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Mighty Beanz (GBA)

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      20.05.2009 20:52
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      "Mighty Beanz: Pocket Puzzles" is a video game released for the Gameboy Advance console in 2004 by Majesco Games. It is a puzzle game featuring the popular "Mighty Beanz" toys in America. In the United States, the game received a rating of "E" by the ESRB panel which deemed it suitable for all ages.

      The Mighty Beanz toys were marketed as collectible plastic images where children play an assortment of games with them. They featured a wide variety of images on their surface which created a sense of chase collecting and potential investment worth. The Beanz, however, were short lived and disappeared from the marketplace rather quickly. The fad did not arrive in the United Kingdom but I became mildly familiar with the concept while speaking with American penpals. The gameplay of "Pocket Puzzles" reflects something similar to "Tetris". Images will fall from the top of the display and the player must match appropriate segments to have them disappear from play. Unlike Tetris, however, the images represent the Beanz toys and the player must match the bottom half of the bean with the top half to remove it from play. The play ends when the player can no longer quickly match the beans and the display fills to the top with image fragments.

      The graphics are presented from a side perspective which focuses on the area in play. The player is presented with portraits with the beans that are currently in play and must attempt to pair the top and bottom parts together. It is difficult to play because of its visuals. As I was not wholly familiar with the Mighty Beanz toys, I could not quickly determine where specific pieces should lie. The images are otherwise bright, colourful and are clearly intended towards children with numerous facial gestures and motifs being shown. The audio is comparably juvenile with upbeat and lively compositions combined with simple "clicking" sounds following play.

      Overall, Pocket Puzzles is something which would likely appeal to young American children familiar with the toys. It is a difficult play otherwise for those outside of this market and I would be hesitant about recommending it to prospective buyers.

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