Puyo Puyo Puzzle Pop is a surprisingly strong cellular sport

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Final 12 months, Sega revealed a newfound dedication to its broad catalog of franchises. In December, it introduced that a number of collection would win the revival remedy, together with long-dormant franchises like Loopy Taxi. We’d even win a tease at that IP comeback with three novel Samba de Amigo video games, which have been launched throughout Nintendo Swap, VR, and cellular.

Whereas there was a protracted stretch the place it felt like Sega was shifting previous its traditional video games, we’re on the onset of a retro renaissance. And judging by Puyo Puyo Puzzle Pop, Sega isn’t taking that chance without any consideration. Puyo Puyo Puzzle Pop is a novel model of the traditional match-four puzzler that’s accessible now solely on Apple Arcade. It’s the primary Puyo Puyo sport in four years and it comes loaded with sufficient content material to fill that hole. It doesn’t conclude a lot to meaningfully shake up the collection’ profitable formulation, however it doesn’t have to. Sega as a substitute places its effort into making this model of Puyo Puyo the most effective it will possibly be, which is one thing all the firm’s upcoming revivals ought to try for.

Popping Puyos

Moderately than leaning on a sizable central gimmick, like Puyo Puyo Tetris does, Puyo Puyo Puzzle Pop is a extra simple model of the traditional puzzle sport. Gamers drop colourful goo balls right into a properly and match four of the identical coloration to clear them. Combos are as key as ever, as Puyo Puyo is about staying three steps forward of the board to purpose for sizable chain reactions. That playstyle has all the time made it much less newcomer-friendly than one thing like Tetris, however Puzzle Pop is extra dedicated than ever to onboarding novel gamers.

It contains a whopping 50 tutorials, which cowl every part from the fundamentals to professional combo planning. It’s maybe the most effective introduction to the collection Sega’s ever made. It helps that it’s straightforward to manage on a touchscreen too. I merely want to pull a finger on the left of the display screen to ride a falling piece and faucet on the good aspect to rotate it. Whereas it will possibly be a runt tough to shortly drop items or ride them into tough spots with precision, it’s as elegant because it must be.

Two players compete in Puyo Puyo Puzzle Pop.Sega

What actually stands out, although, is simply how a lot content material Sega packs into an unassuming cellular package deal. That begins with a meaty single-player marketing campaign that’s as strong as what we noticed in final 12 months’s Samba de Amigo: Get together-to-Depart. I ride by means of a lightweight, however dialogue-heavy myth that includes a massive handful of the collection’ characters. Every one will get their very own set of missions stuffed with battles (every of which has its personal set of challenges to chase), puzzle diversions, and treasure chests to unlock.

The voice appearing is unbelievably grating and the one-on-one battles can win repetitive rapid, however the bite-sized challenges are excellent for some rapid classes after I’m simply trying to assassinate a number of minutes whereas looking forward to a sandwich on the bodega. I’m extra impressed after I head again to the fundamental menu and begin exploring the opposite modes included right here. A ranked problem mode has me aiming for a excessive rating within the chain-focused Countless Fever or filling my properly with extra balls than regular in Tiny Puyo.

Solo mode goes even deeper. That menu lets me buy on a CPU in head-to-head fight utilizing seven potential rulesets. Mission Puyo has us preventing to clear particular targets earlier than the others can, whereas Mega Puyo has me coping with monumental goo balls. Some deep cuts return right here too, like the wonderful Mini Puyo Excavation from Puyo Puyo!! twentieth Anniversary. That’s a intelligent mode the place gamers begin with a properly stuffed with Puyos and want to pop their means all the way down to attain a star at the underside. Inclusions like that originate this really feel like a sturdy start line, particularly since Sega plans to help this post-launch with novel content material.

Players compete in Mini Excavation mode in Puyo Puyo Puzzle Pop.Sega

A couple of further touches proceed a good distance towards giving Puzzle Pop some long-term worth. I can accumulate cash in nearly each mode and it will possibly be spent on a store stuffed with cosmetics. That contains customization for my on-line participant card, as properly because the capability to purchase Puyo skins from older video games (together with the traditional pixel artwork model). There’s even a stunning Photograph Mode included that lets gamers create and snap photos utilizing characters, backgrounds, and extra.

All of that — alongside on-line play, unlockables, and each day targets — originate this really feel like a totally fashioned package deal that would occupy launched on any trendy console. It’s not that Puyo Puyo Puzzle Pop does something novel to revitalize the collection. If you happen to’ve by no means clicked with this format, this sport is unlikely to win you over now. Its Apple Arcade exclusivity might also be a bit irritating to longtime followers who don’t personal Apple gadgets.

Even with these caveats, Puzzle Pop comes full of nearly every part you might need in a Puyo Puyo sport at launch. It’s the remedy a legendary collection like this deserves and I hope to see that very same effort utilized to Streets of Rage, Shinobi, and extra Sega tasks in the approaching years. Puyo Puyo Puzzle Pop is now accessible for iOS gadgets through Apple Arcade.

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