February 15th, 2007, 01:14 Posted By: wraggster
So you've managed to rack up a ton of high scores on Electronic Arts' Pogo.com server playing all sorts of crazy little Flash-based games, huh? Care to take that experience on the road? Because five of the more popular games on Pogo.com are heading to the Nintendo DS, and everything you do in this compilation can benefit you if you've got a Pogo.com account using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service. EA let us go hands-on with a near final version of Pogo Island for the handheld, and if you like casual games you'll probably find a lot to like in this collection.
Pogo Island takes five games popularized on the Pogo.com website and condenses them for play on the touchscreen, dual-screen handheld system. Poppit is a familiar puzzle game where you remove two or more balloons from a stack -- the rest of the stack shifts around when gaps are made, so it's strategic to pop balloons that will allow others to settle in for a bigger combo. Word Whomp is a "word scramble" where you try to form the set of three, four, five, and six letter words out of the six letters that are given to you. Squelchies is a cool puzzle game where you pull down colored critters from a stack on the upper screen and slide them into other columns to form bigger chains to remove them from play. Tri-Peaks Solitaire is a neat variation of the card game where you can only remove face up cards that are one value higher or lower than the face up card in the stack. And finally, Phlinx: a variation of Bust-a-Move that puts heavier emphasis on dropping stacks of colored gems instead of removing them with like-colored chains.
All of these games are tied together in what's called the Adventure Mode, where you wander a board game playing each of the mini-challenges. There are also smaller stand-alone games within Adventure Mode where you'll have to perform tasks like sorting nuts and bolts of like-color into the proper bin while they fall into play. All of these games use the Nintendo DS's touch screen function...even the spinner, where you find out how many spaces to move, is spun with a flick of the stylus.
The Nintendo DS version allows three different profiles to be saved to cartridge, which will come in handy because you'll probably have multiple people in your household playing to earn tokens which can then be applied to your attached Pogo.com account. By connecting your Nintendo DS to the internet via the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service you can transfer tokens earned in the adventure mode as well as the individual challenges. But that's as far as the online support goes -- any competitive simultaneous multiplayer is handled locally, and it's only in one game: Word Whomp. The game has an alternating multipayer in the form of Party Play, where as many as four players share the system as the game dictates which game each person plays.
Pogo Island's developed to sort of fit the Pogo.com style like a glove, so most of the games and its interface have been designed with a minimalist appearance -- don't expect the game to floor you with elaborate 3D visuals. But simple works, and works well on the Nintendo DS.
For more information and downloads, click here!
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