|I pooshed myself past the power-up|
|Reviewed by:||Mark Goninon|
|Release Date:||8 May 2023|
|Time played:||3 hours|
Pooshing Atari Sales
Ever since playing Adamvision's Bit Blaster XL (which was released in 2016), I became confident that he knew what he was doing when it came to reimagining retro arcade experiences. Bit Blaster XL is very much the classic 1979 Atari arcade game Asteroids except with extra ships and power-ups. It was a cheap and cheerful game that was hard to fault which is why it received an 8/10 here on Choicest Games.
He's been busy releasing a whole bunch of other games since then and even collaborated with Atari to remake classics such as Centipede, Breakout, Missile Command and, of course, Asteroids. Although they all have their critics (it's a tough gig when you're remaking classic games that fans have a lot of nostalgia for) overall the games received a pretty positive reception. This year marked a return to the development of original games and in May, a game called Poosh XL was released on Steam.
|It's really that simple. Click to poosh.|
Keep Moving Or You'll Be Pooshing Daisies
Poosh XL seems to be ideal for mobile phones since the game only requires one tap or button to play. Since I'm playing the PC version, I'm using mouse-clicks in order to play but it's only the left mouse button and the rest is just a matter of timing. In Poosh XL you control an orb and the goal is to progress as far as you can up the screen before you either are destroyed by one of the obstacles or the bottom of the screen that is slowly catching up to you. In this regard, it's similar to an endless runner but instead of jumping over buildings like you would in a game like Canabalt, you're trying to "poosh" yourself past obstacles at the right time, in the right direction with the right amount of force.
Your orb has a little arrow on it that indicates which direction it will head if you click the button. The arrow acts like a pendulum within a 180 degree arc which means you have to wait a second or two before the arrow points in the direction you're intending to go. However, it's not as simple as waiting until the arrow is pointing in the right direction before clicking the button: the arrow also indicates how powerful the push will be meaning you have to also gauge how far you want to go and wait until both the direction and right amount of force converges. Meanwhile, there are obstacles such as flying blocks and conveyer belts which will be urging you to hurry up, not to mention the bottom of the screen that slowly creeps up on you.
|Like any good arcade game, you need to poosh for a high score list|
Poosh it Real Good
Like Bit Blaster XL and arcade games in general, it's a game where anyone can learn the basics but it's hard to master it (or you just need really good reflexes and coordination in order to make it far on the high score list). Yes, the game is integrated with the Steam Leaderboards (as it should be) which means you can compare how well you're doing against your friends and the Steam population in general.
The game has the typical addictive short gameplay loop that most arcade games have where you can play for a few minutes (or seconds) and you'll be returning for more in order to beat your previous score. There are some subtle touches that will encourage you to try again as when you replay the game, a line is drawn on the course showing where you got up to last time. The game also has Steam Achievements which is an extra carrot to entice you back to poosh it - poosh it real good.
There's not really much I can criticise about this game except for the fact it is an arcade game so there's not really much to it, which means longevity becomes a concern. But if you're either hyper-competitive when it comes to arcade games or want an idle time waster while waiting for other games to load, it's a good investment at only a few bucks. The game has a lot going for it such as its neon, wireframe, 1980s visuals (similar to Arclight Cascade) and a pleasing synthwave soundtrack by veryhandsomebilly. It also works well on the Steam Link with Logitech F710 controllers and for those with kids, it's obviously a family friendly game.
So, as mentioned, got a lot going for it, just depends if you see yourself coming back for more or not. I daresay the chances are high that you will.
|I didn't poosh far enough in my last run|
Poosh XL like any good arcade game is simple to learn, hard to master, yet addictive enough that you'll be coming back again and again to beat your high score. Only requiring one button to play makes it one of those games where you can enjoy a cup of tea with one hand while playing the game with the other. If you like cheap and cheerful endless runners with an 80s aesthetic, why not give it a go?
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