A more affordable edition of an already great DSiWare game.
Pop Island was released on the Nintendo DSiWare service last December, and the general consensus is that it was an excellent variation of Capture the Flag. Eight months later, Odenis Studio is back with a sequel entitled Pop Island: Paperfield, which includes even more of what fans of the original have come to love.
In short, Pop Island is a livelier and more frantic version of Capture the Flag. The game throws you into the body of one of several animals, each of which has its own unique characteristics. Then, it is up to you to make your way around various levels collecting flags and returning them to your base. It is a simple concept, but a few key gameplay mechanics are thrown in to spice things up.
First and foremost, each animal has access to fireworks to hurl at enemies to try to prevent them from stealing one of the flags. Upon contact, the player who gets hit will be stunned temporarily, and their flag is dropped. It is evident that Pop Island is by no means your average run-of-the-mill game of Capture the Flag, and the unique twists that the game throws on the classic formula propels it above other strategy games on the service.
The strategy elements from the first game are still found here, such as determining which animal will work best on each stage. The lion, for instance, is fast on land, but slow in water, whereas the penguin is the opposite. Vehicles such as helicopters and submarines have been added to Pop Island: Paperfield as well, meaning there is plenty of new content to keep owners of the original occupied.
The game features all of the original’s vibrant graphics and multiplayer options. Up to eight players can battle it out on DS Download Play, which is quite definitely where the game works best and where most of the appeal lies. Racking up points in the single-player mode to unlock new stages and vehicles is fun, but when you play with a few friends, the game really shines. It is a shame that online multiplayer was not included.
Pop Island: Paperfield is great value at 200 points, especially for those who own the original. It is easy to make the assumption that it is a bite-sized edition of the first game, but it is more akin to an expansion pack, throwing new stages and vehicles into the mix. The game offers more of the levels that made the original so fun, as well as additional unlockable content for those who own both versions of the game. At a mere 200 points, Paperfield is one of the best additions to the Nintendo DSiWare Store and is a steal when you look at all the content you are getting.