Home 008 - Puzzle Uo Poko

008 - Puzzle Uo Poko

Best Games - Puzzle Uo Poko

I’ll just get this out of the way right off the top.
Whatever you do, do it to the full extent of the jam.

If the perpetual hilarity of the of the warning screen was the only thing this game provided, it would be notable. Lucky for us this is also an excellent game.

The match three to win formula was already pretty worn when this game came out. We had gone through matching shapes, matching creatures, matching colours, matching squares, matching cubes, and matching pharmaceuticals. So what does CAVE do to advance the matching puzzle genre? Take away all control options, save one. You pull down on the joystick, and then you let go. That is the totality of your influence on Uo Poko. Pull down. Let go. I won’t describe the gameplay beyond that, because 12 seconds into this video you will understand all the complexity and nuance that Uo Poko has to offer.
Seriously, if that cats gleeful cheers don’t make your heart happy, then you are dead inside. 

There is an amazing thing about Uo Poko. In the opening levels the game is taught to you so well, that when the guide that shows you where your bubble will land disappears, and you are left, unaccompanied, to make the shots yourself, you probably won’t notice. You will likely make several shots, each one precisely on target, before you realize that you did it on your own. The timing required to make accurate shots is etched on your cerebellum, leaving the rest of your brain free to listen to that cat, and feel happy.

There is only one kind of multiplayer on offer, and depending on who you play with, it is either a collaborative, back slapping, we’re in this together, good time, or a hate field of free form griefing, and counteractivity. Both players are meant to take turns firing their bubbles into the same play area, working together to clear the screen. Often, you are able to fire your bubbles at the same time, resulting in a mid air collision. Since each missed shot advances the board upwards by one notch, a few of those can end a game right quick. Maybe you didn't mean to do it, maybe you did. I won't judge.

Uo Poko is a great game, where you can do a lot, by doing almost nothing. You should play it to the full extent of the jam. 
This post is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 by the author.
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