Puzzle games have been a popular form of entertainment for a long time now. They usually involve manipulating objects in a field to form a picture out of the objects. The most common types of puzzles are crosswords, jigsaw puzzles, and sliding pieces puzzles. These type of games can be played on paper or on screen as video games.
One of the earliest puzzle video games was Tetris, which was created in 1984. The game is a falling block puzzle where the player has to fit the blocks together so that they do not fill up the playing field. If the blocks reach the top of the playing field, then the game is over. Tetris became very popular and has been played by over 125 million people worldwide. The Tetris Company, which publishes the game, claims that it is the most played video game of all time.
In Japan, where video games are very popular among both children and adults, there is a relatively new type of puzzle game called “Panel de Pon”. This translates to “falling block panel” and was developed by Nintendo. The game is similar to Tetris but instead of different shaped blocks, it uses bubbles. These bubbles come in a variety of colors and sizes and can be connected together horizontally or vertically. However, unlike Tetris, the player has complete and total control over the movement and positioning of the bubbles that they fire.
Panel de Pon was first released in Japan in 1995 as part of the Super Famicom library. It was not released in North America until late 2001 when it was renamed Puzzle League and released on the Game Boy Advance system. The game received a positive reaction from gamers and critics alike. IGN, who gave the game a score of 8.5 out of 10, stated that it had “…challenging game play and cute graphics”. Nintendo World Report (who also scored the game an 8.5) stated that “Puzzle League is a great puzzle-solving game” and that it was “a long time coming to America, but well worth the wait.”
Panel de Pon was eventually released in Europe as well, where it was renamed Tetris Attack. This version of the game featured characters from the Super Mario series. The game was also ported to a number of other systems over the years, including the Nintendo DS and Wii, and has been included in a number of compilation discs.
In Japan, Panel de Pon is still a popular game and has spawned a number of sequels. The latest game in the series, Panel de Pon DS, was released in 2006. North America has seen only one game in the series, Puzzle League, but Europe has seen a few more. Tetris Attack for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) was released in 1996 and a Game Boy Advance port was released in 2002. Panel de Pon DS is the latest game in the series and was only released in Japan and Europe.
While there have been a few games released in the Panel de Pon series in North America, they have not been as popular as the Tetris series. This may be due to the fact that there were no spin-off titles as seen in the Tetris series. The only other puzzle game released by Nintendo that was compatible with the Game Boy Advance system, besides Panel de Pon and Tetris Attack, was Yoshi’s Cookie. This game had a few similarities to Panel de Pon, although it used a different sort of puzzle structure.