Review: Plane Popper (Android)

Plane Popper: Official GBAtemp Review

Android 3,240 views 5 likes 9 comments
Reviewed by Jakub Kowalski, posted Jul 26, 2014
I'm not a huge Android gamer, I must admit. That being said, when I was approached by a fellow DS homebrew developer, and one that I happen to be a close acquaintance of, I couldn't say no and happily tried out his game.
Jul 26, 2014
  • Release Date (NA): July 9, 2014
  • Release Date (EU): July 9, 2014
  • Release Date (JP): July 9, 2014
  • Publisher: Bobbyloujo
  • Developer: Bobbyloujo
  • Genres: Casual
  • Single player
    Local Multiplayer
    Online Multiplayer
    Co-operative
This is a review on Plane Popper, an Android video game programmed by a GBATemp forum member Bobbyloujo, available on the Google Play Store.
Jakub Kowalski

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Here on GBATemp we like to support homebrew developers - this much is pretty obvious if you give the forums a quick browse. There's plenty of developers around, one of them being Bobbyloujo with whom I happened to work with back when I was into tinkering with DS homebrew myself. It came to me as no surprise that this talented individual eventually stepped up from developing homebrew for the DS to Android - after all, the Google Play Store is a convenient way to get your game out there for the masses to play... and let's face it - everyone owns a mobile phone these days. His very first game on the Play Store is entitled Plane Popper and I had the pleasure of being invited to beta test it as well as review it for you guys.

 

Gameplay - Time Flies when you're Popping Baloons

 

 

The game mechanics are simplicity itself - you pilot a plane and your sole mission is to pop the baloons that flood the screen as you fly over a carnival. Naturally there are some obstacles in your way - you could crash into one of the amusement rides, you could get shot down by a firework or you could find yourself on a collision course with a pesky blimp. You'll have to stay on your toes if you don't want to end your flight as a fireball. 

There's achievements to collect for the most resilent of pilots, so keep on popping those baloons to get a high score! If you happen to be one of those gamers who like to brag, the game also gives you the option to share your scores online via Facebook integration and leaderboards... so make sure to show your friend's who's the Red Baron of baloon-popping.

Much like Flappy Bird or other similar causal games, Plane Popper is perfect for short sittings - for instance, it's great for when you're commuting or waiting in line and it can be an effective time killer when you need one.

 

Presentation - Plane Popper Passes with Flying Colours

 

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I find Plane Popper's visuals to be really enjoyable. The sprites both look and rotate really well, the detailed landscape of the amusement park gets you just in the right mood and the colourful fireworks explosions are great. If I had to nit-pick, I guess I could complain about the backgrounds which are not animated, but that's a minor complaint when everything else looks good.

The sound effects are pretty spot-on too - your engine roars, baloons pop and there's explosions galore if you happen to meet your demise. The only problem I have is the lack of any background music, but most mobile gamers keep the phone on silent anyways, so that's another minor complaint. Here's for hoping that the game does recieve a nice jingle in future updates though.

 

Final Thoughts - Plane Popper is a Game with Altitude

 

It's pretty impressive that this game was made by just one programmer and I'm really happy that I had the chance to review it. It's always nice to see friendly faces releasing something new, especially when it's good quality stuff. Plane Popper is available on the Google Play Store free-of-charge and it's completely free to play, so you have no real reason not to try it out. The occasional ads are non-intrusive so they're no biggy and at the end of the day, watching them supports a fellow GBATemp.net forum member and the author, Bobbyloujo, so there's no harm in watching them.

All in all, Plane Popper is simple but wholesome fun. It strongly reminds me of Atari 2600 games, except with a pretty coat of paint. The objective is simple and the gameplay is fun - what's more to ask for?

Plane Popper can be downloaded free-of-charge here, you can also follow Plane Popper and Bobbyloujo's other projects at http://www.bobbyloujo.com/.

The game was tested on a Sony Xperia M handset, any specific hardware requirements can be found on the Google Play Store page.

 

Verdict
Pros
+ Simple gameplay
+ Pretty visuals
+ Good use of sprite rotation and special effects
+ Facebook intergration, leaderboards and achievements entice players to compete
Cons
- The non-animated background can get dull after a while if you pay attention to such details
- No background music is a bit of a downer
8 Presentation
There's very little to complain about when it comes to presentation - for a one-man project the game looks and sounds great.
8 Gameplay
Simplicity itself - fly a plane, pop baloons, avoid obstacles. It's good casual fun.
7 Lasting Appeal
If you were one of those people obsessing over Flappy Bird, you will go nuts with Plane Popper. It's one of those games with a very simple premise that makes you keep coming back for more just to get a high score. I'm not one of those gamers, but I enjoyed Plane Popper nonetheless.
7.5
out of 10
Overall (not an average)
To summarise, Plane Popper is definitely a game worth your time. Try it out for free and if you like it, keep playing and be sure to share your scores - I'm sure Bobbyloujo would really appreciate all the publicity the game can get, and seeing that he did a really good job with it, he deserves it.
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