Pogo Island is a good bunch of minigames from EA’s popular casual games website, albeit short in length and selection.
Seasoned veterans of the website will find the included games very familiar, as they are all pulled directly from pogo.com. Word Whomp is a word game, as the title suggests, where you spell out 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-letter words using the six letters given to you. You are given a time limit of three minutes to complete all the words. Tri-Peaks Solitaire is a solitaire game where you must clear cards in numerical order (for example, an ace to a 2, to a 3, back to a 2, etc). You can get powerup cards and every so often, you’ll get a jackpot spin, earning you up to an extra 1000 tokens. Squelchies is hard to explain, but the objective in the game says to “keep the Squelchies away from the bottom until the crab reaches the treasure chest.” Poppit! is a balloon popping game, where you must get all the gifts in the balloons to the bottom of the screen through popping groups of two or more balloons. Staying true to the original online version, there are two helpful powerups to give you an extra push: the pin, allowing you to puncture any balloon you wish, and the anvil, which lets you pull a row of balloons down by one. Lastly, Phlinx rounds out the bunch as a bubble-popping game in the same style as Bust-a-Move, except you are able to move between three different firing spots on the bottom of the touch screen.
Island Adventure is the game’s story mode. The story is that you must repair a boat that apparently crashed when the Pogo mascots were on the water. You play each of the minigames with a goal attached to each of them, and how well you do in those is reflected in the spinner afterwards. Different coloured stars and icons on the game board are for different things, such as an anchor for extra minigames like Nuts & Bolts, where you must separate nuts and bolts into two different piles, while watching out for and avoiding the rusty ones. Another one is a red star for a Poppit! challenge. You must reunite with five friends and collect four items to repair the ship and win the game.
A cool feature of Pogo Island is the token transfer, which is where the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection comes into play. To transfer your in-game tokens to your real-life pogo.com account, you select the Token Transfer option from the main screen, put in your pogo.com username and password, and within half a minute, your tokens are added to your real-life web account.
There are a few negatives to the game, however. If you play on the easiest setting, you are basically held by the hand as you play. For example, you have a hint button in Word Whomp that gives you a letter if you are stuck. The bad part of that, though, is that you are allowed to press that as often as possible, removing the challenge from the game. Another negative is the small number of games included. There is plenty of fun to be had in the five minigames in the package, but one can see it all in a short amount of time.
Overall, EA’s casual games package is good for a first try, and even people who have never been to the website will enjoy this collection of fun minigames. However short, there is some fun to be had in this title.