Smiley Pops

Posted by Dan Mousavi On June - 11 - 2010

Boolba Labs, the company behind the popular game Toss it are trying to steal more gaming time from us with a casual puzzler, that tries to destroy your sanity by playing the Loituma song over and over again.

Let me tell you first about the Loituma song, because it immediately starts when you load up the game and is the first thing that will catch you, so you need to be warned. Loituma is a finnish quartett, that covered the song Ievan Polkka in 1996 and added a intermezzo with sounds and words that don’t make sense in any human language. They must’ve made some pact with a demon or so, because this intermezzo may be the most catchy thing you’ll ever hear. Someone took this catchy melody 10 years later and paired it with an animation of a girl that spins porree and thus, the Loituma Girl was born. This lead to countless other variations, which were posted around message boards around the globe, until it reached it’s ultimate form with Kasumi from DOA holding the porree and humming the song. If you are male, you have been warned, don’t click the link when you don’t have a screensaver, it could glue you to your screen for all eternity:

Kasumi Loituma

Ok, now that we got the music covered and warned you about it’s impact, we can focus on the game.
Your goal is to pop as many smilies in big combos as possible. You do that by matching three smilies of the same color (or facial animation, if you’re colorblind) in a straight line. You can only turn three smilies at once clockwise or counter-clockwise, depending on the way you mark them. For all popped smilies, new ones fall down from above. There are three play modes, in skillmode, your bar on the right side of the screen decreases with every move, in time mode your bar decreases constantly and in freestyle mode you don’t have a bar. The game ends when your bar is empty, so freestyle mode is endless. Skillmode is a nice challenge and the main mode of the game, there’s already a healthy High Score list, which I guess is because of Scoreloop integration. Time Mode on the other hand doesn’t make a lot of sense, it just doesn’t end, if you just want to play a quick round, stay away. I guess you can play it forever, but I gave up after a half hour, so I don’t know.

The game is already pretty nice and since it is still in pre 1.0 version, I think the developers aren’t finished finetuning it. In my opinion it needs some form of level progresion, so playing a round doesn’t take forever. Maybe some more colors or some unspinnable smilies could appear and make it more challenging in higher levels. There are a lot of these kind of drop down puzzlers available, I’m sure everyone could come up with something, that would make it more difficult and by that faster, because we’ve seen so many variations of it.

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