Following on from the success of their insanely addictive match-3 game Candy Crush Saga, King are back with another Saga game. Papa Pear Saga is the new game and it’s a familiar setup but a rather different game. We’ve been spending plenty of time with it to see if it’s worth yours.
Papa Pear Saga plays most like PopCap’s wonderful Peggle with a pinch of King’s own Bubble Witch Saga thrown in for good measure. Each level gives you a cannon filled with a finite number of Papa Pears to fire. Your aim is to take out as many items, such as fruit and veg, as you can on your way down the screen.
The more you destroy the higher your score. As it can take a while for Papa Pear to bounce his way through the obstacles the game lets you have up to three in play at once. On the way down there are often powerups to help you. At the bottom of the screen are five bins for Papa Pear to land in and sometimes these have lids that need to be broken first.
Some levels require you to obtain a certain score to progress. Others require you destroy a certain number of a specific item, land a Papa Pear in each bin or clear a path to drop large fruit down the screen. The variety of objectives helps keep things interesting and the better you do the more stars you earn.
A single star is needed to pass a stage but completionists will want to achieve the full three-star rating for bragging rights. This can be incredibly challenging on some of the levels but the addictive gameplay keeps you coming back. If you’ve connected to Facebook then you can see how your friends that play are doing and each level has a scoreboard to encourage competition.
Like King’s previous titles Papa Pear Saga can be downloaded and played for free. The catch is that you have finite lives so if you fail too many times you need to wait for them to regenerate. If you have friends that play you can send each other lives. Doing so allows you to play more. If you run out of lives then King hopes you’ll either avoid the wait by purchasing more via in-app microtransactions or at least switch to another of their games while they replenish.
Microtransactions are also available to help you progress through the more difficult stages of the game. Like with King’s other games everything starts off rather simple and it’s easy to blitz through the early stages while getting hooked on the gameplay. They even throw you a few free boosters to show you how they can help you out.
When you eventually come across one of the more difficult levels you are faced with a choice. You can play over and over until you get lucky or fork out some real cash to make things easier. If you enjoy the game getting stuck can quickly become frustrating and the temptation to spend a few pence on a booster is incredibly tempting.
Some players won’t mind this, others will see avoiding boosters as a challenge and there will be some that are completely put off by it. We like the satisfaction of beating the stages without boosters (sorry King!) but must admit trying a level for the 50th time can get annoying.
Graphically the game is very cartoon-like with bright and colourful graphics. Coupled with the sound effects the game just puts you in a great mood. When you complete a level it will have you grinning and you’ll be shouting ‘Papa Fiesta’ along with the game.
Overall Papa Pear Saga is another great game from King. We haven’t found it quite as addictive as Candy Crush Saga but it’s perfect for a quick session when you have a few spare minutes or while you’re waiting for more Candy Crush lives. Fans of Peggle and King titles should definitely check it out.