Puyo Pop Fever, or Puyo Puyo Fever (ぷよぷよフィーバー Puyo Puyo Fībā ) in Japan, is the fifth installment in the popular Puyo Puyo puzzle game series, developed by Sonic Team, released on a wide variety of systems in several regions. Sega published all the Japanese versions of the game, but due to a reluctance to carry it over to other countries, international versions of it were sometimes published by others. The publishers outside of Japan were Sega for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions, Atlus for the Nintendo DS version and THQ for the Game Boy Advance version. North America only received the Nintendo GameCube and DS versions, whereas Europe received all domestic versions, the PSP, Game Boy Advance, and DS versions. In addition, the PlayStation Portable and Xbox versions were originally intended to be released in North America but were cancelled.
Sonic Team began this project to keep the series alive, but redesigned the entire package into something of its own, adding new features, new cast characters, and gameplay elements along the way. Compile, the original creator of the Puyo Puyo series, played no part in the creation of this game, as they had gone bankrupt prior to the release of Sonic Team's first Puyo Puyo game, Minna de Puyo Puyo. Despite their absence, the protagonists of the original Puyo Puyo games, Arle and Carbuncle, are included in this game and are playable characters: Arle being "lost" from her own world and Carbuncle being a hidden boss.
The NAOMI port to Dreamcast was the last Dreamcast game developed by Sonic Team.
The basic game mechanics are mainly similar to those of Puyo Puyo: the player has a 6x12 board, and must decide where to place incoming groups of variously-colored blobs, or puyo. After placing each set of puyo, any groups of four or more of the same colored adjacent puyo will pop. Any above will fall down and can form more groups for a chain reaction. Each time groups of puyo pop, the player will score points and, more importantly, send trash (aka garbage and nuisance) to their opponent. These trash puyo are colorless and will only pop when puyo next to them do so, rather than in groups as normal. When a player's board fills up, either if they cannot make groups or if they are sent a large amount of trash (usually the latter), they lose and the other player will win.
A new addition to the game mechanics is fever mode. Fever mode occurs when a bar in the middle of the screen is filled up. To fill the bar, one must offset (or counterattack) the trash being sent to the field by the opponent. Every chain, which is a single popping of puyo, will fill one space in the fever meter until it is full, which is when fever activates. In fever mode, a pre-designed chain will fall onto an empty field. In a limited amount of time, one must find a trigger point in the puzzle, which will cause a large chain to go off and attack the opponent. Once a chain is made, another puzzle falls, bigger and more complicated than the previous one. This keeps occurring until time runs out, then it returns the player to his or her original field.
Multiplayer is argued to be the best feature of this game with a near-unanimous opinion among Puyo Pop players[, especially in the ]Nintendo DS version which supports 2 to 8 players, as opposed to the others which only support 2 or 4. In this mode, one can play as any available character.
There is also an endless mode, where one can practice fever mode, complete small tasks as they are given, or play good old-fashioned Puyo Pop. However, the grid and all clear rules remain the same as they do in fever, so it's not exactly classic (in the original Puyo Pop series, you could use the top of the fourth column fully for building chains if needed. If you fill it all the way in this form of endless, you lose).
In the main story of the game, Ms. Accord has lost her Flying Cane, the equivalent of a magic wand, and claims to have a reward for the student who can find it. The player plays the role of Amitie as she ventures across the Puyo Pop Fever world to find the cane, while meeting many wacky characters along the way and battling them. In a harder version of the story mode, known as the HaraHara course, one plays as Amitie's rival: Raffine. Which story mode one is playing determines what characters one will meet and which ultimately finds the wand. When playing as Raffine near to the end of the game, it is revealed that Accord never actually lost her flying cane. She then plans on revealing her and Popoi's secret, but fails in her ending, as she is knocked unconscious by Ms. Accord, losing all memories of the flying cane incident. She regains consciousness near her school where Amitie and her friends congratulate her.
The different characters of Puyo Pop Fever offer different gameplay. With the addition of groups of three and four Puyos, unlike previous Puyo Pop games, each character has his or her own pattern of which different types of Puyo groups fall onto the field. All the characters are playable in most of the game modes, the only exception being Story Mode, where one must be Amitie or Raffine, respectively. There are also two hidden characters, one possessing a powerful pattern of Puyo groups. Most of their names derive from different languages.
- Amitie (アミティ Amitī )
- Amitie is a spunky, adventurous girl who attends the magic school with Raffine and the rest of the gang. She wears a large, red hat shaped like a Puyo and is the first to set out on the quest to find Accord's cane. She doesn't mind insults too much, and acts ignorant when Raffine insults her. Her name is French for friendship.
- Oshare Bones (おしゃれコウベ Oshare Kōbe , lit. Sharply-dressed Skull)
- Oshare Bones is a skeleton who follows the steps somewhat to Skele-T. He often thinks highly of himself, and tends to put down others who aren't as stylish as him in his opinion.
- Klug (クルーク Kurūku )
- A purple-clad boy in Amitie's and Raffine's class, who is rumored to have a demon possessing him (the demon is actually possessing his book). His attack titles are based on astrological/Latin-based words. Klug is the German word for "clever".
- Dongurigaeru (どんぐりガエル Dongurigaeru , lit. Acorn Frog)
- Dongurigaeru is a frog that rolls around in an acorn top. The only thing he ever says is "ribit" (kero in Japanese).
- Rider (リデル Rideru )
- Rider is generally shy girl that tends to stutter often. Her magic involves the power of thunder, summoning thunderbolts and lightning sparks (all named in Italian).
- Onion Pixy (おにおん Onion )
- Onion Pixy tends to just say gibberish, mostly relating to the word "onion" (in Japanese he merely says "On!").
- Ocean Prince (さかな王子 Sakana Ōji , lit. Fish Prince)
- A fish prince thinking he's a king. He's a bit conceited.
- Raffine (ラフィーナ Rafīna )
- Raffine is a snobby girl from a wealthy family who decides to beat Amitie to the punch and find the cane before she does, thus earning Accord's respect. She often exclaims French words; even her own name is French for refined.
- Yu (ユウちゃん Yū-chan )
- A happy-go-lucky ghost girl. Yu is derived from the former part of yūrei (幽霊), the Japanese word for 'ghost'. In the English dub, she has a habit of constantly shouting "Yes, indeedy!"
- Tarutaru (タルタル Tarutaru )
- Tarutaru is a large classmate of Amitie. He always uses the Sumo attacks.
- Hohow Bird (ほほうどり Hohō-dori )
- A horribly conceited bird, who overuses the phrases "mmm-hmm" & "uh-huh" and other phrases related to those phrases.
- Ms. Accord (アコール先生 Akōru sensei )
- Accord is the teacher of Amitie's magic class alongside her cat puppet Popoi. She is also the diabolical mastermind behind the events transpiring within the PPF world involving her Flying Cane and Popoi. Most of her attacks are Italian words dealing with music, such as allegro. Whether she is supposedly evil or not, is unknown.
- Frankensteins (こづれフランケン Kozure Furanken , lit. Frankenstein With His Child)
- Frankendad, lacking the proper language skills, insists on grunting to get his message across. Frankenson, however, is the "mouth" for his dad and translates for his lingustic-disabled father, with his sentences often starting as,"Daddy says," or "my daddy says"
- Arle (アルル Aruru )
- The original heroine of the previous Puyo Pop classics makes a return from the Compile games as a side character who was "separated" from her own Puyo universe. In a nod to the gameplay of the original Puyo Pop, all of her drops are two-sets.
- Popoi (ポポイ Popoi )
- Popoi is the diabolical looking cat puppet that Accord carries around with her. He is also the boss character of the game. The relationship between the two is largely unknown, and it is widely believed that one is controlling the other. He prefers being called, "Prince of Darkness."
- Carbuncle (カーバンクル Kābankuru )
- Carbuncle is Arle's sidekick and the secondary boss character of the game. Carbuncle really does not speak but just shouts "Ta-da"; or "guu", as usual, in Japanese.
- Carbuncle exploit
- In versions of the game that support saving replays (i.e. Dreamcast and PC), the player is able to exploit the replay system to fight Carbuncle without meeting the original requirements, and unlock both Popoi and Carbuncle at the same time. Whilst playing Popoi in the HaraHara course, lose on purpose until 6 continues are lost. On the 7th loss, choose to save the replay. When the game resumes, the player will now be facing Carbuncle, and he will already be unlocked without a need to beat him. However, this does not unlock the Carbuncle cutscene in the gallery.
- Replay bug
- Puyo Pop Fever replay files store the replay information in an obscure manner. As a result of this, some replays will desynchronize when they are played back. The chance of this happening is far higher in online games due to lag, but can still happen in games played against the AI. The effect of the bug on replays is that one player's board will lock up part way through, while nuisance sent by either player in the original playthrough will continue to queue up (though is not displayed correctly). The replay continues until the other player finally dies (from the nuisance that will queue up eventually), and the first player's board unfreezes at that moment. Example - bug occurs at 2:55
- Fever time bug
- In online games, if the game lags while any players are in Fever mode, their time counters will continue decreasing during the lag. This has been dubbed the worst bug affecting online play in this game. It was fixed in Puyo Puyo! 15th Anniversary.
Lesser known versions
Puyo Pop Fever is an unlockable minigame in the Sega Superstars games.
While noted for being released on today's most popular gaming platforms, Puyo Pop Fever has actually been, much like its highly multi-platform Puyo Pop ancestors, released across several smaller platforms in Japan, including a few mobile phone services. Sega released them in an easily memorizable pattern as an almost "once a month" system throughout 2004, each being on the 24th day of every month. The only versions known to have broken this "24th day" rule are the Arcade, the PlayStation 2 version, and the Xbox version (released April 4, 2004 in Japan). The main console versions (Dreamcast, Nintendo GameCube, and PlayStation 2) were re-released in Japan on November 4, 2005 under the "Sega Best" label and budget price. The official Japanese site lists the following releases: Arcade (November 2003), docomo (May 24, 2004]]), Macintosh (June 24, 2004), Vodafone (June 24, 2004), au (July 24, 2004), Windows (September 24, 2004), Pocket PC (October 24, 2004), and Palm OS (November 24, 2004). A version of the game named Puyo Puyo Fever Touch was released for the iPhone OS in 2009.
- Official Japanese Website
- Official European Website
- Official U.S. Website - Nintendo DS Version
- Official U.S. Website - GameCube Version
- Official Japanese Tournament Information and Videos
- CubeIGN Review Article