Pokemon Puzzle Challenge (Game Boy Color)
Pokemon Puzzle Challenge (Game Boy Color)




Pokemon Puzzle Challenge (GBC)
Pokemon Puzzle Challenge Box
General information
 Platform  Game Boy Color
 Developed by  Intelligent Systems
 Published by  Nintendo
 Generation  Generation II
 Release dates
  Australia  June 15th, 2001
  Europe  June 8th, 2001
  Japan  September 21st, 2000
  United States  December 4th, 2000
Quick menu: Story / Official Description / Pokemon / Game Modes / Videos / Trivia / Reviews / Media & Artwork

Pokemon Puzzle Challenge TitlePokemon Puzzle Challenge for Game Boy Color is another spin-off Pokémon game based on Tetris attack, where the player will mostly have to clear the blocks appearing on the screen, throughout different game modes. While it's very similar to Pokémon Puzzle League, the game offers different modes and a different small plot.

The main difference between the two games is that Pokémon Puzzle League was based on the anime, while the while Pokémon Puzzle Challenge game is based on the second generation Pokémon games, Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver. Most of the game soundtracks are taken from Gold and Silver, as the each gym battle soundtrack is taken from the gym's respective town in Gold and Silver.

The game features animated Pokémon portraits, with the Pokémon laughing if the player wins, or crying if their trainer loses.


Playing as a trainer called Gold, the player seeks to become the Pokémon Puzzle Champion. To do so they have to defeat the eight Johto Gym Leaders and the Elite Four. The player will also battle other trainers along the way, who might allow the player to use their Pokémon, if they manage to score a win.

Official Description

Journey to Johto for the ultimate puzzle challenge!

Chikorita, Pikachu, Totodile, Pichu, and other favorite Pokémon will help you take on Johto Gym Leaders like Jasmine, Pryce, and Falkner in a quest to become the Pokémon Puzzle Champion. Use lightning fast reflexes to form chains and combos that clear the block tower, attack opposing Pokémon, and bury them in a sea of garbage!
  • Six puzzling modes to play! Test your scoring skills in Time Zone, clean up the mess in Garbage, then face the eight Gym Leaders in the ultimate challenge mode. Plus, with Puzzle, Line Clear, and Marathon Modes, you'll be clearing blocks for hours on end!
  • Train to be the true puzzle master. Watch demos that teach you the basics of forming chains and combos, then master the techniques in a special slow-motion practice mode.
  • Link with friends to prove your puzzle prowess! Use the Game Link cable (sold separately) and battle your friends in three block-breaking two-player modes!


Pokémon Puzzle Challenge features a total of 26 Pokémon, 13 of which can be used by the player, while the 13 others can't and will only be faced as opponents.

Starter Pokémon:Starters

At the start of the game, the player is given free use of the 3 starter Pokémon from the Johto region, which are Chikorita, Cyndaquil and Totodile. Plenty of other Pokémon are unlocked, as the player progresses in the storyline.

Pokémon acquired through Egg Hatching:

During the game, the player will acquire a number of Pokémon Eggs, which will hatch into 4 different Pokémon: Igglybuff, Elekid, Magby and Cleffa. All of the four Pokémon can only be obtained through Eggs, in the second generation games.

Pokémon obtained by defeating Bonus Trainers:

Within the Challenge Mode (Main Story Mode), the player may encounter additional trainers after fulfilling certain conditions. Each of these Bonus Trainers, will battle the player in a Puzzle Match, allowing them to use their Pokémon if the player wins. If the player loses, they won't encounter the trainer again, during the same campaign, and thus will have to start it all over again in order to acquire the Pokémon.

Pokémon received from the Bonus Trainers
Pokémon Bonus Trainer Encounter event trigger
Bellossom Lass Beat any trainer or Gym Leader within 25 seconds
Pikachu Gentleman Make a combo out of 6 blocks
Togepi PokéFan Make a combo out of 10 blocks
Marill Gentleman Make a 4 lines chain combo
Sentret Beauty Make a 7 lines chain combo

Pokémon that cannot be acquired:

  • Pidgey
  • Kakuna
  • Clefairy
  • Gastly
  • Mankey
  • Steelix
  • Seel
  • Dragonair
  • Jynx
  • Crobat
  • Hitmontop
  • Murkrow
  • Dragonite

Game Modes:86511 pokemon puzzle challenge game boy color screenshot main menu

Pokémon Puzzle Challenge offers three game styles at the start menu : 1-Player, 2-Players and Training. The 1-Player option features most of the game mode, while the 2-Players one allows players to challenge each other to see who can have the highest score, by linking their games with the Gameboy Link Cable. As for the Training option, it teaches the player the basic game mechanics and how to move the blocks around. All the modes in 1-Player have three difficulties, which are Easy, Normal and Hard, except for Challenge Mode, where two additional difficulties can be unlocked. The Very Hard difficulty is unlocked upon clearing Challenge Mode in Hard, while the Intense difficulty gets available after finishing the mode in Very Hard. As for different game modes available in single player, they are as follows:

Challenge Mode:

It is the mode where the story takes place, and where the player will face the eight Gym Leaders, the Elite Four and the current Pokémon Champion. All of these characters will be using one of the Pokémon they use in the Gold and Silver games. To win against an opponent in this mode, the player has to make combos out of 4 or more blocks, causing damage to the enemy Pokémon and reducing their HP bar.

On the other hand, if the enemy manages to do 4 blocks combos, they will spawn random blocks on the player's puzzle screen. Once the opponent's HP bar is depleted, the player is announced as winner and they can move to the next opponent. Furthermore, there are additional Bonus Trainers which can be encountered, as we mentioned previously.

Trainers battled in Challenge Mode and their Pokémon
Gym Leaders Gym Pokémon
Falkner Violet Gym Pidgey
Bugsy Azalea Gym Kakuna
Whitney Goldenrod Gym Clefairy
Morty Ecruteak Gym Gastly
Chuck Cianwood Gym Mankey
Jasmine Olivine Gym Steelix
Pryce Mahogony Gym Seel
Clair Blackthorn Gym Dragonair
Elite Four Pokémon
Will Jynx
Koga Crobat
Bruno Hitmontop
Karen Murkrow
Pokémon Champion Pokémon
Lance Dragonite

Marathon Mode:86513 pokemon puzzle challenge game boy color screenshot marathon

It's a game mode with infinite time, where the player tries to get the highest score possible. The higher the player's score gets, the more the game speed will increase, causing the mode to become more and more challenging. This mode can be played in 2-Players, with the players spawning extra blocks on their opponent's side each time they make a combo. If the blocks reach the top of a player's screen, their opponent is declared victorious.

Line Clear Mode:

The Line Clear Mode features 5 different stages, where the player has to clear all the blocks above a white line, drawn on screen. This can be done either by clearing the blocks with combos, or dropping them underneath the line. Once all blocks above the line are cleared, the player moves to the next stage.

Time Zone Mode:

It's a time limited mode, where the player tries to get the highest score possible within 2 minutes.Puzzle Mode :In Puzzle Mode, there are several Rounds, with each Round having 8 Stages. In each Stage, the player is presented with a different puzzle, with the goal of clearing all the blocks appearing on the screen using a limited number of moves. Clearing the blocks faster, results in a better score. Once all the stages are clear within a round, the player may proceed to the next one. Doctor Oak can offer up to 3 hints to the player during each round, if they press Select.

Garbage Mode:

Another infinite time mode, where the player tries to get the highest score, with blocks continuously falling from the top of the screen and increasing in number as the score gets higher. The player loses once the blocks stack up and reach the top.


Check out these Pokémon Puzzle Challenge videos including intro videos, TV Commercials and more.

Three different unused pieces of music which are present in the data files for Puzzle Challenge but never made it to the final release version.

Trailer for the Virtual Console re-release

The intro / opening video for Pokemon Puzzle Challenge

Playing the unfinished version Panel de Pon in Pokemon Puzzle Challenge


  • The game was re-released on the Virtual Console, with the same modes, except for the multiplayer feature, since the Game Link Cable isn't available on the 3DS.
  • If the player manages to make a very long combo chain, the game will stop counting the combo number, showing "?" instead.The game was supposed to be released as Pokémon Attack, but the name was later on changed.
  • There's a hidden Tetris style game called Panel De Pon, within Pokémon Puzzle Challenge, that can be accessed by doing a specific button combination at the Title Screen ( Up * 2, Right * 4, Down *1, Left * 10, Up * 4, Right * 1, Down * 6, B).
  • There was a tentative idea about calling PPC "Pokémon Attack!" making it even more clearly based on Tetris Attack.
  • There are three songs within the games data files that are not used at any point in the game. Click here to go listen to them at TCRF.


Pokémon Puzzle Challenge was very well accepted, managing to get very high scores on major review websites. Let's take a look at these scores:
Pokemon Puzzle Challenge Logo and Mons
  • Craig Harris from IGN, very fond of Tetris games, stated that " The overall design is an amazingly addictive and maniacal puzzle game", rating the game 9/10, the equivalent of "Amazing" on the IGN scale.
  • Frank Provo from GameSpot, was also amazed by the game and gave it a 8.9/10, which equates to "Great" on the GS scale, as a game "that does the Pokémon license proud" according to his words.
  • On GameRankings, Pokémon Puzzle Challenge earned an astonishing score of 90.20%, over 10 reviews, while scoring 81% on Metacritic, over 15 critics.
  • Timmy Petersson reviewed the title on behalf of Pokemon Dungeon scoring it 4.5 stars out of 5, As did ItsJiv, who wasn't quite as impressed and scored it 3 stars out of 5.

Overall, and as the scores show, the game successfully portrays the Tetris genre, with a fun, challenging and very addictive gameplay.

Media & Artwork

Box Art from Pokemon Puzzle Challenge including numerous regional variations + editions



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