A vertically scrolling shoot-'em-up for two players for the Super Nintendo, developed by Konami. A sequel to the 1986 coinop Twinbee (the Twinbee character also features in the Parodius games). Twinbee and Winbee (the player characters) are two small cutesy spaceships with limbs (kind of like Fantasy Zone's Opa-Opa). One is blue with a yellow canopy, the other is pink with a blue canopy. They travel through a series of brightly-coloured levels fighting stylised enemies (the soldiers of which look like acorns with eyes). One level is set underwater, another is based around the Great Wall of China, and another is some kind of African wilderness (replete with killer Hippos and Ostriches).

The powerup system works like this:

Shooting at banks of clouds releases floating bells, which can be shot repeatedly to change their colour. Catching bells bestows the player with different powers, including shield, speedup, additional smart bombs, extra drones, new weapons, or a boring old points bonus. Drones are little orbiting craft (like in R-Type, etc. etc.) that can fire and absorb shots. They can be set to follow different patterns on the options screen before the game starts. The smart bomb makes Twinbee (or Winbee) spit out a load of little ships that fly around the screen damaging anything they hit.

As well as shooting, the players can chuck bombs at ground targets, launch smart bombs and even grab the other player and toss them around the screen.

Pop'n Twinbee is one of my favourite SNES games. It's very simple and uncluttered, and the presentation is of typically high Konami quality. The music is very catchy as well. Definitely worth a look for fans of the genre, although you'll want to turn up the difficulty level if you don't want the game to be a walkover.

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