Dodo Pop

Dodo Pop is the latest game from Disney for Windows. It quietly hit Store shelves late last June and is as addictive and fun as any other game of this kind, a bubble styled game. Available for all the mobile platforms, including both Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices, we are on a simple mission: to help a Dodo Bird, Crash, find his way home.

Dodo Pop

One thing that you will immediately realize is the huge amount of puzzle levels to beat, each with a limited number of moves and different goals to reach. If this is not enough for you, you will be glad to hear that the game also features nice looking graphics, challenging game play and a fun way to pass the time while you train your troops in Age of Empires: Castle Siege.

Without any kind of intro or fancy cinematics, Dodo Pop jumps right into game play upon first launch with Crash the Dodo Bird walking you through the basics of game play. Crash will show up throughout the game and teach you to all the new gaming elements you will acquire as they become available.

Our goal is to burst clusters of gumballs to reach the defined goals of each puzzle level. Sounds familiar? At the start of each level, Crash will outline the goals: pop a specific number of colored gumballs, pop all the starred balls available on screen, etc.  You may be thinking that the goals are pretty much alike, but the levels have special walls that will block the gumballs, you will find glass windows that won’t allow you to tap on specific parts of the screen, and throughout the levels you will find more challenges. Also, each puzzle also has a limited number of moves available to reach those goals. Run out of moves and you fail the level, unless you decide to buy more moves. Yes, this is a freemium game, so micro transactions are to be expected. This is not a pay to win game though, since it would kill all the fun. A counter is displayed at the top of the screen that will indicate how close you are to either beat the level or be out of moves.

Clusters have to be at least two gumballs grouped together. If they are close but not touching each other, there is a shake button in the lower left corner that will rattle the playing field. This will shift the gumballs ever so slightly were balls will touch, creating a cluster that can be tapped and removed. This is not cheating! Gumballs are rounded, and some solid elements on screen can prevent them from falling all the way down, creating some variance.

Coins, the micro transaction part of the game, can be earned during game play or through an in-app purchase that can be used to buy power-ups. You can buy a rainbow power-up that will turn all the adjacent gumballs to the color of the center one. You can also buy additional bonus moves for when you are really close to beating the game and you don’t want to lose, and finally you have a lightning strike that will remove one gumball.

There is also a special power-up that you can earn during normal game play. A meter will appear around the third level of the game that will increase as you remove the gumballs. Max out the meter and a special gumball will appear. When tapped/held it will generate a rotating field. Aim, release the gumball, and a nice ray of color will destroy any gumball of the same color in the area.

Puzzle levels are mapped out: they are a path guiding Crash back to Dodo Island, his home. Each level can be replayed, and this is useful for when you want to beat the level in a low amount of pops so you can achieve 3 stars, but game play is limited to a degree with gaming tokens. You begin the game with five tokens you will lose one for each failed level. Tokens are replenished over time or with your coins.

Game play is challenging in the beginning, but not too difficult. As you progress through the levels, you will start experiencing rather challenging gaming goal. You have gumballs in play that are numbered. Those numbers dictate the size of the clusters you create and remove. For example, if a green gumball has a 7 on it, you have to establish a group of at least 7 green gumballs. The numbers seem to range from 5 to 30 and when you see the “30” gumball come into play, you are pretty much forced to use a power-up or restart the level and lose a token.

Regarding the settings, there isn’t much to cover or anything that stands out. You are able to select the language of the game, see terms of service and the developer credit.

Dodo Pop is a fantastic game with bright and colorful graphics. It features a challenging game play and, while I’m not a fan of the token system and the micro transactions, the game is fun and addictive enough to keep you hooked to your phone.

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