Indie Review:Pirate Pop Plus!Let’s burst some bubbles

Hello everyone!Do you remember the old classic game called Pang?It was a fun and hard arcade game made by Mitchell Corporation and published by Capcom.The goal of the game was surviving and burst all the bubbles,before dying of course,with your main weapon.While doing that you gain lot of points for the leadearboards!

I’m too young so i didn’t had the chance to play it,during the time,but his fame it’s still huge after lot of years.That’s why they made other games inspired by Pang and Pirate Pop Plus,it’s one of them!

An indie game made by Dadako Studios,very similiar to Pang with his gameplay mechanics,with  new features to customize the main gameplay,like the gravity and the customization!It was first released by Nintendo,in the Nintendo 3ds during October 20th and then,it was released also on Steam,November 4th,with a price of 4,99$!

It was cheap,it looked fun,so i had to try it,hope you will enjoy this little review!

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Story

You play as Pete Jr,a pirate that after  walking at  the crack of noon,discover a new litte island!After arriving and explored a bit the island,he found out some strange bubbles in the air,filled the sky.What are those bubbles and where they came from?On a closer inspection,he found  inside those bubbles,lot of trapped people!Who is the evil guy behind this?It is the main antagonist,Bubble Pirate,which trapped all the people because..i don’t know..because it’s an evil guy i guess!So Pete Jr grab his anchor,to defeat the evil pirate and free all the poor people inside those evil bubbles.

The plot isn’t that good,it is a bit stupid.First of all,who is this Bubble Pirate?Does Pete Jr knows him?And why in the hell do you have to free people by trapassing bubbles with an anchor?You don’t hurt them?But of course it’s just a game,also it is an arcade game,so the plot isn’t very important,it’s just a garnish to the game.The really  important things are the gameplay and the challanges behind it.Also a strong point about this game is the customization and the items you can unlock by playing it,but i’m gonna talk about it later!Now let’s focus about on the gameplay.

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ARRRRGH

Gameplay

Like i mentioned before the gameplay mechanics are very similiar to Pang.The main object of the game is survive as long as you can against those bubbles and use your main weapon,the anchor,to burst them and gain points!But this game has something different from the classic gameplay of Pang,they added a gravity twist!While playing,the gravity will start swapping in four different dimensions,left,right,up and down.,it makes the game more rough to deal with,because you have to deal with gravity swapping while bursting lot of bubbles.While the gravity change and the bubbles will change directions,they become more faster,and sometimes, it is impossible to dodge them.

Beside the main weapon,the anchor,you can also stomp them with your feets and your head,while flying in the air during the gravity swapping.It is very useful using this option,because like i said before,after changing gravity,the bubbles become more faster and the only way to gain some time,to slow them a little,is by  using your feets.

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Here you can see the gravity changing

During your battle for surviving,and to gain lot of points,you may encounter some items,helping you a bit during your gameplay.We have the clamp,a machine gun called airsoft,a shield to protect yourself,a clock that freeze the time,and much more.They are almost identical to the one you can find on Pang.Instead to gain more point,you have to get the fruits dropped during your gameplay,there are fruits,foods and other things to help you gain some points besides bursting bubbles.You can also get a bonus by collect all the letters to form the word Bonus,after you collect all of them,you will get lot of coins,the time will freeze and sometimes you can also gain an heart!Really helpful specially during the Hyper mode.

Speaking of the game modes,there are only 2 modes.We have the normal mode and the hyper mode.In the normal mode you play a normal match with all your hearts,and the gameplay is more simple and slow but you gain less coins and less points.Instead in the hyper mode,you only have one heart,the game is harder,but you gain a lot of coins and points.But to play with this mode you have to pay a fee of 25 coins,everytime you want to start in hyper.It gets a bit repetitive after a while,because there is no variation to the gameplay,also the leaderboard it’s just a local one,and the scores to beat are low.

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Power Up!

Besides gain lot of points for the leaderboard,you can also gain coins to help you buying customization items in the shop!One thing i really liked about this game was the customization,because you can buy lot of things to customize the aspect of the game,for example:you can buy new characters (they are three),new musics to play during the game,new faceplates and a lot more!You can also change the color of the screen.This was the main reason to buy the game for me,i really love unlocking things and customize a game,you can play with the colors you want,the characters you want,you can play as you like.The bad thing about this system is the time you have to spent,the prices are a bit too much for the coins you earn,that’s why unlocking everything could be a pain,specially the colors of the screen.

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Welcome to the shop!

They could have done a better job with the gameplay aspect,in my opinion,it feels empty and repetitive after a while.Maybe some mini bosses,some random events during the gameplay,just something more to kill the monotony.Also like i said,having just a local leaderboard  doesn’t  involve the player to play more,after beating the main scores,your only object will be unlocking all the items for customizations or the achievements.But now let’s talk about the graphic and the soundtrack of the game!


Graphic and Soundtrack

Pirate Pop Plus makes his debut with a pixelated cute artstyle,that reminds me a lot that classic old games in the portables consoles,like a game for the Gameboy!Previously i talked about the customization aspect of the game,talking about all the things you can buy with the coins you earn,in my opinion,this is one of the main reason to involve the player to play more.You can customize almost everything!You play your game in a portable console,so you can change the faceplate style,the screen color,the buttons,you can even add some stickers on it.

While you make some progress and start playing in higher levels,you can see the background changing.Suddenly it’s night or there are some clouds,some lowlands and other things to add more color.In my opinion,having stages in different places could’ve been more cool,or maybe adding some backgrounds or themes to buy in the shop,because you keep play in the same room and after a while,it  becomes a bit lame to see and play on it.

Instead,talking about the soundtrack,the main songs of the  games are all in a 8 bit style,they are pretty cute and enjoyable during your matches.Listening to the same song in loop,over and over again could be a pain after a while,that’s you can also buy new main songs in the shop and swap them,so you don’t have to listen to the same song!The songs aren’t always slow,it depends of the mode you’re playing.If you play in the hyper mode,the songs are more faster,to add more adrenaline in your gameplay!Instead in the normal mode,they are slow and relaxing.

What about the sound effects?I don’t know a lot about this aspect of a game,but i found them awesome and well executed.It is a game with a retro style,so the main sound effects,like getting a coin,selecting something,the bursting of the bubbles,are similiar to the past games we all played!

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I love that parrot.

So the graphic aspect and the soundtrack suits very well with the game!The background could be a bit lame after a while,but thanks to the customization you can have some fun by changing the colors of everything.And the musics are pretty nice too,you can swap them when you want and they also change depending of the game mode.If you want you can also mute the music and play your favourite 8 bit compilation,for example this one was pretty cool to play with:Random Chiptune Mix 2.


Achievements

Now let’s add this little section about the achievements,for the achievements hunters!

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This time,i didn’t get a 100% with this game.The last achievements were too hard for me and i didn’t wanted to play anymore after i’ve unlocked anything in the shop.Most of them are fun,but there are also come grindy ones and the last three achievements are really hard to get.You must be very lucky.

There are a total of 12 achievements,you can unlock them in the options to know what to do,because in the steam description they don’t tell you how to achieve it!Or you can read a this guide on Steam,but it ruins the fun of unlocking advice:Pirate Pop Plus:Unlock every achievements.

Hardest Achievements:


Peg Leg
Old wooden leg, one careful owner

Description:To unlock this achievement,you have reach level 9 in the Normal mode.It isn’t so hard to achieve,i’m gonna try soon again because i want to unlock at least this one!


Coin Purse
“Property of Dave” embroidered on side

Description:To unlock this achievement,you have to buy EVERYTHING in the shop.This isn’t hard,you just have to be patient and keep playing with the Hyper mode,and start buying everything.But for sure,it is pretty lame.


Pirate Flag
Severely worn and tattered pirate flag

Description:To unlock this achievement you have to reach level 9 in the Hyper mode.This one is the hardest one,it’s almost impossible to reach level 9 in this mode,so many bubbles everywhere,it’s impossible to dodge them,but good luck if you wanna achieve this one!

Old Key
Rusty old key, opens Davy Jones’ Locker

Description:Unlock every achievement in the game.Nothing to say here,but i saw some guys complain about a bug on this achievement,so be careful!

Difficulty:8/10

Reaching level 9 in Hyper Mode it’s really really hard,the rest of the achievements require just some patient!If you get a 100% on this one,let me know in the comment!


Final Vote with Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Cute 8-bit artstyle
  • Shop and customization
  • Cheap price
  • Funny gameplay

Cons:

  • Only local leaderboard
  • Repetitive gameplay after a while
  • Lack of ideas
  • Earning coins is a pain

 

 

 

Final Vote (6).png
Yes.Now i have a vote too.
With his frenetic,fast and fun gameplay,it gives you some hours of fun with the special price of 4,99€.It could’ve been better in some aspects,specially in the gameplay,but the customization was a really cool addition,combined with his cute retro style!But you can feel after some hours the lack of things to do,so it becomes repetitive and boring.That’s why you should play it only if you’re a fan of arcade games or if you like achievements hunting.

 

Thank you very much for reading this little review!
Hope to do something else before the month is over,like a new Achievement Hunting or a new Games of the day with a theme!

Remember to follow me if you liked the post,to help me grow on this beautiful community!Also you can share some tweets with me if you want!
 
You can also add me on Steam!
And remember,i’m not a professional reviewer,but Just a guy with a passion for videogames.
 
See you Space Cowboys.
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