pokemon, scattered throughout the land. At first you're given a partner to do this with (trusty old Pikachu) but you'll be battling and capturing your own breeds soon enough. To do this you can either rush ahead at the enemy Pokemon for an auto-attack, or do so manually, button-mashing until you defeat the enemy monsters around you.
Most of the time they'll yield currency as you finish out whichever dungeon you're working on. Sometimes, however, you'll be able to capture the Toy PokÃ©mon and it'll lay on the ground with the rest of the currency. You can collect as many as you can hold (upgradeable later on) and multiples of the same Toy PokÃ©mon. This means that even if you go through the same dungeon multiple times you can still come out with additions to your PokÃ©mon army.
There are several hot air balloons you'll have to purchase with the in-game currency of PokÃ© Diamonds, and these will take you to the several different dungeons where the monsters await. Sometimes at random the rarity of the PokÃ©mon available will go up during "Fever Time," but choosing where the hot air balloon will land isn't under your control, as you must press a button and hope the selector lansd on the button you want. This results in exploring the same dungeons over and over, but since there are still merits to visiting the same places (earning currency, for example) the game doesn't get stale quickly, which keeps it perfect for those longer sessions.
In addition to earning new balloons and new PokÃ©mon to journey alongside you, there are plenty of opportunities to spend your in-game currency on upgrades to your Mii character, trees you plant to up specific stats (attack power, defense, etc.) and challenges decreed by the King that you can complete to earn PokÃ© Diamonds in return.
Unfortunately, this is a game that does rely on microtransactions. There's about a 30 minute wait on each balloon, but if you have multiple balloons you can get by this wait so it doesn't feel like such a hassle. You also have to retry several different dungeons over, which can begin to become frustrating when the same PokÃ©mon you've been waiting to capture refuses to show up. You can try and try and try again and still never get the big "boss" monster at the end of the dungeon, and there's not a whole lot you can do about it. Because of this, you'll have to be prepared to grind yourself into the dust to see your collection eventually completed.
PokÃ©mon Rumble World is an excellent, extremely fun entry in the Nintendo free-to-play stable, and unlike PokÃ©mon Shuffle, its microtransactions are unobtrusive and you can absolutely work with them if you want to play the game in short bursts over and over. What's more, if you want to spend some money on the game you get a fairly decent bang for your buck. If you're looking for a cheap and easy way to add to your 3DS library, this is a great choice.