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Pokémon Puzzle Challenge is a handheld adaptation of Pokémon Puzzle League on Nintendo 64, itself a remake of Tetris Attack on Super NES. The game features six different modes of play, including Marathon, Challenge, Time Zone, Line Clear, Puzzle, and Garbage. The goal in each is to remove colored blocks by creating matches of three or more horizontally or vertically. As the game progresses, new lines will emerge at the bottom of the screen, forcing the remaining blocks one step closer to the ceiling. The game ends once the blocks reach the top.
Unlike games like Tetris, where players directly manipulate the blocks as they fall toward the bottom of the screen, Pokémon Puzzle Challenge involves moving a cursor over multicolored blocks and pressing a button to switch places with either another block or an empty space. Chains, active chains, and combos are also possible, adding bonus points to the score or additional blocks on the opposing side's screen when playing against a friend. An in-game tutorial lets players hone their block-clearing skills in a slow motion game or non-interactive demo. Battery backup saves high scores for each game mode as well as the Pokémon level, which increases the more a particular character is used. ~ Scott Alan Marriott, All Game Guide