Hot Potato! has the PR spin of
a "girls game". In fact, when Sarah and I demoed the game at Bam!s
booth, she did the driving. However, Im here to tell you, as a rough and tumble man
from North Idaho, that this title is no more for girls than Tetris is, and I cant
wait to get my grubby little paws all over it. Hmmm, something about that last line
doesnt sound quite right.
Hot Potato! is one of those games that youll have dreams
about youll be shifting different colored spuds around on the back of your
eyelids every time you shut your eyes. At this point, youre probably a bit confused.
Lets take a step back and re-start this preview the way it ought to be:
Intergalactic space potatoes have taken over the streets, something like the WTO rioters
in Seattle. Theyre crowding up the place, creating infrastructure nightmares, and
its up to you to clear them out, er, take them home.
This is basically a puzzle game you steer a sort of flat-bed potato truck (their
bus) with a group of multi-colored spuds on it. As the bus rolls down the streets, you
send waves of spuds down the street ahead of you, and if they run into a potato of the
same color, you save that potato. Are you still with me? Think of puzzle games like Dr.
Mario or the Next Tetris for a general idea of the color-matching gameplay. Needless to
say, the further you get in the game, the quicker everything goes, and the more chaotic
your rescue mission becomes.
Again, Hot Potato! features extremely smooth gameplay and gorgeous graphics the
cartoony little spuds are just damn cute, and theyre literally everywhere. Each spud
is animated, and flails its arms to attract your attention. While there will be no
shortage of puzzle games available for GBA, the little tubers of Hot Potato! are much
cuter, funnier, and more involving than falling crystals or blocks.
Look for Hot Potato! to accompany the GBA release. If youre up for some serious
puzzle action (whether youre a boy or girl, young or old), this should be at the top
of your list.