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Name: Pastel Pop
Type: PUZ
Platform: WINDOWS
Company: Fuga Systems
Release date: 1996
Reviewed by: Lamuness

Hohoho - did you know that there is a kingdom of goddess above the clouds? Over there, you can find lots of greens, lots of animals and most importantly, lots of young healthy little goddesses... this is not an H game so beat it ^^. Among the young goddesses is Athena, who we all know through mythology as the goddess of wisdom. It's her 12th birthday and all the other goddesses throw her a birthday party. After that, Iris the ultimate goddess (haven't heard of her actually in mythology) tells Athena that once she becomes 12 years old, she has to start her training to become the goddess of wisdom. Athena was sent to the earth, into the "maze of knowledge." In this maze Athena has to clear all the areas so she can get out of this maze. She is not allowed to use her magic or anything except her wisdom.

Since this is something to test Athena's wisdom, there is no better game genre than a puzzle game. The rule is extremely simple. For each area/stage Athena has to go from the left side of the screen to the exit on the right side of the screen. However, there are lots of obstacles and she has to push her way through. And however, certain rules apply in this maze, you are only given a limited # of moves to clear that area, and also you can only push a particular color of the obstacles only when you have a crystal of the corresponding color with you. All these basically total up to 2 things: eternal madness and insanity...^^

Pastel Pop is probably one of the most challenging puzzle games I have every come across. One good evidence of this is that the game gives you limit on actions for each stage, and to clear that stage you have to use the limit to the max. This means only one thing - there is only one solution to each stage, which can drive you crazy when you are only steps away from the goal and you hit the limit. The game starts out pretty simple and straight forward, but personally I can't believe that I was stuck at second stage already when I first played it. Without Dakkath's help I would have stayed there forever ^^. As you progress to higher levels, some are easy if you use your brain a bit, but will have to try out different possibilites first before you can come up with a solution. With all the limitations/restrictions in the game rules, one can easily have a headache playing this game.

However, at least this proves that Pastel Pop is a challenging and fun (and sometimes annoying if you get stuck all the time) game which is a good thing because you can sit there for hours and hours trying to solve that sneaking puzzle. This means that Pastel Pop is pretty addicting and is an excellent time-killer. There are a lot of stages to clear in the story mode, and when you are done with them there is also a select mode where the game gives you much much more puzzles for your brain to digest. If you can beat them, feel free to download additional 34 stages from the Fuga Systems website.

Overall, despite the extreme challenge, Pastel Pop is definitely a fun and cute little game with very simple and straight forward rules that makes it a really good puzzle game for all ages. If you think you are the smartest person in the world, I dare you to try Pastel Pop. For those who want some brain food should try it also, but I am not responsible for any brain damages it may cause...^^ If you just want something to kill time, Pastel Pop is a good choice.

PROS: Very simple and straight forward rules yet can give you a big challenge. Can be really addictive for a long time. Good for all ages. An excellent time-killer. An excellent source of brain food. Athena is cute.

CONS: Can be annoying if you keep getting stuck at a certain stage. Be careful of possible headaches / nervous breakdowns / loss of temper / brain damages that this overly challenging game can cause. Don't blame me if you end up going to a nut house because of playing Pastel Pop too much.

HIGHLY RECOMMEND TO: Highly arrogant people who think they have the highest IQ on earth, people who like to use their brains, MIT/Yale/Havard students and professors, people who likes puzzle games yet want a huge challenge, people who want to kill time, people who want some *good* brain food, people who want to have their brains busted (like me).
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