Like picking things up over your head and chucking them at other people, but feel constrained by the legal restrictions set against this by the US government? If so, Konami has just the thing for you. It's equal parts Roman coliseum tournament and Japanese TV game show, and it goes by the name of Poy Poy.
You compete by tossing objects found in a variety of 3D arenas at other contestants. Hurling these items, ranging from small and large rocks to bombs and even other contestants, is not the only skill you must master. How and where you throw them as well as who you are also come into play. Each of many characters has different speed and strength attributes, though they all can toss due forward, spike an object down directly before them, slam it over their heads and behind, or perform a special move dictated by the type of glove they chose at the game's start - there are 70 gloves total. All these elements come together to make Poy Poy more than just a whack-'em-in-the-head game. Throw a rock at a bomb, for example, and watch a nearby rival go flying, but chuck a bomb in close proximity, and you'll likely be caught up in its blast. The environments you select also dictate the type of strategy you'll need to employ. Each of the six has unique conditions, such as weather and architecture, as well as indigenous items that will affect the game's outcome. For instance, the desert is beset with sandstorms, the robots arena houses a boxing robot with an electrifying gaze, and the iceberg stage is home to several particularly vicious penguins.
Since performance is graded by the number of direct hits made, how many luck power-ups have been acquired, and survival time, a decent amount of strategy is involved. It's easy to lose your place to someone who has planned his shots well, even though you may have outlived him.
The game is made up of two main modes, exhibition and Poy Poy cup. The exhibition is a simple three-round match. If you use the PlayStation multitap peripheral, up to four people can play at a time or a mix of live and CPU contestants can be set up. Otherwise, the Poy Poy cup pits you against three computer-controlled competitors in a set of three rounds within each of the environments. And, as in many real-life sporting events, there are different levels of cup challenge - junior, senior, and master. In the end, winners are awarded with prize money that they can use to upgrade their gloves or buy new ones, entirely in the quest to win more cups and ultimately beat the game.
The only thing Poy Poy is even vaguely similar to in the video game world is the 3D multiplayer mode of Bomberman 64, although it carries much more depth. While it's fairly unique and entertaining, the cup challenge is only moderately addictive, and the multiplayer setting inspires none of the must-play feel found with the multiplayer mode of the pre-Bomberman 64 Bomberman games. The graphics, though obviously intentionally made to look cartoony, are a little too basic, and the 3D arenas sometimes provide perspective problems when players move behind large objects. Overall, Konami should be lauded for bringing out a title that isn't a fighting, racing, sports, or role-playing game; it's just a shame it isn't better.