On the face of it, Pop is a game about bursting bubbles. Delve a little deeper, however… and you’ll find it’s a game about bursting bubbles. Hmm. But despite this most simple of premises, it’s actually a rather decent, pleasingly colourful and curiously addictive little shooter. And shooter it is. You aim a set of crosshairs at the screen and blast away at wave after wave of different coloured bubbles in search of a high score that can be uploaded to an online leaderboard. The smaller the bubble you shoot, the higher the points value, but it’s by chaining combos together where the big points come in.
The trick is to focus on the predominant colour of bubble in each wave, and attempt to hit all the multipliers and exploder-bubbles of that colour to trigger chain reactions. It’s not as easy as it sounds, especially when the clock is marching down in the later, speedier waves. If you grab onto a bubble with A and vigorously wave the remote up and down, you’ll inflate said bubble, which in turn becomes a bomb bubble and can be used as you’d expect. It’s kind of an ‘advanced’ tactic, and very knackering.
Everything is conveyed in a super-chilled out manner – the subtle hues are easy on the eye rather than brash and bright, and there’s a soothing plippety-ploppety backdrop as you burst along on your merry way. In fact, it made us want to take a nice long soak in a bath filled with some exotic-sounding herbal remedy made with forest berries, juniper and sunshine. There’s drop-in, drop-out multiplayer for up to four which, like the online boards, is a nice addition. The constant shooting and waggling of the remote is bit of killer on the wrist and fingers, mind.
We like this. Its beauty is in both its simplicity and its nods to many a shooter archetype from gaming days of old. The relaxing way to shoot things.
Jun 30, 2008