Pop+ Solo gets 8.5/10 from Aussie-Nintendo.com

The following is the review Aussie-Nintendo.com gave Pop+ Solo. You can read the original post here.

It may not look like much, but Pop+ Solo – developed right here in Australia – is an incredibly addictive little game. The unique experience it offers manages to strike an interesting balance, as it can turn the player into a complete wreck whilst feeling relaxed at the same time.

A follow-up to Nnooo’s WiiWare title, Pop+ Solo expands upon the concept with a host of new game modes and options. Essentially, you’re poppin’ bubbles. However, frantically stabbing the touch screen at everything that floats on by won’t get you far; Pop is all about quick thinking and causing huge chain reactions. Grabbing hold of a bubble, you can pump it up, increasing its size by gently shaking up and down. Release, and it’ll explode, wiping out any bubbles of the same colour nearby. From there, you’re given a brief window of time to continue the combo in order to wrack up the big points and keep the all-important timer going.

Smaller bubbles add to your time, while big bubbles add more points. The clock is always ticking down, and you’ll often find yourself fighting to gather a few more seconds in the hope of clearing another wave. A variety of items, both good and bad, flow amongst the different coloured bubbles. These constantly throw the need for split-second planning into the mix and add a huge element of strategy. For every score multiplier, time warp or nuke, there’s a skull that can break your chain and slash precious seconds off the clock if popped.

Adventure mode runs through 16 levels, with bonus rounds and boss fights along the way. With eight modes, this is the one you’ll likely spend the most time on initially, as it can help unlock more content and earn badges (basically an achievement system – there are 70 in total). As you progress, bubbles will begin to come in from different directions to keep you on your toes. Some levels will start with a steady flow of bubbles, before slowing the pace down to a crawl, creating some tense moments if you failed to earn enough points early on.

You’ll also have to deal with jet waves that push the bubbles around, mines that detonate resulting in a huge shock wave and… golden fish. These little guys are worth a lot of points if popped. It’s okay though, they were uh, evil. Evil golden fish. They’re pretty fast, and stabbing the background acts as a penalty, sapping away a few seconds, so don’t miss!

Normal mode has all the same features, but it’s basically like an endless game – it’ll keep going as long as you do. The better you do, the faster you progress to the next wave. If you’ve only got a few minutes to spare, Pop+ Solo has you covered. The Timed mode can be set to one, two or five minute rounds, where additional time can’t be earned. This one’s all about seeing how much points you can get, and trying to improve upon your score. On the other end, there are modes in the game where you’ll need to aim towards an insane amount of points.

If you can’t be bothered dealing with the high-flying world of scores and time limits, there’s a Chill mode to unwind with. There’s nothing to worry about here, just a steady supply of bubbles to brutally slay. Pop+ Solo has an excellent soundtrack that suits the game perfectly. It’s calming, laid-back and at times, damn catchy. The underwater popping sound effects are quite varied, too!

Pop+ Solo is a wonderful addition to the DSiWare service. It offers unlimited replay value and the scoring system has a huge amount of depth to it. There’s a lot here for your 500 Points. This is simple fun at its best.

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