Puyopuyo is a highly addictive puzzle game from Compile, a Japanese software company. It's a puzzle game where 2 blocks (each one of several colors) come down at once. Place these blocks, as you must connect 4 or more blocks and make chains to get points. One wonderful free version of it, xpuyopuyo resides at http://chaos2.org/.

Of course, the only experience an American will probably have with the game is "Kirby's Avalanche" -- all of the Puyo series are released only in Japan.

Puyo Puyo, originally invented by Compile Corporation, is also known as Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine on Sega Genesis, Kirby's Avalanche on Super NES, Candy Crisis on Macintosh computers, Puyo Pop on Game Boy Advance, and freepuzzlearena Vitamins 2 on Linux, DOS, and Wintendo.
The game is played on two grids 6 squares wide by 12 squares high, one for each player. (There is often a one-player practice mode.)
Pairs of tiles/blobs (depending on the chosen theme) fall from the top of the playfield.
The player can rotate them or move them sideways as in Tetris or Dr. Mario.
There are three to five colors of tiles depending on difficulty; four or more adjacent tiles of the same color will explode into points, and the tiles above them will fall into place; tail recursion of this process produces large chain reactions for even more points.
A large number of points will also dump boulders on the other player's playfield; get rid of boulders by making a normal explosion next to them.

The amazing strategy for Puyo Puyo that the AI uses is: just stack pieces on the sides randomly. Basically you just want to place pieces as fast as possible - you don't have time to think about where to put them. Place them on the sides like this:

|  o  |
|     |
|xx xx|
|xx xx|
|xx xx|
|xx xx|
|xx_xx|

A few pieces will randomly connect while doing so, that's okay. Just fill up every column except the drop column. Now for the killer: drop the pieces in the center. You may or may not have to think about these. You can even keep a couple spots on the side open in case you can't use the current piece. The way to get points is by making combinations, and this tactic will give you mondo combinations. If you do it right it'll kill 70% of your pieces in one shot.

A tetris-like game for MacOS. I'm afraid don't remember who wrote it. You get pairs of colored globs. They fall down as far as they can go, possibly seperating from eachother. If two globs of the same color are next to eachother they will join to become one larger glob. If a glob contains 4 or more of the original globs it disappears and everything on top of it falls down. It is possible for other globs to fall apart this way.

You play against an opponent, or a bot. If you cause globs to disappear your opponent gets rocks dropped into his shaft, making it more difficult to complete globs. If a glob disappears next to a rock the rock disappears as well. The more globs you get rid of in one go, the more rocks your opponent receives. It is possible to play at different difficulty levels, with different numers of colors.

There is a GPL version of this game, called xpuypuyo, written by Justin David Smith, Owen Aftreth, Denny Mingus, Brett Smith, Andrew Carpenter, Havoc Pennington and theGREENzebra. It is basically the same, but the MacOS version has some really funny sound effects that xpuyopuyo doesn't have.

The 'blocks' or 'blobs' in Puyo Puyo are actually jellyfish. Despite the computer's random drop technique (described above) there are an amazing number of strategies for this game.

As 4-of-a-kind sets of a jellyfish-destroying reaction an effective strategy is to build alternating offset groups of three in such a way that destroying one will cause a chain reaction. This is particularly effective as Puyo Puyo rewards the total number of steps in a chain much more than the number of jellyfish in one explosion. So, if you build like this:

|       |
|YX     |
|YX     |
|YX     |
|XYO    |
|XYO    |
|XYO    |
|YOX    |
|YOX    |
|YOX    |
---------

...then it is possible to set of very, very large chain reactions. Creative players can also build this layering horizontally or using L-shapes. It should also be noted that an opponent loses control temporarily and all of his/her jellyfish freeze while your reaction is occurring, so this is also an effective defensive measure.

In Puyo Puyo 2 and upwards there is a large bonus for a player who responds immediately to an incoming rain of Jellyfish by counterattacking. This can make striking second a sound strategy.

Puyo Puyo is inhabited by all manner of strange creatures, including Skeleton T and Cait Sith, the Irish twin cats. Don't even bother with the American version (Dr. Robotnik), it has none of the Japanese charm of the original. It is widely available on PC emulator in a number of forms.

I love this game and I should point out that I am not a puzzle game player by nature, I tend to play lots of cutting-edge 3D stuff. It can be terribly, terribly addictive and should never, ever be played for 6 hours whilst listening to non-stop live Kenny Ken and drinking beer, as this can have serious health implications for you and those around you.

Game History

The game was developed by Compile. The different versions are:

The release dates are:

Gameplay

All the Puyo Puyo variants are essentially two player games, where the opponent can either be another player or various characters played by the computer.

Blocks of two coloured 'Puyo's slide tetris like down the screen. You can rotate the block. When four or more of the same coloured 'Puyo's are connected in any formation they dissapear.

With careful planning (or luck!) chain reactions can be set up, where one block of colour dissapearing allows another block to come together, which in turn dissapears.

When large formations are destroyed, or large chain reactions occur, 'Ojyama puyo's falls onto the opponents side. 'Ojyama puyo's are grey and can only be destroyed by making a formation of a colour immediately adjacent to them.

All of the characters are animated in a child-like anime style, their expressions change depending on how well they are playing. When playing against the computer, cut scenes appear between each level to introduce the different characters.

In Puyo Puyo 4, different characters have different special abilities (listed in characters, below).

The animation, details, effects and sounds, along with one of the most compelling tetris variants, make this arguably the most fun puzzle game series ever.

Characters

  • Archan - power in Puyo Puyo 4 removes puyos randomly
  • Arle Nadja - main character, has 15 second ojama-puyo shield power in Puyo Puyo 4
  • Baabegaji
  • Baromet
  • Biri Ban
  • Cait Sith
  • Carbuncle - Arle's magic rabbit mascot, power in Puyo Puyo 4 turns every puyo on the field into one of three colours
  • Chico - power in Puyo Puyo 4 turns all puyos (and any attached) in row 4 and 8 into the most common colour
  • Chopun
  • Cookatrice
  • Demon
  • Doppel Aruru
  • Draco Centauros - power in Puyo Puyo 4 removes the top coloured puyo from the screen
  • Dragoon - power in Puyo Puyo 4 turns all puyos (and any attached) in the highest column into the most common colour
  • Fufufu
  • Harpy - power in Puyo Puyo 4 to turn all ojama-puyo into random coloured puyos
  • High Flower
  • Honey Bee
  • Incubus
  • Jyan
  • Kiki Mora - remove all ojama-puyo power in Puyo Puyo 4
  • Kimyu
  • Kodomo Dragon
  • Lagnus
  • Leviathan
  • Lycanthropy
  • Mandragora
  • Mamono
  • Mini Zombie
  • Mino
  • Momomo
  • Mummy
  • Nasu Grave
  • Nohoho - power in Puyo Puyo 4 rotates columns of puyos
  • Nomi
  • Owl Bear
  • Pakista
  • Panotty - power to remove all unattached colour puyos in Puyo Puyo 4
  • Parara
  • Pierott
  • Rulue - power turns the playing field upside down and removes all ojama-puyos in Puyo Puyo 4
  • Samurai Mole
  • Sasori Man
  • Satan Sama - power in Puyo Puyo 4 removes all puyos in columns 3 and 4 and rows 6 to 9
  • Schezo Wegey - power to remove an X shaped block of puyos from the bottom of the screen in Puyo Puyo 4
  • Seriri - power to turn all unattached colour puyos on the screen into the most common colour in Puyo Puyo 4
  • Skeleton-T - has damage multiplier power in Puyo Puyo 4
  • Skyla
  • Succubus
  • Suketoudara - power to turn all of the most common colour puyos on the screen into the second most common colour in Puyo Puyo 4
  • Sukiya Podes
  • Trio Of Banshee
  • Vampire
  • Water Elemental
  • Willo The Wisp
  • Wish
  • Witch - power in Puyo Puyo 4 removes all puyos (and any attached) in the highest column
  • Wraith
  • Yoyoyo
  • Zoh Daimaoh
  • Zombie

Thanks to fondue for the feedback!

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