POP'n Tock

POP'n Tock is a game from , originally released 31st December, 1969

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Cheap Shot: Pop’n Tock

We would have probably called it Bounce ‘n Poke if it had been us, but Pop’n Tock works, too. In this cute arcade game, cheerful round characters fall out of the sky only to ricochet off the ground so you can tap them through gaps in the game world’s walls. Why must we put the creatures in the holes? There is no explanation, and none is really necessary; the little buggers just look so HAPPY about the whole experience– with tiny hearts appearing with their smiles, even.

The tap mechanic is surprisingly directional, and almost seems sensitive to how much force you use, as well. Of course, there are a few wrenches thrown in the system. You can only have so many dudes bouncing around (and off each other) at a time; exceeding this limit causes a five-second time bomb to appear, which decreases your health if it goes off. On top of that, there is the level’s time limit, which is never very long. MirNamu knows they are making a sweet little break-time of a game, and keeps it sweet and little.

Now, are these the pops or the tocks?

Pop’n Tock can’t quite decide if it’s going for kawaii or retro: the characters make very Japanese facial expressions (which vary depending on how bored/neglected, anxious, or happy-to-be-flying-through-a-hole they are), but tiny pixel versions of them adorn the scoreboard announcing how quickly you reached that stage’s quota. The music and sound effects are not nearly as obnoxious as they could’ve been, given the sugary syrupy sweetness the faces lend– i.e. not as much cooing as you might expect.

If $1.99 isn’t too much hurt for your pocket, you, too, maybe compelled to analyze Pop’n Tock’s impressive action-to-cuteness ratio.

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