Although not so few and far between, I’m pretty happy that retro styled video games are still being created today. They continue to serve a purpose throughout the games industry, and I’m happy to report that Pirate Pop Plus’ classic approach is worthy of your time.

The idea of the title is similar to games like Galaga and 1942, which is to say that you must dodge projectiles in an effort to stay alive for as long as possible in order to generate an enormous amount of points. Doing so, however, will get you nothing in the long run other than the self satisfaction of trumping your previous score. Extreme mode, on the other hand, grants users access to coins that unlock a variety of things like characters, different colored textures made to resemble classic Game Boy screens, and music.

Pirate Pop Plus’ classic inspirations are certainly obvious throughout the experience, but how well does the title pay tribute?

Emulation done well

Pirate Pop Plus looks, plays, and sounds like a classic Game Boy title from the early 1990s. It utilizes a two-button control system which makes gameplay feel simplistic, and the variety of chiptunes being used emulates its inspiration very well. Because of the familiar sound, I frequently thought I was playing a downloaded Game Boy title via Nintendo’s Virtual Console, which definitely says a lot when it comes to the game’s development, so I must tip my hat to developer Dadako for that one.


Unfortunately, Pirate Pop Plus felt very limited, especially after playing the game for about an hour or so, which is roughly all you need in order to see its entirety. The game is repetitive like Galaga and Tetris, but Pirate Pop Plus differentiates itself by implementing collectible items, albeit limited and not worth your time. It’s a great video game to play, but the fact that collectible items were included only hinders the experience itself. The pickings are pretty slim, and the list of additional items lack any real substance, rather than acting as the carrot dangling at the end of a stick. It’s a cheap and unnecessary way to extend gameplay, and its implementation does nothing but leave a sour taste in your mouth.

Final Say-So

Pirate Pop Plus certainly possesses multiple similarities with its classic Game Boy inspirations. The looks and feel of the title appears to be at home on a Nintendo platform, and the sound of the game does nothing but send you straight back to the early 1990s. Although Pirate Pop Plus is limited in collectible items which only exist as a cheap way to extend gameplay, the action itself it worth checking out and you’re likely to be engaged in the title, regardless of flaws, if you’re a fan of the Nintendo Game Boy.

Pirate Pop Plus was reviewed on Nintendo 3DS using a review copy provided by Dadako Studios

Reviewed On
Release Date
13AM Games
Dadako Studios
October 20, 2016