Title: Uo Poko (Lots of Fish)
Developer: Cave
Publisher: Jaleco
Year: 1998
Platforms: Arcade
Genre: Puzzle
Players: One player or two player

Uo Poko is a coloured-object-matching game, comparable to Columns or Puyo Puyo. So what makes this one stand out? One very simple thing: the co-operative two player mode.

Many games have a two player mode. That's certainly not a rare thing. Some have a co-operative two player mode, where the goal is to help each other out rather than try to outwit each other. What makes this game truly stand out is that the two player mode isn't an afterthought: it's really, in my opinion, by far the best way to play it.

The gameplay runs like this: one of you plays a cute yellow cat, the other one a cute pink cat (kawaii!). You both hold down your joystick for a short while to make your cat pull a chain which determines how far across the screen a coloured sphere is flung. You have to make your spheres touch other ones of the same colour to make them disappear. You get bonus points for chain reactions, and the point of each level is to clear the screen of all the spheres.

It's something you really have to play with at least a friend, but preferably your partner. To play it well, you actually have to communicate with each other. You can talk to each other to work out when you should both take your turn so your spheres don't collide with each other, and to work out a plan together. To this extent, Uo Poko is the most co-operative two player game I have played.

Besides, it's fun to do an impression of the yellow cat tapping the joystick and smiling happily.

Sadly, it's almost impossible for most people to play this game legally - export or operation of the arcade cabinet outside of Japan is illegal, and violators will be "prosecutedt to the full extent of the jam."