Puyo Pop Fever

When I was first playing Kirby’s Avalanche I had no idea that it was based on a game called Puyo Pop. Or, more accurately, that it was the same game as Puyo Puyo but with the characters replaced with characters from the Kirby universe.

A few years later, when I got my hands on a DS, I saw a video review on XPlay that told me that a new Puyo Puyo game had come out that I had somehow missed completely. That is the only time I can remember that as soon as the review ended that I went immediately to the store to get the game.

This game is nearly identical to the old Avalanche game: colored blobs fall from the sky and you have arrange them such that four of the same color touch each other. Once they do they disappear, and with careful planning you can shower your opponents with trash to try and impede their progress. But this game also has been balanced a fair bit.

See, in the old game, it was the one who could make the biggest chain the fastest that would win. They’d bury their opponent with garbage, and there was precious little to do about it. In this game, though, you can do what’s called ‘offsetting’. What that means is that if your opponent sends you some garbage and you can make a chain before the garbage drops on your screen, then you reduce the amount of garbage that will fall on your screen, and if you offset enough to offset all of the garbage and then some, the difference is dumped on your opponent’s screen. It’s a significant change, and one that makes the game just work better.

There’s also the introduction of ‘fever’ mode. If you offset garbage enough times you get to go into a special mode where your puzzle is temporarily replaced by a series of pre-built chains awaiting for you to trigger it, giving you a chance to send a ridiculous amount of trash to your opponent. But just getting there is contingent on your opponent sending you trash in the first place, so you have to work a bit harder to bury your opponent.

One of the other things I really liked about this game is that you can play up to eight players with one copy of the game, which I liked to do a whole lot… even though I don’t know seven other people with DS units that I could get into the same room at the same time and who I could convince to play it with me.

But I have the option available to me, should that particular set of circumstances ever present itself.

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