I love the Pokemon Rumble series a lot. But I like it generally as a more simplistic concept. It’s essentially a toy Pokemon beat-em up game and honestly, I find it works. They can add new levels. They can add more Pokemon as it grows, but it seems they also want to constantly add more features and honestly, I don’t think more features are necessarily bad, but often the ones they HAVE added for Rumble have been rather constrained or convoluted and it doesn’t really need to be.
In a similar sense, while Pokemon Rumble Rush seems to be a bit simpler like the original, it doesn’t seem to know exactly what kind of game it wants to be having both functions that encourage short term play and functions that would be much better with constant playing.
You can absolutely balance these and I will say the game can definitely be played free to play, but it can be a bit frustrating as it almost feels like its mechanics contradict themselves.
Some of the good things the game does is that you can endlessly explore up to three maps at any given time that you did find. They can be overwritten (and you can only lock one of the three at a time) so it’s best to explore until you’re good, but they stick around.
However, the actual map searching is kind of frustrating. Essentially you can have up to 5 feathers at a time and then drop them on a map hoping to land on certain coordinates. I have fairly tiny fingers and yet still constantly do not manage to land where I want to. Coordinates are shared, but without any proper way to put them in, it’s pretty much RNG and just hoping maybe you’ll be close enough the game pities you.
The big “pay” function is the ore system. You absolutely do not have to pay for it. You can have up to three ores queued at a time and one being mined at a time unless you pay for a 24 hour upgrade (which brings it up to two total ores that can be mined at a time). The big issue is if you have a 4th ore, you can not adventure until you get rid of it. On a bright note, you CAN toss it with no penalties if you have all three slots filled. If you want to toss one in a slot or when you have less than 3 slots filled though, you are only allowed to toss up to 10 a day.
For the most part, this is great and I often find myself tossing the regular (Ore) or uncommon (Unusual Ore) ones when it comes down to it as for me, they’re just… not usually as worth it. Ores take 30 minutes to refine, Unusual Ores take 3 hours, and Rare ores take 10. The problem comes when you have three Rare ores and find another. It costs 300 Poke Diamonds to immediately refine a Rare Ore.
Essentially, you can either use Tickets (each ticket removes an hour of wait time) or Diamonds (30 diamonds per hour so 15 diamonds for regular ores) to speed up the Ore mining process. Ores are the main way to get coins (You can earn them from adventuring too or sending Pokemon back, but it’s not much) with 500 from regular ores, 2,500 from Unusual Ores, and 7,500 from Rare ones. They’re also how you get upgrades for your Pokemon which help a lot when it comes to grinding to get over certain walls.
And there are… a lot of walls. I recently got over a particularly brutal one (*shakes fist at the first Blastoise fight*) and have now been trying desperately to get a Gyarados map and a Blastoise map to prepare for my first Charizard boss. What the game does to help with this is that your Pokemon can actually automatically go through the maps and you just need to click through the results which can… help save some time honestly, as again, you will need to grind a lot. I probably farmed at least two hundred grass Pokemon before finally getting a 1,500CP one by some miracle.
Unfortunately, and this goes back to the issue I mentioned above with short play sessions and long play sessions, you have a limit to how many Pokemon you can have at a time so you’ll often end up needing to clear out your box. I usually have to after about 10 rounds of maps and it just… gets tiring. You get SO many Pokemon and it sucks constantly going back and forth.
On the bright side, I really do feel the cons and contradictions are relatively small issues and can probably be fixed up or adjusted with patching. What I’d really love to see if a friend’s system and being able to share maps easier as the RNG is just exhausting sometimes, but over all, I have been enjoying it a lot and while I do prefer playing Pokemon Rumble on a console, it’s not too bad as a mobile game.