Puyo Pop Fever (Game Boy Advance) Review

By Karn Spydar Lee Bianco 04.06.2005 9

Review for Puyo Pop Fever on Game Boy Advance

Puyo Pop Fever is the latest instalment in the popular and ever expanding Tetris-esque puzzle series that has spanned numerous home and portable consoles. Its history stems right back to the Mega Drive and SNES with the titles; Dr Robotnik's Mean Machine and Kirby's Avalanche. Both of which had the core elements of the series intact whilst supporting them with a particular franchise, (Sonic and Kirby respectively). But does 'Fever' live up to the quality of its peers?

There have been some distinct additions to the series for 'Fever' in an obvious attempt to add some variety to proceedings and provide something more than what is being supplied by every other puzzle game. However two things that have not changed are the core gameplay elements and overall aim for most of the game. Anyone that has played Tetris or indeed any puzzle game that involves falling items of some description will feel right at home here and should have no trouble picking up the basic controls. Basically Puyo's (blobs) of varying shapes and colours are dropped onto the players screen, where they must be rotated as they are falling and aligned with other Puyo's of the same colour. When four Puyo's of the same colour connect with each other they disappear and any surrounding Puyo's that they were supporting fall downwards. That's fundamentally it, but don't let the simplicity fool you into thinking the game requires no skill, there are possibilities for extremely complex combo's with a bit of foreword planning on the players part.

Trying to describe how to pull of mass Puyo dissipating combinations in this review would be somewhat tiresome and confusing, so we will leave it too your imaginations. It really is very simple once you get into the game itself, but very hard to describe briefly in words, as is almost always the way with the finer intricacies of puzzlers. Instead we will now focus on the other areas of the game that sets Puyo Pop Fever apart from the hundreds of other handheld puzzle games that are available. First up then let's discuss the various modes available right from the start, they are split up into the following categories on the main menu: Single Puyo Pop (single player VS com), Double Puyo Pop (2 players), Everybody Puyo Pop (4 players) and Endless Puyo Pop (single player mode). Both of the multiplayer categories then have separate single and multi-pack options depending on the player's preference. Although there are fewer options for the multilayer side of things it is arguably the most entertaining option in the game if you can get enough people to compete with you.

For those of you out there that would not be able to hook up with any fellow 'Poppers' then you will surely be wanting a little sustenance in the form of the single player modes. These come in a number of forms, the VS com options are split into three courses, beginner, intermediate and expert as well as 'Free Battle' that allows you to play against computer controlled opponents of your choice.

Screenshot for Puyo Pop Fever on Game Boy Advance

Now onto the final modes in the game, perfect for the unsociable amongst you that can't even bare to compete with a computer controlled opponent, this one is all about you. There are three to choose from and all are suitably different to ensure you won't be getting bored of the game too quickly. However even when you do get tired or frustrated you will almost certainly be back for more later, it is an extremely addictive game to say the least. This is perhaps a good place to mention an intriguing new gameplay device that gives the game that latter part of its title, 'Fever' mode really just does what it says on the tin. If you can land yourself enough combo's in a certain amount of time you will enter this feverish assault in which all the Puyo's on screen are removed for a time and replaced with stacks upon stacks of combo-ready Puyo's, (I.E piles of the same colour just one short of being popped). You then have a certain period of time to despatch as many Puyo's as possible and rack up the highest score. We mention this now as there is an option dedicated entirely to this feature, where you constantly play against the clock and when the timer runs down that's the end. However, 'Fevers' are present throughout the rest of the game, including the multiplayer options. We must admit whilst it is a nice idea, the way it has been implemented is somewhat lacklustre and often excruciatingly unfair for the player, given that only skilled players will be able to initiate it anyway. Top this off with what often seems like cheating A.I throughout the Vs com missions and you have yourself a rather unfair little puzzle romp, but don't let that dissuade you entirely, we still have more to say and bare in mind this is the first negative point we have made about the game.

The final two modes are 'Mission' and 'Original'. The first of which consists of an endless run of tasks that are presented to you mid-game. These assignments can come in the form of asking you to rack up a certain number of combo's, or to despatch a certain number of Puyo's at the same time. However, if you deliberate for too long a timer will appear on screen and warn you of your impending doom, and you guessed it, when that timer runs down its game over for you we're afraid. Finally, saving the most basic mode for last, 'Original' is like to be exactly what you think it is; a never-ending single player Puyo Pop battle that will interest you for one reason alone, that all important high score! Difficulty gradually increases as you advance through the levels, and the speed of descent of Puyo's will fluctuate to try and catch you off guard. You will really need your wits about you if you want to progress a decent distance into this infinitely lasting feature. Now we could go on and talk in detail about the graphics and sound, but as you may already be aware they are not the most crucial elements of most puzzle games, and Puyo Pop is no exception. However feel free to check out the individual summaries on the following page for a brief overview of both.

Screenshot for Puyo Pop Fever on Game Boy Advance

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

A very substantial title here, developers have clearly put some effort into ensuring you won't tire of this game quickly. The almost random difficulty can pose to be a problem, but if you look past that you have yourself what is quite possibly one of the best puzzle games on the GBA.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


I totally agree with the random difficulty thing - very frustrating at times!

( Edited 21.12.2012 12:39 by Guest )

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

 Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I really quite liked the GameCube version of this, lacking a little in inspiration, but great fun indeed. Sounds like a portable version on the GBA works much better. Swish review Mr. Bianco.

( Edited 21.12.2012 12:39 by Guest )

Trying to think of a witty signature after 'Hacker-gate'...

I think I'll stick with Denki Blocks, especially as I have Mean Bean Machine on Sonic Mega Collection.

[ Edited by fenno2001 On 2005/6/5 9:34 ]

( Edited 21.12.2012 12:39 by Guest )

I love this game. It's completely inexplicable but this game is one of those ones that drive me nuts. I just want more and more and more until I start to get annoyed and yell at the tv making those around me jump.

I LOVE TO PUYOPUYOPUYO POP POP in the mountains of EXTREME w00t!!!!!

Yes this game is insane!

( Edited 21.12.2012 12:39 by Guest )

Isn't there also a DS version? I would like to get my hands on one. The game sounds very enjoyable.

( Edited 21.12.2012 12:39 by Guest )

Thanks people, indeed they're is a DS version, apparently you can turn off the Fever mode in that as well, something that would have been very usefull in this...

Cubed3 Staff [ Retro Editor :: Previews Editor ]

So what is the best puzzle game on GBA if this isn't one of them?

It's Mr Pants is one of the best puzzlers for the GBA... http://www.cubed3.com/viewreview.php?id=233

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

 Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

Yeah as some have remarked, DS version is pretty much the same except the single cart 8 multiplayer (!!) and old mode support. Import isn't bad at all as far as the game itself goes.

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