Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
At long last, a GG game I can’t put down! From the moment you switch on and load up Popils you’ll be addicted! This ain’t no easy-peasy puzzle game — it’s a rip-roarin’ stonker!
Why are princesses so naive? They’re always getting kidnapped — have you noticed? And guess what? There’s another regal damsel to rescue in Popils.
Your goal is to mark out a route through the evil Wiz’s mazes and reach the distressed bimbo who appears in every round. At the start of the game, you choose to play through any section up to stage ten. Complete the required number of stages and you access levels 11 to 16, and so on...
Each area of the labyrinth’s composed of a series of blocks. Use the direction button to move round the screen and button or to bash those boulders.
Blocks from higher levels tall (ain’t gravity amazing?!) and if you eliminate blocks in the right order, the path to the princess becomes clear. The knack is to decide which blocks fall when you smack others and in which direction the princess trundles if a pathway becomes accessible.
Sometimes the inevitable happens and you get stuck in a rut. Press buttons [11 and simultaneously to get yourself out of a pickle. There’s a snag — you lose one of your five lives!
If you come a cropper 20 million times or more and can’t fathom out how to solve a particular part of the maze, press button on the map screen and a handy hint pops up for you to nose at.
The moves you make in each round are an important element to Popils. The computer suggests the total number of steps you should take to reach the princess. If you beat the Game Gear’s estimate, you earn bonus points a-plenty!
There are some great features crammed into Popils. It has to be one of the few GG releases with a battery back-up facility. There’s a Gear-to-Gear link option, a flip screen preference, whereby the playing area’s completely reversed, and a storming map editing device. Create your own intricate maze patterns, test them out and save ‘em to cart for future games.
Popils doesn’t possess mind-blowing graphics or sound but that doesn’t matter. Without doubt, gameplay’s its outstanding feature.
The difficulty level’s just right and it takes a helluva lorra logic and patience to complete later levels. There are loads of tricks and traps in store: one wrong movs and your true love’s destined to spend her days slaving over a hot wizard!
Popils is a hit here at SEGA FORCE Towers. There are so many Game Gear releases around at the moment with nil testability, but you’ll find this corker a real challenge, not to mention a refreshing change. It plays well, looks good and is TOTALLY addictive!
Popils is a cracking little puzzle game — BUT BEWARE! Some puzzlers appeal to all types of game-freaks, but not Popils. It’s fun but all the lateral-thinking can be repetitive. The levels get complex and with great extras like the battery back-up and level editor, this game will certainly last. But Popils isn’t for everyone.
It may be cute, but it’s up there with the best of ‘em! Terrific!