Surely this is too much addicitive gameplay in one package?
PopCap Hits on xbox360 brings together four of the most popular casual games from the masters of their craft, PopCap. The games included are Bejeweled 2, Peggle, Feeding Frenzy and Astro Pop, all of which are available on the Xbox Live Arcade already. This in itself is a problem as anyone who already has even one of the games will find it difficult to justify paying for the package. However, if you are one of the few who are not already enjoying the addictive delights of these titles on your Xbox, then you are in for a treat.
Much like the Xbox Live Arcade Unplugged titles that were released a number of years back, PopCap Hits offers nothing more than the four games exactly as they are found on the Arcade. This means no fancy integration of the games and no fancy all-encompassing menu. Once the player quits one of the games, they are thrust back to the dashboard from where they can choose another. Personally, I think this is a great way to enhance your Arcade game collection as long as, and I have already said this, you don’t already own any of the games.
Surely everyone knows the four games on offer here? No?, well come out from under your rock and hear what I have to say -
Bejeweled 2: All of the games included offer a very simple, yet addictive, casual gaming experience. And of them all, perhaps Bejeweled 2 is the one most responsible for lost lunch breaks and such. It is your basic match-3 gameplay with different coloured gems that disappear when matched, allowing more to fall from the top of the screen. Colourful simple visuals, relaxing tunes and easy to pick up gameplay make this game a massive hit.
The game features various different modes designed to offer variety and a differing challenge. Classic mode sees the player slowly filling a bar for each match that they make. Once the bar is full, they start a new board and if the player runs out of moves, it’s game over. Puzzle mode has the player trying to clear the board, with no new gems being added and only one solution to be found. Action mode sets a time limit for the player and Endless mode ensures that the player never runs out of moves.
Peggle: My personal favorite of the PopCap games here, I think I have played Peggle on far too many platforms already. It is testament to the games addictive nature that I found myself going through all of the levels again on the Xbox360. Like a sort of pinball game, the player aims a ball and fires, which sees the ball bouncing off different pegs before disappearing off the bottom of the screen. The idea is to clear all of the orange pegs with a set number of balls.
As the player works through the levels, they will encounter different characters that will offer limited enhancements to the game, such as flippers on the side to bounce the ball back up, multiple balls at once, and even exploding pegs that take out the surrounding pegs. Players will also be able to get extra balls should their ball land in the bucket that moves along the bottom of the screen.
Feeding Frenzy: Offering two different modes, Feeding Frenzy puts the player into the Ocean for some food chain fun. The player begins as a small fish, eating the even smaller fish whilst avoiding the larger fish. Then, after eating enough smaller fish, the player’s fish grows and can eat the larger fish, whilst avoiding the even larger fish. You get the idea. As the player works through, they gain access to larger and larger see going creatures and are able to earn special abilities every so often that add new twists to the game. On top of this, the game is incredibly good looking and, despite the frantic nature, quite relaxing.
Astro Pop: This is surely something we have all seen before. The player is faced with a wall of falling bricks as they attempt to match the colours into groups to remove them from the screen. This is all fairly standard fare, but what makes the game really addictive are the huge number of power-ups that become available, allowing the player to create some impressively high-scoring combos and chains. The game has two modes and a massive number of levels to play through.
All of the games in this compilation are great fun and easily worth picking up. But, as I said before, the appeal of this compilation is lessened if the player already owns one of the games. If they own two or more, then it is just not worthwhile. But, for those who do not own any of these games, or do not own them on the Xbox360, this compilation should be a must buy item and will provide hours and hours of entertainment.