Petal Pop Adventures is an adorable bubble popping game developed by Boomdash Digital. It's full of bright and colorful visuals, cute characters, and cheerful music. The game centers around clearing the a board of colored flowers in a limited number of moves. There's a huge amount of levels to be played, but is it any good? Bubble popping games can be either excellent or complete clones, so let's see if Petal Pop Adventures is able to distinguish itself in this ever-growing genre.
When you boot up Petal Pop Adventures, you'll be overlooking a hefty world map. While the first section is limited to 30 or so levels, you'll quickly see the map expand to huge numbers, Candy Crush Saga style. Before hopping into the game itself, you can check out the menus by clicking on any of the floating icons on the right side of the screen. There's a standard options menu that allows you to mute sound, login with Facebook, or check the Google Play achievements. There's also a trophy icon which takes you to a separate list of in-game challenges. These challenges range from completing levels with a certain star rating to using power ups a certain number of times. Upon completing these challenges, you'll be awarded with blue gems that can be used to purchase power ups. There's also an info button for Facebook and Boomdash connectivity.
The game is broken up into several worlds, all containing roughly 20 levels. The gameplay mechanics of each level are always the same. You'll control a cannon that has two colored flowers within it. Pressing and holding the cannon will switch the colors, allowing you to place more strategic shots. Once you've selected your color, you aim and shoot the cannon, preferably aiming at matching colored flowers on the board. Matching correct colored flowers earns you points and removes them from the board.
While the gameplay stays the same, the level objectives vary as you progress. Some levels will have you simply clearing the area of play. Other levels have you strategically freeing animals trapped within flower prisons. There's a few other variations as well, which task you with more strategic play and precise shots. The variety in objectives is appreciated, as the number of levels in this game would grow tiresome if there was none.
In addition to standard flower petals, you can fire off power ups by purchasing them with gems at the bottom of your screen. Power ups are numerous and hold different advantages depending on the situation. Rockets and bombs destroy large parts of the playing field, while the magic wand loosens armor around stronger flowers. There's also precision tools as well as scatter shot, to name a few others. These power ups can be a bit pricey, and sometimes necessary to complete later levels when the difficulty gets tough.
If I have any complaint about Petal Pop Adventures, it's that reliance on power ups to make a meaningful impact on gameplay. Simply passing levels is possible without them, but if you're aiming for a high score, you're going to end up spending quite a few gems. Gems aren't always in high stock, either, and they represent the premium currency of the game. The game leans a bit too heavily on these premium purchases, and you could find yourself stuck at a paywall if you don't use them sparingly.
Beyond this, Petal Pop Adventures is a fun and lighthearted game that is great for all ages. Bubble popping games are often mediocre and uninspired, so it's nice to see a quality title in the genre. However, it doesn't dodge the genre tropes of premium currency power ups that plagues games like Candy Crush Saga. If you're able to overlook the sometimes unfair difficulty of the later levels, you'll find a cute and enjoyable experience on your hands. Whether you're a puzzle fan or just looking for a fun distraction, Petal Pop Adventures will definitely provide some entertainment.
Reviewed by Matt
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