Having nearly reached the 20-hour mark in my Pokemon: Soul Silver progress, my trainer finds himself in Goldenrod City. My quest to become a master Pokemon trainer or whatever has come screeching to a halt as I find myself in the city’s Game Center and have been playing Voltorb Flip for the last two days.
From what I understand, the original Pokemon Silver game, and I think the Japanese release of Soul Silver, both featured slot machines for your trainer to earn coins and cash them in for prizes. Some of the prizes include actual Pokemon. In Europe and North America, Soul Silver has a replacement for the slot machines in the form of Voltorb Flip. Voltorb Flip is Nintendo’s take on Minesweeper, that sea mine icon thing in your Windows Start menu that’s been packaged with every copy of Microsoft’s baby since 1990.
Voltorb Flip is a card game consisting of a 5 x 5 grid with cards numbered 1, 2, and 3. The goal is to clear the grid of all the 2 and 3 cards. When you flip a card to a particular number initially, you earn that number of coins to start. Flip a 3, earn 3 coins. Flip 1, 1 coin, etc. The next card you flip will be a coin multiplier provided it’s a number. So if your first card flipped earned you one coin, and you flipped a 3, you now have 3 coins. If you flipped a 2, and flipped another 2, you now earn 4 coins. The catch is not to flip a Voltorb card, because doing so will end your game and not only do you leave without any coins, but in cases where you’ve reached a higher level you may be bumped down a level. The highest level I’ve reached was 4, and I guess because I failed my way upwards, when I flipped the Voltorb card I went all the way back down to level one. Sometimes I’ve gone from level three to two, etc.
There’s no actual gamble to be found here. You speak to the manager of the Game Center and he hands you a Coin Case. The only thing this game costs is patience. You can only win more coins, not lose, so any challenge is instantly eliminated and the game becomes nothing short of tedium. Despite the lack of any penalty, I strangely enjoy Voltorb Flip. The one thing I learned is that if you were way into Sudoku in 2005, you can kind of apply those logic and elimination skills to Voltorb Flip. The game gives you hints as to what the number of cards in a row and column total to, as well as how many Voltorb cards are in that row or column. After a while, it just becomes serious guesswork and chance. I’m looking to buy a Dratini from these suckers.