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By Chris De Herrera 
Copyright 1998-2007
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Slurp Review 
By Allen Gall, Copyright 2002
Revised 2/19/2002

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Some of the most popular games on the Pocket PC are also the simplest. That's why you'll find virtually endless variations of Tetris, Mahjongg, Solitaire, and other perennial favorites. The Palm platform also has literally thousands of simple but addictive games, and one, called H Maki, consists of a screen of colored squares, your goal being to select adjacent groups of squares of the same color and remove them in such a way that the remaining blocks "drop" to form large blocks of the same color. The larger the blocks, the greater the score, and making the individual blocks fall where you'd like them to requires a considerable amount of strategy, planning, and dumb luck.

Now, thanks to Hexacto, we have a similar type of game on the Pocket PC by the name of Slurp. While Slurp doesn't break any new ground, it does take advantage of Pocket PC hardware and introduces some new elements to the genre which should make it a hit among those who like this type of game or are simply looking for a diversion.
As the title suggests, the theme of the game is to "slurp" up groups of "drops." The drops themselves are brightly colored, vibrant, and have a nice 3D effect. When you tap on a group, the game makes a sound not unlike what you'd hear when stepping in a mud puddle in a pair of rubber boots.

Slurp Screen ShotTo get a high score in Slurp, you'll need to figure out which color you can consolidate into the largest piece.

Removal of groups is also animated, creating the illusion that you're sucking up colored, geometric-shaped pieces of water with your stylus. The overall effect is cute and much more appealing than the stodgy old square blocks and uninspired sound effects of other games in this genre.

This is the sort of game where the actual game play is simple and doesn't warrant a great deal of discussion. To earn a good score, you'll have to look at the screen very carefully and decide which color you're going to try to consolidate. Since removing a group will cause other pieces and groups to fall, you'll have to consider whether to start at the top or the bottom of the screen. You'll also have to be fairly shrewd in which groups you remove and when you remove them, and you'll have to predict the impact any action you take will have on the playing field. What's nice about this type of game is that you can play it "quick and dirty," i.e., you can rapidly tap all the matching groups and not give much thought to strategy, or you can play it in a more meticulous fashion, focusing on which moves will maximize your score.

What makes Slurp an improvement over its brethren are the additional features that enhance game play. For starters, you can select how many colors will be on the playing field, anywhere from 3 to 7. Of course, playing with more colors will make the game more challenging. The most interesting feature, however, is the game's level progression. When you finish a level, any unused drops become solid, so as you progress through the game, you'll have a smaller and smaller playing field. This makes the game much more challenging and interesting than similar games that merely take you from one random level to another. As with any good game, high scores are saved.

Although Slurp isn't daring or innovative, its cute graphics and fairly unique game play features make it a worthy addition to almost anyone's collection of puzzle games. The game is available for all major Pocket PCs and can be found at any of the major Web site distributors. The game is available for $12.95 and can also be purchased in a "bundle" including Bob the Pipe Fitter for $19.95.

Allen Gall is a freelance game reviewer and the games editor for Pocket PC FAQ. If you have a game you'd like Allen to review, you can e-mail him at [email protected] PC FAQ

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