Puyo Puyo~n

The next game, Puyo Puyo~n, was released in 1999. "Yon" being the Japanese word for "four". This time, we see again a large step up in terms of graphics with both the gameplay screens and the character art being rendered beautifully. Compile also dropped the corniness which has been increasing steadily from the first game and designed Yo~n with a more serious tone.

The story follows a plot involving Carbuncle's apparent capture by Satan and Arle's bid to rescue him. The game only has one story path although it is very long and much more developed than previous games. Each stage usually has a special rule for how the Puyo on your board or the falling garbage behaves, giving a game more of a "puzzler" feel. Another story mechanic that was introduced was that some defeated characters will join you in your journey, giving you access to their special powers, which brings us to the next point.

The main addition to the gameplay mechanic for Yo~n was special power. The Sun Puyo mechanics from the game were dropped and the new special power mechanic works by filling up your charge gauge by offsetting garbage or getting all clears. Once the gauge fills up, you can launch a character-specific special attack, with effects such as removing Puyo from your screen, modifying their positions and even hold off incoming garbage.

Additionally, the drop speed is slowed down quite significantly and along with the special power made Yo~n a much more lethargic experience compared to past Puyo titles. This seems to be a push by Compile to give Yo~n a more strategic and thoughtful approach, and certainly the special power effects were interesting to play with, making the game a fun and challenging singleplayer experience.

On the other hand, the new pacing was criticised by many fans as making the game unexciting. Another criticism leveled at the game was that because some powers are much more useful than others, the game is unbalanced from a competitive point of view.