[Nintendo Switch] PopSlinger Review
PopSlinger from Funky Can Interactive is a narrative-focused musical shooter inspired by 1980s and 1990s culture. Learn more in our PopSlinger review!
PopSlinger from Funky Can Interactive is a narrative-focused musical shooter inspired by 1980s and 1990s culture – what is now called retro culture. You’ll be taking on this quest as Ria Carbon, a funky heroine who wants to save the world from the evil invaders from another dimension. The good news is that you’ll be backed in this radtastic adventure by Gin, the former PopSlinger heroine! Do you have what it takes to fight against the Corazones, who have had their hearts corrupted by the invaders?
The game’s focus on music means that you’ll be taking on an experience with a fully dynamic soundtrack, which will react in real-time based on your performance. As you can see from the trailer and the screenshots in this PopSlinger review, the game’s presentation has been inspired by 1990s anime, with a hand-drawn marker look for its locations and 2D sprites, with a VHS-infused look that helps to make everything pop. On top of this, cutscenes are also fully-voiced, helping to move the story forward.
Ria will move around each area with the left analog stick or the D-Pad, attacking with the Y and X buttons. You need to dodge enemy attacks to be able to survive, so take a good look at your enemies and press the A button at the right time! You’ll be using soda-powered guns to defeat the invaders and battle the Corazones. Colors are important, so if you pop four enemies of one color and then pop four of a different color, you’ll be grooving in no time in a single progression. If you pop eight enemies of the same color, you will get a double progression. Do things right, and you’ll enter Dream Time.
Depending on the progressions you complete, Gin will be able to help you out with some of her skills. If you activate the Turret ability, Gin will start to use her soda gun to attack enemies. The Shield ability will protect Ria from a single hit, which is very important since hits will damage her while also breaking the progression sequence. Heal is a very useful skill that will help Ria recover some of the health lost by bumping into an enemy or from being shot by an opponent. You could also activate Double, which will place Gin right next to you so that you both fire your soda guns at the same time.
As you progress in the game, Gin will gain access to new souls for new skills, while Ria will obtain new flavors for her soda gun – perhaps strawberry can hit the spot? You can use the L and R buttons to switch weapons as needed. Completing levels can also end up rewarding Ria with extra soda cans to boost her total life bar, located at the upper left corner of the screen. Changing flavors will allow you to destroy the barriers that sometimes protect enemies so that you can then defeat them.
Your overall performance will be ranked once you complete a stage. This will depend on the hit score, the max track reached by the progressions made during a stage, track transitions, single and full chains, if you entered Dream Time, and if you completed the level without using Gin’s Heal skill. After adding all of this up, you’ll get your total score for the level, which will dictate what grade you get for that stage. This means that if you want to 100% PopSlinger, you might have to replay some levels to improve your score once you know what you’ll be going up against.
There are going to be bosses to battle in PopSlinger. Before taking on them, Ria will suit up and don a special mask to go along with the magical girl inspiration and themes for the game. You’ll fight against a fast-moving skateboarder that will call upon the help of some of the invaders, a secret-agent-looking individual that will constantly shoot at you to then roll out of the way while leaving behind some mocha bombs, or a mighty wrestler that can destroy you in an instant. You’ll have to pay attention to their movement and attack patterns so that you can find the right time to deal some damage.
PopSlinger is a colorful and radtastic narrative-focused musical shooter inspired by 1980s and 1990s culture that is easy to play and enjoy. Its soundtrack is bubbly and charming, matching the game’s hand-drawn marker look. PopSlinger offers an arcade-style experience with short stages to take on, making it an easy one to play in short bursts or in one go. PopSlinger is out tomorrow on Nintendo Switch with a $14.99 asking price.
This PopSlinger review is based on a Nintendo Switch copy provided by Funky Can Interactive.