|Platform(s)||Arcade, Game Boy Color, PlayStation, Neo Geo Pocket Color, Nuon, iOS|
Game Boy Color
|Mode(s)||Up to 2 players alternating|
|Arcade system||Kaneko Super Nova System|
Puzz Loop is a 1998 tile-matching arcade puzzle game developed by Mitchell Corporation in 1998 In Japan and North America And 1999 In Europe. It was later ported to the Game Boy Color, PlayStation and Samsung Nuon DVD players under the name Ballistic. The original Puzz Loop game was also known by this title. In 2008, publisher Hudson Soft released the game on Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
The original Puzz Loop was followed by a sequel, Puzz Loop 2, in 2001.
In the game, marbles of different colors roll down a spiral path towards a central goal, which the player must stop by shooting new marbles using a cannon into the oncoming ones. The marbles disappear if player matches three or more marbles of the same color. In addition, collecting bonus items attached to marbles can, for example, temporarily slow down the rate the marbles advance or cause all marbles of the same color to disappear.
The game is over once the marbles are pushed over the goal threshold.
Gameplay is exactly the same as its predecessor, with the player needing to deplete all the colored balls before they hit the center of the screen. The most popular feature of Puzz Loop 2 was the two-player versus mode.
The success of Puzz Loop led to a number of clones with identical or nearly-identical gameplay from other companies including Zuma, the Luxor series, Tumblebugs, Potpourrii, Butterfly Escape, Loco, Bonsai Blast, and Bonbon Factory. Mitchell alleges that Zuma, one of the more popular clones, directly infringes on their intellectual property. In reply, Zuma developer PopCap Games asserts that their game is "not an exact clone", but an elaboration of Mitchell's original idea.
In Japan, Game Machine listed Puzz Loop on their March 1, 1999 issue as being the eight most-successful arcade game of the year. Game Machine also listed Puzz Loop 2 on their April 1, 2001 issue as being the thirteenth most-successful arcade game of the year.
Jeff Lundrigan reviewed the PlayStation version of the game for Next Generation, rating it four stars out of five, and stated that "OK, so it's an ultimately derivative action puzzler; but give it a shot and we guarantee you won't want to put it down."
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- Lundrigan, Jeff (January 2000). "Finals". Next Generation. Vol. 3 no. 1. Imagine Media. p. 97.