Puyo Time

I haven’t seen any threads dedicated to Puyo Puyo, so I guess as a resident puzzle game goblin I’m sending my open invitation to everyone: let’s pop some puyo!

I play on Puyo VS 2 which has a fairly active community. The lobbies generally stay full w/ idlers and finding ranked matches takes a matter of seconds. The only issue is most of the players are veterans with absurdly high skill level, so newer players would be less inclined to join. It supports up to 10 player matches and has both Fever and Tsu rulesets, so it’s great for playing with friends, in my opinion.

There’s also Puyo Puyo Tetris, which is currently the latest cross-platform release, and as many of you may know is coming out on the Switch very soon. I’m not planning on getting it for Switch because I have an imported copy for Vita, but the PS4 and Vita versions have cross-play compatibility. Since the PS4 version is also getting localized, that means I’m likely still good to play online with western players, but we’ll see.

If you can spare $40 and you like puzzle games, then I think it’ll be worth your time. There’s a story mode and tutorial which are very beginner-friendly, and a wide range of modes blending Tetris and Puyo in one way or another.

Otherwise, feel free to find me hanging around in the Puyo VS lobby, because I’m in there quite often.

EDIT: I just remembered that Fightcade should be updating soon, adding the entire Genesis/Mega Drive library for netplay, meaning Puyo Puyo Tsu will also be available to play online (which I will definitely spend absurd amounts of time doing)

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i like puyo, but i love magical drop

also i think puyo fever is underrated (mainly by people who couldn’t be bothered to learn how to play it)

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Magical Drop III is really good, I play on FC occasionally.

I like fever because of the wide variety of dropsets and how its basic mechanics really encourage new players. It also extends round time significantly and buffs counters which makes it way less threatening to take a few lines of garbage. It’s pretty fun, especially with a bunch of people

Conversely the reason I don’t like Magical Drop as much is because rounds last like 10 seconds

the puyo 20th anniversary release on Wii is fun to emulate

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I’ve pretty much only played the DS versions of everything post-fever. Sometimes I just dig out my flash cart when I’m in the mood for 7 or 20th because they’re pretty accessible and I like playing stuff in bed. (I should probably import an actual copy at some point)

Yeah, I’m a fan of the Fever rules. Regular Puyo Puyo feels kind of dry and undramatic in comparison. Although, Fever falls in a weird spot where’s it’s a crutch for beginners and at the same time overcomplicated for beginners. So it only hits the sweet spot for players like me who are bad-but-not-beginners.

I liked Magical Drop for a while but it has a low skill ceiling. The combo system is too generous and unconditional, so at a certain level of skill (which is not that high), you infinite-combo instantly and with 100% success rate, and that’s that. The same level of time investment needed to master Magical Drop only gets you to a level of low-intermediate Puyo Puyo player. I have the same issue with Dr. Mario, Puzzle Fighter, Twinkle Star Sprites, and even Panel de Pon/Puzzle League/Tetris Attack – all decent games, but I’ve “solved” them and therefore lost interest. (Panel de Pon is much deeper than the others I listed, but I’ve also played it for 100+ hours and hit the ceiling.)

Puyo Puyo I’ve not solved and therefore still like to play. Another game I have that relationship with is Starsweep, a fantastically underrated game by the creators of Panel de Pon which IMO improves on it in every way, but unfortunately failed in the marketplace and remains shrouded in obscurity.


Panel de Pon is frustrating because of the physical execution requirement. Same reason why Magical Drop can’t ever really be one of my favorite puzzle games. I’m sure if I practiced I’d be good at it but Puyo reaches a much higher level of depth without as many actions per second. I’m still amazed by Panel players tho.

If only my hands weren’t shitty then I’d play more of the faster puzzle games.

Panel de Pon is much more pleasant on the DS. Magical Drop and Starsweep would also benefit from a touchscreen. (In fact, I made a clone of Starsweep for iPad, but I let it fall off the app store because it only got a few thousand downloads and Apple charges these 100$ yearly payments. I’ve had this concept to rewrite it in Javascript and support multiplayer between two phones in their web browsers.)


I was a huge fan of Starsweep for years. I even went to Japan and met the producer of it, Ryuji Kuwaki. He worked on Panel de Pon as well. Did you know there’s a pretty good Game Boy version of Starsweep?

In my opinion, Starsweep is a very good game, and it does some things better than PdP, but ultimately SS is less fun to play. I prefer being able to manipulate the entire playfield rather than be stuck to just manipulating one piece.

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Who is the best Puyo heroine?

  • Arle
  • Not-Arle

0 voters


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puyo puyo tetris is really good, and i’m glad that not only did it get a western release, but that release was disc-only, making it seem like a way more important game

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important life update: I sent a 15-chain all clear to my canadian partner


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a glimpse into a forgotten realm

Right, I had heard of starsweep from you in the first place! So your crusade for starsweep had at least one result.

I ended up preferring Starsweep to Panel de Pon because it’s much harder to get into endless deadlocks when both players’ skill level is high enough (a pitfall in many games in this genre), and I also feel there’s a Puyo Puyo style planning element less present in Panel de Pon, where, to an approximation everything is random and everything is chainable. It does leave one feeling obstructed now and then, but I found it’s a really nice middle point between the extremes of planning vs. mid-field manipulation. My biggest gripes with Starsweep as shipped on arcade is that moving the cursor around is even more annoying than Tetris Attack because you often need to move it a long way in between taking actions, and the procedural generation is just pulling from a small list of patterns, and those are both things I tried to improve in my touchscreen clone.

It’s hard to explain the special merits of it to someone who hasn’t played a ton of these, though. It’s too bad it didn’t take off even in Japan just because, as I take it, it came after the early-90s wave and it lacked a character license.

You raise an interesting point regarding the procedural generation. I’m just not certain how Starsweep-style “new tiles come from the bottom” gameplay would work with completely random generation. This is obviously not an issue in Puyo or Panel de Pon. It’s a pretty difficult design decision. What did you end up doing in the iPad game? I always wanted to try it but I never owned an iPad. Being able to touch anywhere on the screen to place definitely seems like an elegant change from the dpad cursor.

Well, “completely random” doesn’t exactly make sense yeah, but I think there are many plausible options for procedural generation with more dynamism, constrained within reasonable limits.

I used what I might call a “saturation wavefront” generator from bottom-to-top in large chunks (something 10000 depth at a time). So, when a player approached -10000, I would kick off the generator starting at -20000. It considered -20000 a magic floor where it’s legal to place bricks, but otherwise the generator always had to place a brick on top of another brick, without any stars touching. The generator held a wavefront “y” value which was the next candidate height for the bottom of the next brick, and when the density at the wavefront became high enough (this constant is important but I don’t remember it right now – 2 or 3 bricks I think?), it would be raised until the density is less than max. The result was also remembered so that the second player got the exact same stack.

The algorithm has a bricks-chaining-themselves problem at 10000 line intervals, and I think some smart thinking would reveal an equivalent incremental top-to-bottom algorithm that would be fully consistent, but the lazy good-enough hack was to make the generation chunk size huge enough that it almost never came up. In practice, what I didn’t like about it is it generated a bit too many patterns of snaking single-file bricks on each side, and if I was going to revisit it I’d try to find an algorithm that makes the single-files intersect more often in big piles, like the original set patterns. But the result was quite playable and I didn’t feel a strong need to iterate on it further during playtesting.

You may find this interesting, Ty talks about generating ‘solvable’ block patterns for Tumblestone: