Growing up in the 90s here in South Africa I never really had the opportunity to play titles on the NES and SNES. The games I did have access to were mostly bootlegs of the NES and SNES titles. So when opportunity strikes, I always take it. Hence I often find myself browsing the Nintendo eShop’s Virtual Console selection. This time I’ve come across the fun-loving adorable Pop ‘n TwinBee for the SNES.
I have to admit, the thing that specifically drew me towards this game was the name. See, as I mentioned before although I never had the opportunity to play NES and SNES titles growing up, the bootleg cartridges did have titles from the famicom (Golden China) era. One such title that I absolutely adored was TwinBee. And of course to my surprise Pop ‘n TwinBee seems to be from the same franchise.
Pop ‘n TwinBee puts players in the shoes or rather seat of the spacecrafts of TwinBee and WinBee. The task at hand is to save the world from a once kind-hearted scientist gone bad, who has now become insane from a hit to the head…clearly a knock to the head did not give this doctor any sense.
Cute vertical shooter
This fast-paced action shooter not only looks adorable but sounds amazing and plays well. The levels are filled with colorful backdrops with no shortage of enemies. Players will find themselves facing a multitude of enemies across several levels. Levels are mostly compromised of sky battles above the clouds over mountain tops and canyons as well as an underwater city.
As mentioned above the game has no shortage of enemies. Levels are filled with submarines, enemy air ships and crabs (because crabs that shoot red projectiles can be quite fearful). Enemies can be dispatched quite easily with a single projectile however there are stronger enemies further into the game that take a bit more of just one hit to go down. Each level is hugely littered with projectiles making it tough for players to navigate through but also increases the challenge.
Players can however upgrade their aircraft by shooting bells and changing the colors which in turn will grant them a more powerful projectile.
Enemies attack from both the sky and land, so players will have to also focus on firing projectiles straight ahead of them and drop bombs on top of the enemies on land. Boss battles can be a little tougher with every boss being a mechanical monstrosity such as giant squids and frog-like spacecrafts. Players can however upgrade their aircraft by shooting bells and changing the colors which in turn will grant them a more powerful projectile.
All in all, Pop ‘n TwinBee is an entertaining, fast paced action shooter filled with colorful backdrops and an arcade feel in terms of music. A must for all arcade shooter fans and just as with the original TwinBee, a great co-op title. The games also filled with quirky moments such as an airship battle where I felt sorry for the NPC’s sweeping the decks before, of course, dropping bombs upon them. This is one blast from the past that should not be passed on.