Pop is designed to be enjoyed by all ages, either in single player or with up to three friends and allows people to steal points from opponents and use the controller to pump up the bubbles for bigger explosions. It is based around a simple concept which anyone can pick and play with layers of skill involved.
No of Players: 1-4
Review – by Keith Murray.
Pop is one of those games that could be easily dismissed out of hand as a mere novelty, nothing more than the equivalent of an interactive screensaver. While there is a slight grain of truth in this assessment, it would miss the simple fact that there’s a lot of fun to be had within this most basic of titles.
The aim of the game is, of course, to pop bubbles. They appear in waves and by bursting them in groups of the same colour you can chain them together for higher & higher bonuses, but if you miss one it’s back to the beginning of the chain. There are also selections of x2 and x4 multipliers which will continue to build the score and for such a simple premise the addiction fever can soon spread. To keep things interesting different colours are introduced and at varying speeds, causing confusion and forcing the player to keep their concentration rock solid. The game also introduces a timer which is kept full by bursting bubbles and punishing the player every time they miss with a three second penalty.
Other power up’s appear over time, such as the Nuke and the Time Warp. Nuke destroys all the similar coloured bubbles, thus upping the chain count. Time Warp slows things down, allowing the player to clear any bubbles they didn’t quite manage to snag at normal speed. It’s not all good news as if the player accidentally hits the game’s only Power down, a skull, they’ll break their chain and will have to start the process all over again.
All the basic modes are covered in a comprehensive manner with Training, Normal and Advanced all doing exactly what they say on the tin. The addition of the Chill mode is worth singling out as it simply allows the player to pop bubbles, in a never-ending cycle. This induces an almost trance-like state and brings back happy childhood memories of popping bubble wrap whenever the chance arose.
Ultimately Pop’s appeal doesn’t last forever. The different modes on offer probably won’t provide enough of an encouragement for some players to return to over and over again. The online scoreboards will no doubt prove enough incentive for those competing against others with which they have swapped friends codes.
While it lasts, Pop is a fun distraction for the price.