Pokémon Café Mix (Switch, Mobile)

You’re about to open up a café that serves food especially for Pokémon!  And the waiters and cooks are Pokémon as well!  Help prepare delicious dishes for your Poke-pals in this free-to-start puzzle game for Switch and mobile devices (reviewed on Switch here).  Stir around Pokémon head icons to match them and make them disappear.  It kind of reminds me of other action puzzle games on mobile like Yo-Kai Watch Wibble Wobble or the Disney Tsum Tsum game.

For each stage, a customer Pokémon will walk up to your café and place an order.  To fulfill their order, you have a pot with various Pokémon head icons in it.  The game says the icons represent the enthusiasm the Pokémon put into the dish, so don’t worry, you’re not cooking Pokémon heads or anything.  One thing to note is that on the Switch, you must always play this game in handheld mode, as it is touch screen only.  To match icons, just touch one on the screen and swirl it around so it touches other same icons.  When you release your finger, or if a meter runs out, the matched icons will disappear.  The round is won when you reach certain objectives.  You might need to reach a certain score, or clear out a certain number of Pokémon head icons or other items.  You only have a certain number of moves in each round, though, so if you run out, you must start the order over again.

You’ll have a Pokémon to help you cook and when you clear out icons, a meter will fill.  When it is full, you can use that Pokemon’s special skills.  Some skills let you clear out rows horizontally or vertically or in a circle.  You can even combine skills for bigger effects.  Other items that might be in the pot may need to be cleared out differently.  Sugar cubes will crack and break if you clear icons next to them, and dollops of whipped cream or nuts need to be cleared with special skills.  Tomatoes must be dropped into baskets for them to disappear. When you complete enough orders, you’ll get new decorations and plants that let you make new kinds of dishes with even more challenges.  And if you serve enough dishes to a Pokémon and make their friendship level rise, they may join your staff and you can use their skills to help you out, too.

You’ll earn in-game acorn currency which you can use to buy items to help you finish levels, and you can also use real money to buy currency and new Pokémon staff, too.  One nice thing about the Switch version is that you don’t have to be connected to the Internet to play.  Unfortunately, like most free-to-play games, there comes a time when it gets too hard and you must spend real money to get past.  For me, in this game that happened around a couple of dozen levels or so.  And since the game is physics based, using items isn’t always predictable, as you never know how the icons will fall.  It’s a shame that the free-to-play aspects really bog this game down, because it’s otherwise really fun and the art style is cute and the Pokémon shaped food (like Dugtrio sandwiches or Eevee pancakes) look really neat.  I’m surprised they haven’t made a REAL Pokémon café yet.  Or maybe they have and I don’t know about it!

Kid Factor:

Nothing violent or objectionable here.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and parental supervision is highly recommended for the in-game purchases.  Pokémon Café Mix is rated E for Everyone.

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