|Platform Reviewed||IBM PC|
|Genre||Arcade Platform Puzzle|
|Number of Players||1 or 2|
|Length||Long (160 + levels)|
|Difficulty||Advances From Easy to Hard|
|Skills Required||Puzzle Solving, Trajectory Estimation|
|Interface Devices||Joystick, Mouse, Keyboard|
|Programming||Solid and Dependable. No Innovation|
|Game Design and Playability||A Solid, Fairly Original Puzzler|
|Type Of Fun||Problem Solving, Throwing Objects, Matching.|
|Replay Value||Editor Provides Expansion Possibility|
|The Best||eccentric, offbeat puzzle fun, With social-political satire thrown in. Unique art. No clock.|
|The Worst||Really ancient game design and technology. Flaws in music timing.|
|How much would I be willing to pay for this||25 Bucks|
Boppin' is an offbeat platform puzzle game. Gameplay consists of walking about and riding elevators, pushing objects and collecting prizes, whilst throwing objects so as to match them with like objects. Animated story sequences introduce and end each set of levels, culminating in a final story ending.
Outside of our reality, thoughts and dreams become real. Amidst the various heavens and hells, worlds and realities, exist also the embodiments of video game characters. Two alien video game stars who were spawned from the belief of a universe without Good or Evil, must battle the incarnation of authoritarian Good, to rescue Evil from it's clutches so that all the video game heroes can have something to fight. In order to restore the balance of Good and Evil, the duo must release monsters imprisoned in abstract patterns.
Boppin' is a competent, solidly programmed arcade puzzle game. It shows obvious inspiration from Japanese puzzle games of the last few years. Control is effective when learned, but not as intuitive as it could be. The technology is obviously several years old, and the music needs work. Originally ported from the Amiga, the IBM PC version is longer, and has much more story. The story is very unusual, and will only truly be understood by students of mysticism or comparative religion. Elements of the story and art may bother some people. The game was forced to be censored and thus contains two versions, one politically correct, the other the way the authors intended. The game was designed for adults, but American's tend to consider puzzle games children's fare, hence some controversy has surrounded the game.
The puzzles are often clever, complex, and sometimes difficult. The deliberate omission of a clock gives unlimited time to solve levels. The level editor is very well designed, and easy to use. Nonetheless, the game shows it's age. It is obviously a game designed many years ago. The art is definitely one of a kind, and well animated, and every level of the 160 looks unique visually. But the game looks as flat and square as an old Mario Brothers game.
Gameplay is a cross between Pool, Tetris, and Mario. There is little action. The puzzles are often surprising and are very diverse, but not always very comprehensible. Boppin' may be too eclectic and strange for many people, although it has developed a fiercely loyal cult following.
I would recommend Boppin' with the caveat that it is rather weird, and is obviously showing it's age. It is the work of two folks in a basement who poured their heart and souls into the creation of it, and damn the consequences. To those who love it, it has been called a work of genius, but it has also been condemned by those who find it disturbing.
All in all, though, I am damn proud I created it.
Jennifer Diane Reitz is a Game Designer and Computer Artist, and one of the founders of Happy Puppy. She is the creator of numerous games and software products, including Boppin' , Shark Chums, Elsewhere, and many others. She has worked for such companies as Activision, Sculptured Software, Epyx, SRI, and Electronic Arts, and founded Accursed Toys. She has been active in the computer gaming industry since its earliest days. She considers games to be works of artistic merit and achievement, and views computer entertainment as the most important media of our era.