Guest Author - James Shea
This classic arcade game comes from Japan and first was released for the old Nintendo systems. It now has found a cult following on handheld devices!
In essence, this is Tetris / Dr. Mario / etc. with little colored objects coming down from the top of the screen. Get four colored items to touch, and they vanish - giving you points. Don't remove the colored items, and your screen fills up, ending your game.
Puyo Pop adds the Japanese cute-effect to the game by turning the colored objects into little creatures with round eyes. They merrily float down from the sky and then their eyes go round in shock when they all *POP*!
The regular tetris game can be played on a variety of difficulty levels. In addition, there are head-to-head games with computer opponents, where the difficulty increases as you move through each interesting enemy. There are also challenging puzzles, where you have a given task ("remove all the red puyos") and then are given a set sequence of colors to achieve this task. It can be tricky to complete the puzzles, but you get a great sense of satisfaction when you do!
Of course with the N-Gage there is the amazing ability to play head to head with anybody within shouting distance! Just hang out in any populated area - a train station, a food court at a mall - and tell your N-Gage to look for an opponent. If it finds someone, you can start playing without even knowing WHO in the room is against you! Of course it's fun to look around and try to guess, and shake hands afterwards.
Puyo Pop may seem simple at first, but believe me, it's incredibly addictive. And with its wide range of difficulty settings and games, it's a game that can easily be enjoyed by a 6 year old just starting out in gaming, as well as her 60 year old grandmother who is looking for some fun.
UPDATE: I realize this is an old game, but even years later I still remember the game, the songs, and the gameplay with great fondness. This is the kind of game that stays with you for years as a fun experience!