Puyo Puyo~n is the fourth game of the Puyo Puyo series of competitive puzzle games. (The Japanese word for four is "yon," hence the title of the game.) Unlike the previous games, spinoffs aside, Puyo Puyo~n is exclusive to home consoles. The game was first released on the Sega Dreamcast on March 4, 1999; N64 and PS1 versions were released in December of the same year, while the Game Boy Color version was released on September 22, 2000. Puyo Puyo~n is one of the last Puyo Puyo games to be developed by Compile.
Yo~n ignores most of the changes introduced in Puyo Puyo Sun, instead adding new character-specific super powers to Puyo Puyo Tsu's ruleset.
The core basics of the game are similar to previous entries. Each player is given a 12x6 field. Pairs of different-colored Puyo drop into the field; when four Puyo are connected either horizontally or vertically, they will disappear from the field. Popping Puyo sends gray Nuisance Puyo, which can only be destroyed by an adjacent set of cleared Puyo, to the top of the opponent's field. After the opponent places their current pair of Puyo onto the field, the accumulated Nuisance Puyo will drop down. If the player clears Puyo with Nuisance at the top of their field, the amount of garbage that would've been sent to the opponent is instead deducted from their Nuisance total; this is called "offsetting." The player who is physically unable to bring more Puyo to the field (thanks to having their third-from-left column clogged) loses.
Puyo Puyo~n's new feature is the "Super Attack." Super Attacks are powerful character-specific abilities that usually clear large amounts of Puyo from the field. Activating a Super Attack requires a stock (built by clearing Puyo) and the sacrifice of the currently-controlled pair of Puyo.
The Game Boy Color version of the game differs from other versions by retaining the rules of Puyo Puyo Sun. Whenever either player offsets Puyo, a number of "Sun Puyo" fall into both players' fields. These Puyo, which are cleared in the same manner as Nuisance Puyo, boost the total amount of garbage that is sent to the opponent.
Puyo Puyo~n includes the standard single player, multiplayer, and Endless modes. The single player mode once again stars Arle Nadja; after Carbuncle goes missing during a magic show, Arle embarks on a quest to find him. Each stage features different rulesets, occasionally making use of Hard Puyo (which must be cleared multiple times to disappear) and Point Puyo (which gives a score bonus, and consequentially a Nuisance bonus, when cleared). Arle cannot use her own Super Power in this mode but gains the help of Draco Centauros, Seriri, Witch and Chiko as the player advances.
Below is a list of the playable characters and their respective Super Attacks.
- Arle Nadja - Nuisance Puyo do not fall in her field for 15 seconds.
- Skeleton T - Receives a steadily-increasing Nuisance bonus, so long as he does not rotate his Puyo.
- Archan - Removes 12 Puyo from the field at random.
- Kikimora - All Nuisance Puyo are removed.
- Panotty - All non-connected Puyo are removed.
- Draco Centauros - All Puyo that are the same type of the highest-placed Puyo are removed. This includes Nuisance Puyo.
- Nohoho - All Puyo are shuffled column-by-column in a slot machine-like manner.
- Seriri - All non-connected Puyo change to match the color of the most numerous Puyo type.
- Suketoudara - All Puyo that are of the most numerous color change to the second-most-numerous color.
- Harpy - Each Nuisance Puyo changes to a random color.
- Witch - The tallest column is cleared.
- Dragon - The Puyo in the tallest column change to the most numerous color.
- Chico - The Puyo in rows 4 and 8 change to the most numerous color.
- Schezo Wegey - Removes Puyo in a 6x6 X-shape from the bottom of his field.
- Rulue - Her field is turned upside down and all Nuisance Puyo are removed.
- Satan - The Puyo in rows 6-9 and columns 3-4 are removed.
- Doppelganger Arle - Nuisance Puyo do not fall in her field for 30 seconds.