PopCap Arcade Vol. 1 (Bejeweled 2, Astro Pop, Feeding Frenzy, Zuma)
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From PopCap, The World's Leading Developer and Publisher of Casual Games. BEJEWELED 2: The most popular casual game ever! Hall of Fame Inductee: Computer Gaming World 2002 (the only puzzle game inducted since Tetris in 1988). The classic game of gem-swapping and brilliant, explosive action. Dazzling power-ups, secret game modes, brain-twisting puzzles and more. Wildly addictive, high-carat fun! ASTRO POP: Editor's Choice Award (5 out of 5 stars) - PC Magazine. Blast off to high-speed, arcade-puzzle action! Grab groups of bricks, blast away combos, and clear a path of the stars. Four space pilots and an offbeat storyline add to the stellar fun. FEEDING FRENZY: The definitive game of frenzied food-chain action! Slurp, gulp and crunch your way along the Frenzy Coast, where you eat anything smaller than you and swim clear of everything else. The more you eat, the bigger you get, and the closer you come to taking on the fearsome Shark King! ZUMA: Game of The Year - RealArcade. The perfect blend of strategy, action and precision in a match-3 game! Shoot balls from the mouth of the Stone Frog Idol to stop other balls from reaching the Golden Skull. Vexing vortexes, hiden shrines and challenges galore!
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Of the four games, the most entertaining games for me are probably "Feeding Frenzy" and "Zuma". "Feeding Frenzy" is somewhat easy to complete, offering two different modes -- a basic 'career' mode and then a 'timed' mode. The controls are decent, requiring twitchy thumb movements because your "fish" never actually stops floating in the play area. "Zuma" is addictive -- it gets very fast-paced and hectic and you'll find your heart racing at times just trying to stay ahead of the increasingly challenging levels. The music is extremely entertaining and addictive. "Bejeweled" comes in as my third favorite, and is a very simple game to understand and play. If you've played Hexix HD, and you can find patterns in colors, you can play "Bejeweled". "Astropop" made the least impression on me, and is not the type of game I enjoy playing. It involves building groups of like-colored blocks in order to "pop" them, as they descend from the top of the screen, with the goal to clear the screen. It's not a difficult game, but after a short while I did not find it very entertaining.
What is odd about the collection is the way it runs from the Xbox 360 console. When you insert the disc, the game disc will load, and then deposit you back on the 360's dashboard, in your list of Arcade titles where the games will be listed. When you select a game from the list, the disc spins-up, and the game starts. I probably would have preferred an on-disc menu -- in other words, if you start the disc, you can select one of the four games from a "game" menu. The game disc runs/spins the entire time you are playing, so your console ends up being much louder than if you purchased the downloadable content versions from the Marketplace. This is unfortunate since the games are very small in size.
The games include the same achievements that are available in the downloadable versions, so there is a total of 800 achievement points available. The achievements are somewhat challenging, which gives this collection excellent replay value, depending upon how much you like each of the individual titles.
Overall, a good collection for the money, with decent replay value, and potentially good future resale value as well.
Bejeweled: Probably the best game of the bunch. A modern-like Tetris involving jems instead of blocks, and they don't come free-falling so you have time to make a match. Match three identical jems in a pattern to blast them off the board. There are four different modes to play, and I would recommend first-timers play endless mode to pratice before you start problem solving mode or building a score in the normal mode. This game is truly addictive!
Astro Pop: It's like a classic arcade game, grab blocks and blast them away. For me, I didn't prefer this game much.
Feeding Frenzy: Fun for any age! Eat fish that are smaller than you to grow bigger and advance through the different stages to become top of the food chain. The last floor is the most challenging, and it might drive you nuts after awhile!
Zuma: Problem-solving game. Shoot balls to make a combo and keep the balls from falling into the golden skull. The further you advance in the game, the faster the balls move. You've gotta' be quick fingers to do this game!
Overall: A nice set of arcade games that are hours of non-stop fun! Custom soundtracks are available for all these games if you want to play by your own tunes. Recommended for all ages!
These games are probably a little better for children because they are simple enough that a child can play them, yet puzzling enough to challenge them.
Overall, these games are fun to play if you have a few minutes to kill and just want some quick fun.