Snoopy Pop (iOS, Android)

The most popular dog in newspaper comic strips now has his own free-to-play bubble popping game on mobile devices (reviewed on iPad here).  It’s been out for a while, but I just now got to play it since upgrading my iPad.  Woodstock and his pals are playing with a bubble machine, when they get trapped inside colored bubbles and Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang must save them!

If you’re ever played a bubble popping puzzle game on a mobile device before, you know what to expect here.  Colored bubbles appear on the top of the screen, and you must use the touch screen to help Snoopy aim and throw bubbles upward.  If three of the same color bubble match, they disappear.  If you run out of bubbles before saving all the trapped birds, you have to try that stage again.

Most of the stages simply have you rescue bubbled birds, but sometimes they mix it up.  In a Beagle Scout stage, bubbles can be attached to ropes and swing around when you pop them, which is a new idea I haven’t seen in one of these kinds of games before.  Other times you may have to hit the Red Baron multiple times with bubbles, as he fires out bubbles of his own to defend himself.  Snoopy as the Flying Ace was always my favorite of his personas.

There are all sorts of power-ups you can activate before each stage to give you an edge, and you can use earned in-game coins to buy more (or purchase them with real money in the in-game shop).  There are also power-ups you can earn while playing, too.  By popping enough of certain color of bubble, you can fill meters.  When they are full, you can tap them to bring out one of Snoopy’s pals to help him clear out large amounts of bubbles.  Charlie Brown’s kite pops bubbles in a diamond pattern.  Lucy’s jump rope clears out a horizontal line, while Linus’ blanket pops vertical ones.  You can even combine powers, too.  Using these powers wisely is key to clearing stages.

As a free-to-play game, the only main problem I had with it is it gets impossibly hard around level 50 or so.  But they are pretty generous with giving out free power-ups and there’s always some kind of event or extra challenge going on.  They also got the Peanuts feel down pat, even the background music is a bunch of soft, jazz piano pieces.  It’s one of the better bubble popping games I’ve played.

Kid Factor:

Nothing violent or objectionable here.  Reading skill is helpful for the text, and parental supervision is recommended for the in-game purchases.

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