Pokémon Shuffle has been a target for hacks in the past, with the free-to-play download previously being targeted by those seeking to obtain in-game items without buying them. It's part of the 'game' that data hackers infiltrate titles, with Nintendo and other developers then regularly issuing updates to counteract them.

A reader has pointed us to an interesting issue with Shuffle at present which is frustrating serious players that are typically at the high-end of competitive leaderboards during special events. The current Charizard Special event, in which thousands have entered in each region seeking rare or expensive items as prizes, is currently topped in North America by scores clearly utilising a recent hack, which is unsurprisingly called Pokémon Shuffle Save Editor by those utilising it.

The hack is being used in extremely obvious ways, with 'mon not yet available in the game featuring in teams - namely Ditto. Users on the GameFAQs thread have been talking it over, observing that more and more of the top slots are being taken by hackers in the current contest, potentially pushing legitimate players out of the better rewards if this isn't resolved.

It's likely that developer Genius Sonority will exclude these illegitimate scores in the final reckoning - at least it should be likely. What's interesting is that the developer has been slow to tackle this hack tool, which is surprising considering the fact that it allows its users to manipulate all save data. This can mean maxing out all items, special obtainables, Pokémon unlocks and naturally all of their stats. It allows players to beat the game much easier - or access everything without beating the game - though some feel it should be tackled more urgently now that cheats are brazenly using the tool to enter online competitions.

This tool isn't new, it's been around a little under three weeks at the time of writing. The Nintendo Life reader that pointed us to this has reached out to various branches of Nintendo and Genius Sonority since early September, but with a lack of action feels that publicity may prompt the companies to implement a fix or blocker on it.

It's always rather intriguing to see the lengths some go to in order to cheat and access more content, though using such tools to win online competitions surely crosses any line in what can be tolerated. Of course, from a business perspective, Nintendo and Genius Sonority notably has a small number of hackers accessing paid content for free, which will surely be tackled.

Hackers will always target Pokémon, though Shuffle seems more culpable than most. Have you noticed this cheating in the game?