I blogged about Pokémon Café Mix a year ago, but a couple of months ago it had a major update and a rename to Pokémon Café ReMix. I'd enjoyed match 3 style of gameplay of the original enough to keep up with most of the limited time events, but I was happy to take a break from it when they were just running reruns in preparation for the update. I've been playing the game regularly since its "ReMix" update, so I thought it would be worth blogging about it again.

The game has several major new features, but the first main one it that it now has jumped on the bandwagon and features a premium pass that will net you more rewards, an exclusive costume (zzzz), and an easier time getting through the limited time events. This is pretty easy to ignore, though. The second main feature is that Pokemon are more distinct now. Previously each Pokemon had special abilities that triggered when their skill gauge filled up. These abilities mainly removed obstacles in a particular shape (e.g. horizontally or vertically or whatever). With the update each Pokemon still has their special abilities, but they also have a unique set of "specialty gimmicks". Basically, each Pokemon specializes in dealing with various stage hazards, for example, honey blocks or vegetables or ice. Going along with these new specialties are friendship levels training modes and levelling up items (tarts). New specialties unlock and previous specialties become stronger gradually as the Pokemon's levels increase. Pokemon also now require "cookies", which are species-specific items to raise their level cap. This new specialties mechanic does add a more compulsive layer to the game as you can choose to level up your favorite Pokemon, and as an added bonus you also unlock pallette swapped costumes as you go.

Another major change is that each stage now has two parts. You earn one star for accomplishing the main mission, but then the stage resets with different obstacles and you earn the last two stars for accomplishing additional missions. This seems like a way for the developers to reuse a stage layout and also encourage replays. Speaking of which, among the other welcome updates is the ability to replay previous levels to earn more stars, a major feature that the previous version notably lacked. Occasionally you'll be required to go back and earn enough stars to unlock the next set of stages, but this doesn't happen often and it generally isn't difficult to accomplish. The game had a major rebalance recently as well adding more turns to pretty much every stage, making it much easier to complete levels. As a previous player I had access to way more Pokemon and items up front, although I had to start on stage one along with everyone else. Apparently all the stages from the previous game are available as well with all of my previous progress, but I haven't bothered going back to those.

The game has really piled on the special events since its relaunch, so much so that some of it has gotten pretty tedious. The developers have apparently heard players' complaints, though, and the requirements for unlocking these limited time Pokemon has been adjusted recently as well. Overall I've been pretty happy with all of the updates and overall they game has definitely improved, but, unfortunately, I've been sucked back into logging into the game daily and sinking more time than I should into it. Hopefully the pace of special events will slow down a little, though!