Review by Figure Four

Reviewed: 11/01/99 | Updated: 11/01/99

Arkanoid for your Game Gear

If you’re looking for a version of Arkanoid for Game Gear, here it is. Like Taito’s classic, the idea of Woody Pop is to bounce a ball around the screen and eliminate all the blocks to advance to the next stage. Yet to dismiss the game as simply a clone would be doing it a disservice, as Woody Pop does boast a number of features which set it apart and even improve upon the classic formula.

The motif of Woody Pop is fairly interesting. Instead of some spaceship-looking paddle, you’re a plank of wood, and the game takes place in what looks to be the rooms of a toy castle. There’s different types of blocks to hit, some go away with one, others give off powerups, and wood blocks takes several hits to eliminate. There’s also nails strategically scattered around that will simply bounce back your ball. One aspect I liked about Woody Pop is that whereas in Arkanoid, enemies would repeatedly come out no matter what. In Woody Pop, there are toy boxes that release toy soldiers if you hit them, so if you are skilled enough. In addition, on some stages there is a train track on which a train will pass by periodically, again emphasizing strategy and timing. The best part of the game however, is probably the branching paths. After the second stage you will be able to choose from two or three different paths every stage thereafter, adding to the replay value.

Graphics: 6/10Nothing special here, bold colors, well defined sprites. The only complaint is that the action can be difficult to follow at times since the screen blurs, but that’s more the hardware’s fault.

Sound: 5/10Again, average. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing overall memorable. Simple melodies accompany the toy castle theme.

Gameplay: 7/10Again, this game actually improves on the old Arkanoid formula and makes the game fun for long trips.

Lasting Appeal/Replayability : 7/10Like Tetris, games like this are elegant in their simplicity. It’s fun to play just to pass the time without the need to rush through it or beat a boss or anything. One of the better travel games for Game Gear.

Rating: 6

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