Atari 2600 – プーヤン/Pooyan


Konami makes the best boxes. Hnnnggg….

But not the best games or ports to be more precise.
Pooyan is the port of the Japanese arcade hit by the same name.
It’s very cute and addictive but not well known in the west.
Some MGS fans might remember a special mission from Peace Walker that emulates the gameplay.
Very silly but it’s Metal Gear so you shouldn’t be surprised.
But how is the Atari 2600 version?
Well, let’s find out.

Some mean wolves want to eat your piglets and it’s your mission to protect them.
‘Mama pig’ sits in a basket elevator(?) that can move up and down.
The wolves jump from a cliff with the help of balloons and you have to pop them with arrows.
If they manage to reach the ground they will run up a house near your elevator and try to bite your beefy back.
You don’t have to kill them all.
Just survive long enough until you reach the second stage.
Here, the wolves fly up to the cliff where a big rock is waiting for them.
If too many reach the top they will drop the rock on your head.
Survive this stage and it’s back to stage one.
Rinse and repeat until you’ve lost all lives.
There’s also a power-up.
A big chunk of meat (how morbid) that can be collected from time to time and that is able to kill multiple wolves at once.
A necessity in later stages.

Pooyan, of course, looks worse than the arcade version but also just bad in general.
While the pigs are fine and cute, the wolves weirdly transform into stick figures as soon as they grab a balloon.
Was that on purpose or just lazy programming? I guess we all know the answer.
The lack of color and boring blue/black background aren’t helping to change my mind.
You do get a nice jingle at the start of each round tho and the sound effects aren’t annoying either.

Controls feel a bit choppy and you can’t fire arrows continuously.
It works for the most part but having to press ‘fire’ over and over is really exhausting and ultimately stops me from playing for a longer duration.
I really get cramps and I’m not that old.
Combine that with the high difficulty and you’re in for a real sh*tshow.
You are pretty much fu**ed when a wolf reaches the bottom and that happens very early on.
Instead of an easy mode, you only get a bunch of hard modes and no further gameplay variations.

Pooyan has an interesting setting and might be enjoyable for a short time but I would highly advise against chasing an overpriced copy and suggest you rather emulate the arcade version.
It’s indefinitely better.




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