Dodo Pop quietly hit Store shelves late last month and is an addictive bubble styled game from Disney. Available for both Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices, you are tasked with helping a wayward Dodo Bird, Crash, find his way home.
There are dozens of puzzle levels to tackle, each with a limited number of moves and goals to reach. After taking the Windows Phone version of Dodo Pop out for a test drive, we found the game to have nice looking graphics, challenging game play and a fun way to pass the time.
Dodo Pop jumps right into game play upon first launch with Crash the Dodo Bird walking you through the basics of game play. Crash will show up throughout the game to introduce you to new gaming elements as they become available.
The goal of Dodo Pop is to burst clusters of gumballs to reach the defined goals of each puzzle level. At the start of each level, Crash will outline the goals (pop a set number of colored gumballs, pop all the starred balls, etc.). Each puzzle also has a limited number of moves available to reach those goals. Run out of moves and you fail the level. A counter is displayed at the top of the gaming screen to help track your progress with the puzzle goals and how many moves are remaining.
Clusters have to be at least two gumballs that are touching and if things are close, there is a shake button in the lower left corner that will rattle the playing field. This will shift the gumballs ever so slightly were balls will touch, creating a cluster that can be tapped and removed.
Coins can be earned during game play or through an in-app purchase that can be used to buy power-ups. Power-ups include a rainbow button that will turn all the adjacent gumballs to the color of the center gumball, add bonus moves and a lightning strike that will remove one gumball. You also have a power-up that comes into play when you remove large numbers of the same colored gumball.
A meter will appear around the third level of the game that will increase as you remove the gumballs. Max out the meter any a bonus ball will come into play that when tapped/held will generate a rotating field. Let the field rotate and when you lift your hold, any ball of the same color that appears in this area will be removed.
Puzzle levels are mapped out, guiding Crash back to his home, Dodo Island. Each level can be replayed, but game play is limited to a degree with gaming tokens. You begin the game with five tokens and as long as you don't fail a level, you will not lose a token. Tokens are replenished over time or with your coins.
Game play is challenging through the first dozen or so levels but not too difficult. Around the 15th level, you begin to see things kick in with a rather challenging gaming goal. You have gumballs in play that are numbered. Those numbers dictate the size of the clusters you create and remove. For example, if an orange gumball has a 7 on it, you have to establish a group of at least 7 orange gumballs. The numbers seem to range from 5 to 30 and when you see the "30" gumball come into play, go ahead and reach for the lightning strike power-up to remove it from play.
Dodo Pop does have a few settings that can be accessed through the level map view or the main screen that will appear after your first launch of the game. Settings cover language choice and the customary terms of service and developer credit screens. While Dodo Pop is a universal game, there is no means to save your gaming progress across devices.
Dodo Pop joins a crowded field of excellent Windows and Windows Phone games from Disney. Graphics are bright and colorful, game play challenging and Dodo Pop has a deceptively addictive pull about it. You can sit down with intentions of playing one or two gaming levels and before you know it, you've tackled half a dozen or more levels.
I'm not a big fan of the gaming token system. It can take the life out of any gaming rhythm you develop. I'd rather pay $.99 for the game and do away with the token system.
While I have enjoyed playing Dodo Pop, the game really needs some form of cloud saving to allow you to pick up game play where you left it from any of your devices.
There is room for improvement but as is, Dodo Pop is a fantastic game to have in your Windows 8 or Windows Phone gaming library. It is strong enough to help you waste short bits of time or keep you entertained for longer periods.