There is a boat load of bubble burst styled games in the Windows Phone Store and Mars Pop may be the only one offering online, head to head gaming battles.
You compete against other Mars Pop players to see who can survive the game the longest. You can battle random opponents or challenge Facebook friends on the Mars Pop network.
The Windows Phone game is a refreshing version of a classic mobile game. In playing Mars Pop over the past few days, it is fun to see how your bubble bursting skills compare to other gamers.
Mars Pop doesn't stray too far from the basic bubble burst game concept. You have a collection of colored balls or bubbles slowly working their way down the gaming screen. At the bottom of the display, you have a cannon armed with an assortment of colored balls or bubbles that you can shoot into the playing field. The goal is to create matches of three or more of the same bubbles. When you do so, they explode and are removed from the screen, preventing the mass of bubbles from reaching the bottom of the screen.
The first person to have the bubbles reach the bottom of the screen loses the match.
The interface with Mars Pop is laid out in rather simple fashion. The primary menu greets you with options to access your player profile and settings, view your gem count, view your experience level and jump into game play. You will also see your gaming energy, which is required to play matches. Each match consumes one energy point and the points will be automatically replenished over time (about ten minutes per point).
Just a quick note on the gems. They can be used to replenish your energy points if you would rather not wait. It takes 50 gems to recharge your battery for five games. Mars Pop starts you out with 170 gems and should you run out, you can buy more gems through in-app purchases.
Matches can pit you against a random opponent or you can log into your Facebook account to challenge friends. Prior to jumping into game play you will have an introductory screen that will announce your opponent and after a short pause, you jump right into game play.
As you create matches and keep the oncoming collection of bubbles at bay, your opponent's game play is displayed in the upper left corner of the screen. There are a few bonus bubbles that appear to help your cause, but for the most part, it is all on your skills at managing your shots and creating the matches.
After playing Mars Pop over the past few days, it comes across as an entertaining rendition of the bubble burst style game. Competing against other players is a refreshing gaming feature that breaths a little life into the genre. Just be careful and avoid getting caught up in watching your opponent's game. It may allow the bubbles to sneak up on you.
Graphics are decent, game play challenging and overall if you like online competition or just a fan of bubble burst gaming Mars Pop is worth trying. My only nit with the game is that the cartoon characters you can choose for your profile are limited to two (male and female). It is not a critical issue, but it would be nice to see a wider selection of characters become available. You do have the full-screen ad support, but it is spaced out far enough to be tolerable.
Oh and it should be noted that Mars Pop was updated overnight to add a Practice gaming mode to the mix. Here you can polish up your bubble bursting skills without the pressure of competition.
Mars Pop is an ad-supported Windows Phone game with a few in-app purchase opportunities.