Game Reviews

Fruit Pop!

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First published: | Updated:

| Fruit Pop!
Fruit Pop!
| Fruit Pop!

If Bejeweled represents the respectable, motherly side of the casual chaining genre and Triple Town is its quirky teenage offspring, then Fruit Pop! is the eager-to-please visiting nephew of the match-three family.

Beyond being able to pre-select power-ups before each round, there's precious little that's new here, and omitting online leaderboards is a strange move. As a result, it's hard to get more than a little hooked on this colourful little newcomer.

Berry good

While there's a tutorial for people returning from deep space voyages who've never encountered a mobile phone, anyone else will be able to pick up the mechanics of Metamoki's game in seconds.

You swipe lines across the screen that link together chains of three or more fruits of the same colour, whereupon they audibly 'pop', which explains the second half of the game's minimalist moniker.

To be fair, they also giggle a lot and smile, and sometimes in unison to show they're of the same colour when you've clearly got momentary brain-freeze.

Matching three won't get you very far, mind, as you need to clear epic chains that stretch around the grid to really rack up points. This isn't hard to do, thanks to the use of primary colours, although slightly colourblind people like would no doubt appreciate the option to re-skin the similar greens and oranges (just like good old PopCap lets you do).

Genetically modified

Although the game isn't free, the bonus power-up system could potentially see you diving into your Google Wallet for loose change.

You have up to four slots to allocate a series of high score-boosters, such as a bomb that blows up all the berries of one colour and the - invaluable - colour sort, which re-orders the grid into easy-to-swipe lines of same-coloured fruit.

They're fun to tinker with, even if it feels a little bit like cheating to use them all in the minute each round lasts, but the game is rather finicky and glitchy about you removing them later. With each boost costing virtual money to use, it doesn't take long for your reserves to run dry.

If there were online leaderboards to climb then you'd be more likely to keep spending once you run out of your starter cash. Only those willing to share their scores on Facebook and Twitter will be forking out for extras.

It's a shame, as, despite its low budget design and serious lack of modes, there's a juicy joy to Fruit Pop!'s quick-hit gameplay that match-three fans happily indulge in for a short while at least.

Fruit Pop!

It doesn't take the match-three genre anywhere new, but this casual puzzler has cheery charm that makes for a decent snack between serious games
Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
A newspaper reporter turned games journo, Paul's first ever console was an original white Game Boy (still in working order, albeit with a yellowing tinge and 30 second battery life). Now he writes about Android with a style positively dripping in Honeycomb, stuffed with Gingerbread and coated with Froyo