iPhone Game Review: Poppi
Clear your mind, get into a nice comfortable position, and let the soothing journey begin.
Your task starts off simple enough. You need to cause the like shaped abstract pieces to bump into each other before falling off the screen at the bottom (at which point you lose one of your three initial lives). The controls are intuitive but indirect. By touching the screen you send what best can be described as circular shock waves around your point of contact that diminish in intensity the further out you go (like ripples in a pond when you drop a rock in it). The game gradually turns up the heat on you by introducing new elements over successive levels. At one point not only will you be juggling multiple types of shapes, but will need to avoid allowing the pieces to touch (or in some cases even you to touch) bad pieces with whom contact will mean a loss of life. The game is elegantly simple in design, but as you?ll soon find out, doesn?t mean it will be something easy to master. If my words are floating daintily over your head, I?m sure the embedded video below will clarify things.
The graphics are trippy and abstract. These graphics are perfect for the mood of the game and smoothly animated but no great technical achievement. The sound is a pleasant fest for earphones while at the same time just minimalist chimes, nothing unduly complex. While you aren't given an opportunity to enter your name or post scores online, the game does track your best score on the device. Also worth noting is that the game does save your current state if somebody has the audacity to interrupt your zen like trance with a phone call.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: 4 Perfect for the game but nothing amazing.
Sound: 4 Soothing minimalist chimes.
Fun Meter: 4 A nice quick little relaxing ride.
Addictivity: 4 Probably not at the top of any list, but something you might occasionally come back to for a quick fix.
Playing Hints and Tips:
-Learn the art of juggling. Let the bad pieces fall though while keeping the good stuff on the top half of the screen to eventually bump against its partner piece.
-If you want some bonus points bump the shapes against the wall and into other pieces that don?t match (but NOT the red spikey mines!) as each bump will net you 5 points and if not a match, neither piece is eliminated.
-Once you?ve cleared the required number of pieces to clear the level, all existing pieces on the screen turn into 20 point bonus pieces for your popping pleasure, so if you want to milk things, try to let the screen get pretty full before making the last match of the level. You?ll then have a screen full of bonus pieces to pop quickly before the next level starts.
-Make a mental note of the various game items' relative "weights", as the standard pieces can easily be tossed all over and heavy items, like rocks, are completely immune to your shock waves.
-Once the red prickle mines hit the scene, be sure to slow down and really think about your moves as the previously allowable "frantic shuffling for bonus points" will no longer hold up as a viable strategy.
Developer: PopPom Games
Release Date: July 16th 2009
Genre: Casual Puzzler
Buy Game: iTunes App Store
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