Review by Ofisil

"Pop 'til you drop"

AstroPop Deluxe is a Puzzle game or Puzzle\Shooter if you want developed by Oberon Media. When it comes to simple Arcade gameplay sometimes good games are the most unknown ones. AstroPop is a game of a smaller developer but is very well designed and very entertaining.

Story: N/A

Ok, there seems to be some sort of a plotline for each character in the main game but it's not something special, just a bunch of cutscenes where the characters do some forgettable chatting. The dialogues aren't funny, the story is just a filler between levels and since all there is to arcade-like games like this is the gameplay I won't give it a score.

Graphics: 7.5/10
Design: 7.2/10

One does not expect great graphics from a simple arcade puzzle\shooter game and especially one from not a big company like this one but this game looks very good. Nice and polished in every detail and not tiring to your eyes something very important with a game like this. Every srpite is very big and colorful, nicely polished and shiny. A very nice HUD including a your selected character on his spaceship cockpit making various gestures depending onr what is going on in the game. A nice space background with starts and planets behind making the game looking even better and very good special effects like exploding bricks, beams and sparks flying around and various small details than enhance the look of the game even more.

Sound: 6.5/10
Music: 5/10

The music isn't something special but isn't irritating either. I recommend listening to a CD or something to make the experience better, since this game is very fast paced and the music available isn't exactly what it needs. On the other hand the sound effects are very good, especially the female voice acting that plays the role of the typical sci-fi CPU that informs you about various stuff on your screen. The rest of the sound are the typical, blasts, beams, blips & blops of every game of its genre, typical but good.

Gameplay: 8/10
Gameplay: 8.4/10

Easy to pick and play, AstroPop is nice and simple in its concept. You have a spacecraft in the bottom of the screen just like in a vertical shooter, you move from side to side with a beam in front of your ship. On the top of the screen there are rows of colored bricks that go down over the time and if they reach the bottom GAME OVER. What you do is simple. You grab bricks of the same color with your beam and throw them in bricks with the same colors to wipe them out, so simple! What makes the game even better is the ability to make combos and the fact that apart from the colored bricks there are some special ones, like stony and iron bricks that need more work to brake, a brick that freezes time, an exploding brick, a brick that destroys a whole line, virus bricks that infect the ones near them and are also hard to break and my favorite, a nuclear brick that destroys all bricks of a certain color. Finally by the time a special power can be used, different for each character, which can destroy a great amount of bricks.

There are 2 modes available, the simple “campaign” where you complete level after level and unlock more characters and strengthen your special power. This mode starts very easy and gets harder and harder by the time. The real fun though is the Survival Mode where you have to break bricks as long as you can survive, with the bricks falling down faster and faster, making the game very enjoyable challenging and addicting.

Positives:
-Good, fast paced and very addicting gameplay
-Special powers for each character and special brick with various abilities
-The Survival Mode
-Good graphics and sound effects

Negatives:
-The music although not irritating could be a lot better.

Also Play:
Bubble Bobble (Series)
Dr. Mario (NES)
Super Buster Bros (SNES)

Overall: 7.1/10

A very good pick and play game, well designed, very enjoyable and most importantly a lot cheaper than a more commercially popular game of this genre.


Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 05/14/09

Game Release: AstroPop Deluxe (US, 10/31/04)


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