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DSi  header logo

Pop Island

For: DSi

Grab some flags

Product: Pop Island | Developer: ODenis Studio | Format: DSi | Genre: Arcade, Multiplayer | Players: 1-8 | Version: Europe
Pop Island DSi, thumbnail 1
You wouldn't pass up on the opportunity to control a surfing penguin or a crocodile on waterskis, right?

How about if these critters were rushing around colourful worlds, collecting flags and throwing firecrackers at each other? Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Pop Island.

There really isn't that much to Odenis Studio's DSiWare animal battle royale in terms of content, but what's on show is sure to bring a smile to any player's face.

Top of the Pops

After splitting into two teams of beasts, Almost Black and Colorful Rainbow, your task is to help your companions locate flags on the map, grab them, then make it back to base without getting bombarded by the pursuing enemy.

At the same time, the opposite team will also be collecting flags, so you'll need to chase them down and deliver firecracker hell in their general direction before they can cash their flag in.

Now imagine all this with sixteen combatants on each side, and you may get an idea of what a huge, crazy mess it is. A gloriously frantic mess.

Pop Island thrives on constant screen-blistering action and does a great job of throwing all kinds of silliness your way. Yet at the same time there's nothing silly about the underlying tactical side to the game, which is cleverly balanced.

Each different selectable character has both a strength and weakness. For example, the buggy-driving lion is best suited to drifting along the land, but gets bogged down in the water.

On the flip side, the penguin on his surfboard bobs along speedily in the water, but jump onto the land and suddenly he moves more like a tortoise.

With this in mind, the best Pop Island team is one which has a good variety of each type of animal. A well-balanced team can provide some excellent games with surprising depth.

Pop in the eye

There isn't much to Pop Island besides the battling. The interface is minimal to the extent that it's sometimes difficult to decipher exactly what you're looking at, while the system for unlocking new characters and arenas is way too simplistic.

This minimalistic approach also leads to Pop Island getting a bit samey too soon. The matches never really change, so after a couple of hours hunting down flags, you'll probably be sick of the sight of them.

Fortunately, the game comes with eight-player multiplayer battling available over multiple consoles. All you need is one person with a copy of the game, and up to seven friends can fight alongside (or against) them.

Not only that, but the seven friends don't even need to have a DSi - a standard Nintendo DS or DS Lite can download the Pop Island demo no problem - making it all the more likely that you'll be able to get big flag-wielding battles going.

Swapping the AI for real opponents really spruces the whole experience up and breathes a new lease of life into it. Expect lots of shouting and strong language thrown between friends - the nice kind, of course.

Pop Island may be rather simple in its approach to fun, but its impossible to deny its charm and pure craziness a place in your heart.

It's well worth popping into the DSiWare store for.
Pop Island
Reviewer photo
Mike Rose | 31 March 2010
Despite Pop Island's way too simplistic design, it oozes charm and is wonderfully silly fun
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