Ahoy there, swashbucklers! If you liked Luxor or Zuma, you’ll want to check out Pirate Poppers from the folks at Mystery Studio and PlayFirst.
PlayFirst is best known in the casual game space for publishing creative and innovative games, such as Diner Dash, Egg vs. Chicken, and Plantasia. While Pirate Poppers won’t win any awards for originality, this upcoming puzzle game proves you can take an amazing concept and add some new twists.
Eye patch is optional.
In case you haven’t played Luxor or Zuma, the premise of these games involves chains of colored balls that snake out onto the screen, and they follow a specific path that varies from level to level. You must aim and shoot a cannon with colored balls so that they touch same-colored balls; when three or more touch (one of which must be your ball), they explode. The goal is to clear all the chains before they snake all the way to the end and into the powder keg.
The concept is simple yet strangely addictive.
Completing these levels also gets more challenging as the balls move faster; new colors are introduced and balls take trickier paths including over bridges and through tunnels that make them temporarily inaccessible.
OK, so you’ve played these types of games before. Great. Pirate Poppers, though, introduces a few additions to this proven formula.
For one, the pirate theme runs throughout the entire game, from the comic book-like story mode to the water- and island-themed 17th century locations you’ll visit. Also, you’re now shooting cannonballs and collecting valuable treasure including priceless pearl necklaces, rare jewels, gold candlesticks and diamond-encrusted amulets. You collect loot by performing moves such as making five sets of three-or-more colors in a row, which causes the prize to rain down towards the bottom of the screen (which you must catch). In between levels you can view all of the loot you’ve pillaged in the Treasure Cove.
Once in a while a special map piece will fall down, which helps you unlock a secret treasure-filled area once all the pieces are collected.
Similar to how collectible treasure and map pieces fall down, power-ups must also be caught and used, each of which gives you a temporary power. One will freeze the chain so it stops moving for a few seconds, another one is wind that blows them back towards where they started, while a third may be a bomb that blows up a bunch of balls at once. New power-ups are introduced every few levels or so.
Pirate Poppers will also offer two other game modes – arcade and puzzle -each with varying rules and restrictions. The puzzle mode, for example, only gives you a set number of cannonballs in which to clear the levels. This is no easy task: the game is over if you are left with any cannonballs on the screen (get used to seeing the words Try Again). Each of the three modes offer 77 levels apiece, for a total of 241 action-packed levels. Talk about more “bang” for your buck…
It would be remiss not to mention the game’s extraordinary production values. From the orchestrated music soundtrack (one of the best we’ve heard in a long time) to the gorgeous graphics to the high-quality sound effects, Pirate Poppers is a treat for the senses. Oh, and wait until you get a load of the exploding ball power-up that blasts everything in sight, leaving the screen shaking and your speakers rumbling!
Gamers can hit the high seas when this download becomes available by late February.
Just tell your friends, family and coworkers you’ll see them sometime in, say, May.