Puyo Pop Fever Game Boy Advance
Published by SEGA
Developed by Sonic Team
Distributed by THQ
Release Date: Out Now
Puyo Pop Fever, an introduction.
Puzzle games have always been the perfect genre for handheld consoles. You can't beat a game that can hold your attention for time spans ranging from a few minutes to a few hours when you're on the move. One of the reasons the original Nintendo Game Boy did so well when it launched was Tetris and ever since then there have always been great puzzle games to enjoy when you're out and about. The latest one we've had to play, Puyo Pop Fever is another one of those games that's just so difficult to put down once you start playing, and what turns out to be a 'quick go' often turns out being a lot longer than you expected.
What's the game about?
Anyone familiar with Tetris will instantly be at home with Puyo Pop Fever. Essentially you have different coloured Puyo falling from the sky and the idea is to connect up to at least 4 Puyo of the same colour in order for them to disappear. The Puyo can connect either horizontally or vertically (but not diagonally). Like Tetris you can rotate the falling Puyo and guide them to their eventual location. At the top of the screen you'll see a 'XX' and should you Puyo pile up to these it will be game over for you. You'll play the game either against an AI opponent or against up to 3 friends. Game modes include Single Puyo Pop, Double Puyo Pop (2 Players), Everybody Puyo Pop (for up to 4 players including teams of 2 vs. 2) and Endless Puyo Pop for single players.
What's good about the game?
Puyo Pop offers an awful lot of options for a GBA puzzle game. Single Puyo Pop offers levels for beginners, intermediate and expert players as well as a Free Battle mode. Double Puyo Pop and Everybody Puyo Pop offers single and multi pak gaming options. Endless Puyo Pop offers Fever mode, Mission mode and Original Puyo Pop mode. Puyo Pop fans are going to be thrilled with what the game has to offer and with the single-player modes offering easy, normal and hard challenges, players of all abilities will find it a real challenge.
In Free Battle mode you get to pick one of the game's characters to play as in addition to picking a character to play against. These characters have their own traits. Onion Pixy, for instance, likes to constant fever whilst Raffine only goes for big chains. Whilst the basics of Puyo Pop are as simple as can be, being great at the game requires a strategy. Most of the time you'll be up against an opponent (AI or human) and every time you remove Puyo you'll add nuisance Puyo (these are transparent Puyo which can only be removed by having touching coloured Puyo removed as well). Removing Puyo is said to be forming a chain. Forming multiple chains (when Puyo are removed and the falling Puyo fall into place to remove further Puyo) is highly effective. Simultaneously taking out 2 chains is also an excellent strategy. Then of course you have the fever mode where you have to form chains as quickly as possible. It's all highly enjoyable and as addictive as can be.
What's not so good about the game?
It's too addictive; once you begin playing it's very difficult to put down. Seriously though there is little to fault Puyo Pop Fever for. Hearing gamers will probably point to the irritating music and screeching voice snippets but this isn't a concern for deaf gamers.
How does it look?
Puyo Pop Fever looks great and is packed full of style. The traditional manga look has been used for the characters that appear in the game and it looks great. The game uses a bright coloured palette that gives the game a cheerful look and it works extremely well. Some gamers might not appreciate this cutesy and bright appearance but it does suit the game and at least if you have to use an original GBA, with its dark screen, you'll still see everything quite easily.
How deaf gamer friendly is the game?
There are no problems at all for deaf gamers with Puyo Pop Fever. There are small amounts of dialogue in the Single Puyo Pop mode and all of it is in text. There are text tutorials so you'll have no trouble understanding them. The mission mode displays its objectives in text so again you'll have no problems. There are various voice snippets given out whilst you're playing. These are only the odd word like 'Yep!' and words to that effect so it's no big deal that these aren't subtitled.
Puyo Pop Fever is definitely one of the best puzzle games we've seen this year and a it's game I'd recommend to all GBA gamers. My 8 year old daughter asked to play the game around a week ago and I've struggled to get it back since which is definitely a sign of how easy to pick up and how difficult to put down this game is. The fact that four players can play against each other with just the one copy of the game is the icing on the cake and just the job when you have GBA owning friends (or a household filled with people who have GBA's).
Overall Game Rating: 9.0/10
Deaf Gamers Classification
(Click here for full details)
A GBA puzzle classic that's just too addictive to resist.