Review by Slobhull

Reviewed: 03/03/01 | Updated: 03/03/01

Arkanoid...Breakout....Woody Pop!?!

Woody Pop is an Arkanoid/Breakout clone for the Game Gear but it does have some interesting features which makes it original. The basic premise is to destroy different coloured blocks using a paddle which you move vertically along the bottom of the screen.

Story: 6/10 You Control Woody Pop, who instead of a paddle is a block of wood. Woody is a toy who was made in the Enchanted Mansion but an evil machine has shut down the factory and blocked off all the various rooms. You have to break the blocks and defeat the machine so the factory can be restored to its former glory.
Not a bad story, how else do you explain trying to break blocks with a plank!

Gameplay: 9/10 The game excels in gameplay as with most of these type of games. Different colour blocks do different things, Normal blocks take one hit, wooden blocks must be hit several times and crystal blocks, when hit give you special powerups. If you hit a question mark block then toy robots or soldiers come out and make your life difficult.
There are lots of Items to pick up which come from hitting certain blocks. They range from a flame which turns the ball into a flame and burn the wooden blocks (so they need only one hit). A potion which makes Woody bigger, one to make the ball bigger and so smash more blocks, another which makes the ball stick to Woody and so can be strategically fired and one that splits your ball into two. There are 11 items available in total. There are some nice combinations of power-ups like when you get the glue and the flame ball, when the ball sticks to Woody for too long he will also catch fire (Because he's made of wood!) and you lose a life.
Overall the gameplay is excellent and it will keep you playing for a long time.

Graphics: 7/10 Nice colourful graphics and large sprites. One problem I found was the red colour of Woody blended in with the reddish background too much and made it hard to see, but other than that the graphics are fine.

Sound: 4/10 Nothing special. Just your average handheld music, quite catchy after a short time but repetitive after a while.

Difficulty: 6/10 The ball moves very quickly and doesn't float around the screen like in other games of this type. The speed also increases the longer the ball is in play (The harder the difficulty setting, the faster the ball goes). But luckily Woody can move just as quickly and in an interesting feature the pit where you lose a ball if it falls into does not cover the whole of the screen. There are two platforms at either side and so if you let your ball drop you won't always lose a life. You get as many continues as you like (a feature I enjoy) so you can quite easily complete the game, depending on how much patience you have.

Replaybility: 8/10 There are 50 levels in total and a great option to choose which way you want to go after finishing a level. The difficulty of the route you take is shown by how many points you are awarded for the direction. There are three difficulty settings, Beginner, Average and Expert. The game has excellent replay value and is a good pick-up and play game especially on those long journeys.

Rent or Buy?: Buy this game, it shouldn't cost you too much. (No game Gear games do really nowadays) I bought my copy for $5, a great bargain! A recommended title which is hard to put down.
Woody Pop is great!

Rating: 8

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