Popped. (iOS) Game Review: You Will Love It For Being Difficult

Man…this is one tough game. I find myself saying that when I was playing Popped., a new puzzle game for iOS devices by indie developer Adam Smith. The first time I got word about the game was from the man himself, and what got my eye in the first place was the iOS 7-like aesthetic to the game’s visual. What I didn’t expect though was the crazy level of difficulty that made it like a casual game-version of Demon’s Souls. It was interestingly addictive, in a delayed-trigger Tetris kind-of-way.


The objective of Popped. is simple, chaining adjacent balls of the same colour together, until you fulfill the quota specified AND within a specific number of turns. For example one particular level requires you to chain and collect a total of 200 balls together, in other 15 moves. It actually sounds easier said than done, and if you check out my gameplay video below, the limited number of moves mean that mistakes are not well-tolerated in the game at all, leading to plenty of retries. More often than not you’ll need to think on your next move in order to get the maximum possible chain going on.

Being a free-to-play title, the limited number of moves can be circumvented by paying for extra moves but this isn’t really necessary if you consider the next point. Helping you along the way are abilities which are available in every level, with the most basic one being Chain (which enables you to tap and consume a chain of adjacent, same-colour balls). More abilities are unlocked when you unlock more levels and one of the first unlockable abilities is the Flower, the ability to change the colour of adjacent balls to the colour of the ball you are tapping on.


Players are limited to a certain number of retries each time they fail a level, and after that’s exhausted, they’ll have to wait it out. This can also be circumvented by an IAP, but I find the enforced waiting time to be a welcome break to the crazy addictive hold that Popped. can have on you. Overall, Nine Over Ten 9/10 rates Popped. at a 4.5 out of 5. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Popped. is available for FREE on the iTunes App Store so be sure to check it out: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/popped./id689051137?mt=8. A review code was provided to Nine Over Ten 9/10 for the purpose of this review.

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