June 8, 2011

E3 2011 – Hands-on Magical Drop V

Filed under: Features — Tags: , , , , — Mister Raroo @ 10:44 pm

Magical Drop V
If you’re the type of person who cries yourself to sleep every night because you miss Data East’s classic games, dry those tears! Out of nowhere, Magical Drop V has appeared at E3, and it is so bright and cute it almost hurts your eyes.

I have no clue how popular Magical Drop is with the kids these days, so I’ll go ahead and break down the gameplay quickly for you. Essentially, it’s a color-matching puzzle game that’s kind of similar to Puzzle Bobble or Puyo Puyo, but really Magical Drop is also its own beast.

There are bubbles of various colors on a playing field that periodically move downward. Your job is to pull bubbles in toward a little character you move back and forth at the bottom of the screen and fire them back toward bubbles of the same color. When enough bubbles are touching – pop! It sounds simple but it can get super hectic.

Magical Drop V
What makes Magical Drop V particularly interesting is the inclusion of a second play mode called Ghost Lop, which is essentially a brand new game altogether. According to Ignition’s Shane Bettenhausen, Data East had actually created Ghost Lop years ago, but it never saw the light of day until now.

At first glance, Ghost Lop looks a lot like Puzzle Bobble, right down to the dotted guide line that helps you gauge your shots. The mechanics are simple: There are two colors of bubbles on the game screen. You control a character at the bottom of the screen who tosses a little ball upwards to take out bubbles of the same color. What makes it intriguing is that you can change the color of your ball in mid-flight, adding a layer of strategy to the fast-paced action. It’s a lot crazier than it sounds.

Magical Drop V
To make things even more tantalizing, the multiplayer mode features the ability for Magical Drop vs. Ghost Lop matches. Since people will be playing what amounts to two separate puzzle games, it might lead to some really interesting matches. It seems like it shouldn’t work, but somehow it does.

Plus, the game is mega cute. The characters look like classic Data East fare, only in blistering HD. Magical Drop isn’t necessarily the type of game that needs super high resolution graphics, but after seeing Magical Drop V, it’ll be hard to go back.

One of my favorite development teams, Arkedo, is co-developing the game for Ignition. Arkedo are responsible for awesome games like Nervous Brickdown and Big Bang Mini (both on Nintendo DS) as well as their Arkedo Series of titles on Xbox Live Indie Games. They know a thing or two about adorable 2D artwork and tight gameplay.

Unsurprisngly, Magical Drop V will be a downloadable game. Nothing concrete was stated in terms of price, but from what information I could gather at Ignition’s booth, it’ll be “less than ten dollars.” So expect it to be 800 MSP on Xbox Live Arcade or $9.99 on PSN or Steam, depending on which service it ends up coming to.

Also expect it to be fun!

*Magical Drop V will be available on PC in late 2011, with additional platforms being announced at a later date.


  1. Kinda iffy on that art. Must feature The World or no buy.

    Comment by Anonymous — June 9, 2011 @ 7:00 am

  2. So that’s what Arkedo has been up to! ;) I own and love all the Arkedo games so far… if the price is right… I’ll check this one out too.

    Comment by Ujn Hunter — June 9, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

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