Reviewed on Nintendo Switch; also available for Nintendo Wii U and Nintendo 3DS.
Who doesn’t love some retro gaming? I certainly do! There’s nothing better than dusting off that old console that used to be your life back in the day. But did Pirate Pop Plus deliver the same nostalgic goodness that we all remember? Lets find out!
You take the role of Pete Jr, a budding pirate on a quest to defeat the malicious Bubble Pirate! Why? The evil Bubble Pirate has kidnapped Pete Jr’s pirate crew! We will not stand for this! How do we stop him? I hear you ask, well, by popping bubbles of course!
Pete’s only weapon is a Harpoon Gun which he must use to pop the bubbles brought on by the evil Bubble Pirate. Sounds easy? The catch is you can only fire your harpoon gun upwards and upon hitting a bubble, it then turns into multiple smaller bubbles, which bounce everywhere by the way. Oh, whilst you are popping bubbles there are magnets that pull you across to different sides of the screen, making you re-adjust your eyes and figure out your next approach.
As you pop more and more bubbles they will sometimes drop items such as fruit, coins, weapon multipliers and if you’re lucky, different weapons that grant you different ‘abilities’ for a short space of time. All of these things adding up your score to hopefully set a new high score.
Pirate Pop Plus has two modes to choose from; normal, which we have already discussed, and Hyper mode. The objective is the same in both modes, however if you want to earn more coins, which I will explain what these are useful for in a short while, then you’re going to want to play Hyper mode. You have one less life in Hyper mode and the bubbles move a lot faster at a more consistent rate. In other words, it’s a lot tougher. It does cost 25 coins every time you play this mode but you will earn a lot more than that back if you’re good enough.
Now, lets get onto those coins. In Pirate Pop Plus you have a store in which you can customise the look of your ‘Pocket Game’. You can change the colour of pretty much anything you can see, from the buttons to changing the backlight of the screen. You will need a lot of coins to do this though as some changes can cost up to as much as 1000 coins! There is also 3 other characters which can be purchased for 100 coins each, all providing different stats to help you defeat the crazy Bubble Pirate.
Graphics & Sound
Now for me, this is where Pirate Pop Plus really shines because as basic as the gameplay is, it is extremely nostalgic. I really felt as though I’d gone back in time. The look and the feel of the entire game, along with the 8-bit digital sound makes this a truly overwhelming experience. It made me cast my memory back to the days of me and my brothers all sitting on the floor playing our Gameboys, amazed by what we were seeing.
Now, I know we are moving forward in gaming and with graphics pretty much looking as good as the real thing in some games I can understand why you might think I’m going over the top here. ‘Overwhelming’ isn’t a word I would describe a pixel art game with’ you might say. Don’t mix up what I’m saying here, it’s purely the experience and feeling the whole game gave me.
Pirate Pop Plus is a fun, little addictive game that will keep you playing for hours before you even realise it. Although it may not appeal to younger gamers, those of us that remember the Gameboy era will love this, and for those that like customization (which I love) will enjoy the added bonus of creating your own personal ‘Pocket Game’. What’s more, it’s at such a cheap price. I definitely recommend you give this a go.