Thursday, June 2, 2011

Magical Puzzle Popils Game Gear Review

Tengen didn't just port Tetris in the '90s, they also created one of the best puzzle games for Sega Game Gear.

Magical Puzzle Popils looks like the stupidest game on the planet, but actually proves to be one of the deepest puzzlers on a Sega Handheld. Popils, I guess, are cube-shaped people. You play the boy character and you have to punch blocks to drop columns, climb ladders, avoid bad guys, and use magic doors s you proceed through an impressive and exciting 100 levels.

The player unlocks sets of 5-10 stages every so often, effective auto-saving the game. In addition to these pre-set stages, you can save up to 30 of your own design on the cartridge. This amounts to a lot of fun, and rather endless possibilities.

It's not unlike battle lode runner, but Magical Puzzle Popils has a much faster game pace, making it well-suited to a modern audience. It features the addictive gameplay puzzle fans crave, but continues to remain obscure due to any North American release )to my knowledge).

My friend actually had a copy of this growing up, and I gladly traded Sonic 2 to her in order to play this game. I'd be interested to know if anyone else ever heard/played this game. If you don't have a Game Gear, MekaW and the Japanese rom are going to be your best bet. The cartridge is built to display in English or Japanese.

Magical Puzzle Popils is a classic Game Gear puzzler that avoid the "falling block" routine and focuses on foresight and logic. The addition of level-creation makes this import title a safe purchase and a great candidate for someone(Sega?) to remake or import to the VC.


Bryan Ochalla said...

Oh, man, I *love* this game! I found out about it a few years ago while reading about Fukio Mitsuji -- who supposedly made both Bubble Bobble and this game (among others). I've only played it via emulation, but I've seriously considered buying a copy of the game and a Game Gear so I can have the real Magical Puzzle Popils experience :) Anyway, great review -- I agree with every word!

Anonymous said...

color me intrigued again! you're on a roll, eh?

Unknown said...

Just picked up a copy from ebay for £2.49; I was addicted to this game when I was younger. And it's called Popil, after the evil wizard that captures the princess (as seen in the short intro cinematic).