Week in Arcade: Rainbow Islands, Inferno Pool


One classic remade and one non-classic that will never be remade on the Arcade this week.

Rainbow Islands: Towering Adventure

As hard as it may be to make die-hard gamers put down their assault rifles to shoot rainbows out of their hands instead, those that do will find this superb remake enjoyable. Rainbow Islands was originally a sequel to Bubble Bobble, although the similarities are weak at best.

Two years ago, the DS had a version, Rainbow Islands Revolution, but this hi-res, colorful vertical platformer is at home here. With two-player co-op, frantic time-based gameplay, and always varied level design (with just a hint of on-the-fly puzzle solving), Towering Adventure is a keeper. Players must traverse towers filled with enemies, collecting power-ups, and jumping a lot while shooting increasingly large rainbows at helpless foes. It’s a load of fun, even if the colorful appeal will be lost on some not willing to let their guard down.

Inferno Pool

From the colorful to the, well, not so colorful. Inferno Pool’s gimmick is that two players compete at the same time, split screen. As balls are sunk into the pockets, they can be sent over to the opponent’s table. Points are awarded for skill shots, and the player with the least amount of balls on screen (and the highest score) is deemed the winner.

Inferno Pool is undoubtedly fast paced in its titled mode (along with eight and nine ball), but it is not enough to carry the game. Frenzied as it may be, Inferno immediately becomes dependent on luck shots. You have no limit on how many you can take, so if the field is crowded, just plow into a stack of balls and hope the best. Once clear, you have a brief period to concentrate and rack up combos. Fun idea that doesn’t work on principle.

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