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Super Pop and Drop

Super Pop and Drop an Addictive Pastime

When we first started playing this game, our idea was to tell you about a nifty new game, a simple, low tech puzzle-type thing that shows how imagination can be just as important as technology in creating a good product.

But now that we've been playing this game for a few months, instead of merely telling you about it we're forced to issue a warning instead, lest your productivity drop off sufficiently to force you to go looking for a government subsidy to keep afloat.

Or lest you alienate family and other loved ones with your addiction.

The game’s called Super Pop and Drop, from Game, and at 20 American dollars it could just be the cheapest way for your competitors or your enemies to bring you to your knees. Worse, if you're an employer, you have to beware of the free trial on the company’s Web site that could whet your unmotivated workers’ appetites for destruction and cost you untold hours in lost productivity.

It's a deceptively simple game: you get a bunch of rows of different colored balls across the top of the screen, and you fire colored balls at them from below. When you match up three or more colored balls, they drop out of position and you feel smug. But the rows also start heading downward toward you, like the ceiling of some Indiana Jones-style underground vault that’s been triggered by an unthinking interloper. If they reach bottom the game’s over and you feel shame.

And that means you'll try again, and again and again and again, as this seductive software twists its little tentacles into your life, forcing you to repeat the effort until you finish the level - at which time you're faced with another one to challenge you.

It really should be illegal.

Oh, you also get an array of weapons at your disposal to help you destroy the balls, including little green bombs and periodically appearing buzzsaws that viciously cut their way through the little round buggers. You can play the game timed or untimed, and it has three levels of difficulty. We've managed to succeed at the bozo setting and are now wasting untold hours honing our skills on “normal” - whatever that means.

We warn you: this is the most addictive game we've seen since the Soviets inflicted Tetris on the West in a bold attempt to end the cold war in their favor. You'd best avoid Super Pop and Drop if you want to keep the world free.

Super Collapse

And as is that isn't enough, Game House has more such games on its Web site, including "Super Collapse II," which we found as addictive as Pop and Drop.

With this one, you click on groups of three or more like-colored tiles, and they fall out of place causing tiles above them to also fall. The object is to clear the screen.

Avoid it at all costs!

Now you'll have to excuse us; our Big Editor thinks he's figured out how to beat the level he's on - and he figures all it'll take is one or two more tries.

This we have to see.


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January 31, 2006