Papa Pear Saga
Another peach from King?
Papa Pear Saga is the latest of King's social-driven Facebook juggernauts to make the lea[p to mobile devices. Fashioned after pachinko, it's also their first game to rely on physics-based gameplay, rather than direct controls as a measure of success. You control the titular Papa Pear - or rather his trajectory - by firing him in an arc from the top of the screen, through various point boosting obstacles, and into one of five scoring buckets. Like any Saga game, you must reach a certain point threshold as well as complete one of various side objectives to proceed.
Papa Pear Saga is gorgeous to look at. While other games in the Saga franchise often sport a somewhat hacked-together look - as if they were made from various, unrelated parts - Papa Pear knows exactly what look it's going for. That happens to be a bright, clean, and colorful aesthetic with a multicultural feel. Each 15-level world sports a different and instantly recognizable world region as its influence. On high resolution displays such as the iPad Air, it's hard to deny this is King's best-looking game to date.
How much you enjoy the way Papa Pear Saga plays will largely depend on how you feel about pachinko games in general. Without direct control over things, the game often feels mindless. Firing off pears in the hopes of accumulating points feels a little like gambling, rather than puzzle solving (not surprising given the genre's origin). The best stages are those that task you with smashing specific obstacles in as few moves as possible. The strategy comes from an economy of movement, rather than just hoping to hit as much as you can on the way down.
Papa Pear Saga is a very different kind of game for the Saga brand. Without having to wrack one's brain over puzzles, it might appeal to those looking for a more relaxing experience. The control freaks out there might just find that lack of direction a frustration though.