Tetris, Dr. Mario, Pirate Pop Plus: What do all 3 of these titles have in common? Join me as I review and break down just why Pirate Pop Plus is a game trapped in time, and why it’s special and should not be ignored. 13AM games (known previously for Runbow) describes the game as such: “Pirate Pop Plus is a super addictive, gravity-defying, score-chasing, bubble-busting, retro-style arcade game coming to Steam, Wii U, and New Nintendo 3DS. After waking at the crack of noon, Pete Jr. discovers that the townsfolk have been trapped in bubbles, floating over the island! Knowing his arch-nemesis Bubble Pirate is behind this, he grabs his anchor and gets ready to rumble. Pop bubbles and collect powerups to raise your score, but watch out for Bubble Pirate’s gravity-switching mischief! With tons of replayability and gameplay that you just can’t get enough of, Pirate Pop Plus is sure to be your new go-to arcade score chaser!”
That pretty much sums it up, much like the games of yesterday it’s not strong on story by any means however that doesn’t matter one bit. But lets dive into what this game is REALLY all about.
So to back-up a little bit, this game is 8-bit. Now I’m not talking about just using the art style to make some hipster indie title, this in every sense I can think of a Gameboy Game. From the art, color, music, gameplay it is something I would have burned many AA batteries on back in the day.
So the gameplay is simple, which makes it fun and gives it a high replay value. Your character Pete Jr. basically has to run around the screen and throw his anchor (think like hook-shot from Legend of Zelda) to pop the bubbles bouncing around the screen. They will split up into smaller ones and more of them as the game continues, so you have to be quick to dodge out of the way before they hit you. Which is all well and fun, until gravity comes into play, The Bubble Pirate will flip the switch on you causing both you and the bubbles to move to either side of the screen or even on the top (messing with your controls at the same time as you adjust to the new perspective) making you have to think quickly and keep racking up the points.
The music and sound effects instantly take you back to a simpler time in gaming, which while it might be a little lost on a younger generation I 100% could appreciate its authenticity. There is so much to unlock as well, additional characters with unique stats, new panels (for the side of your screen to look like an old handheld), new color schemes for your screen (I prefer the pea green hue from my Gameboy just fine), and tons more. This game gives you more than enough reasons to go back again and again to try and beat your high score.
Now you’re probably thinking: “But Kevin, how do you beat this game?” It’s fairly simple…you don’t. Games didn’t always have an end; they would sometimes go on and on until you lost. Pushing you to come back again and again to attempt to reach a higher level or a higher score. Puzzle Pirate does just that! To put it simply this is definitely a game probably best enjoyed by gamers who grew up in that generation dominated by the Gameboy and the types of games we had during the NES era, while it’s easy enough for any player to pick it up and run with it, it pulls at the nostalgic heartstrings for a gamer like me.
Buy or own the Nintendo 3DS version of Pirate Pop Plus and receive a free digital copy for the Wii U version and vice versa. The same Nintendo Network ID must be linked to your Wii U and Nintendo 3DS systems as well as your Nintendo eShop account prior to purchase in order to be eligible for the offer. Pirate Pop Plus is available now for only $4.99!